Campaigning for Conservation
Fighting plans to ditch vellum
We were all taken by surprise by reports that emerged from the UK Parliament the week of 19 October that the administration committees had recommended ending the practice of recording Acts of Parliament on vellum, or parchment. Ostensibly, they seemed to be recommending this on cost grounds in favour of archival paper, but gave no indication that they had also looked at the costs of ensuring that future Acts recorded on archival paper would be stored appropriately to prevent degradation. There is also the important related question of the impact on the sector as a whole, if the future of the UK’s last remaining vellum manufacturer, Cowley’s, were to be threatened by this move. Cowley’s depends on Parliament for much of its business, and many of our conservator members and the key heritage work that they do could lose out, by extension.
It was great to see so many conservators writing to their MPs. Below are ARA's letters supporting the concerns of our conservators.