8 August 2019
IFLA PAC Centres in Qatar and Russia - Exchange of experience
The extensive PAC network, focused around the IFLA PAC Centres, has a wide range of expertise concerning preservation and conservation as well as safeguarding cultural heritage. The IFLA PAC Netowrk has one major goal: to preserve all library and archive materials, published and unpublished, in all formats in accessible form for as long as possible.
To ensure this - and to celebrate the Qatar-Russia Year of Culture - the two PAC Centres in Qatar and Moscow met to exchange experience and knowledge. Read below story by Maria Kolpakova from the IFLA PAC Center hosted by the Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow, Russia on how the two PAC Centres have benefited from the PAC Network.
From Qatar to Russia
During the Business Meetings for IFLA’s Preservation and Conservation (PAC) Centres at the World Library and Information Congress 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, an agreement was reached on a professional exchange between specialists from the IFLA PAC Centre Centres For Arabic Countries and Middle East, hosted by the Qatar National Library (Doha, Qatar) and for the CIS and Eastern Europe, hosted by the the Library for Foreign Literature (Moscow, Russia).
2018 was a year of cultural exchange between Russia and Qatar, which provided a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the work of each other’s PAC Centre.
A first visit took place in November 2018. Chanaka Darshana Subasinhage Don Perera, one of the conservation staff of the Qatar National Library, came to participate in the International Scientific and Practical Conference "Preservation of Book Monuments", organised in Moscow, Russia.
The Conference built on the work of Russian specialists to research and publish work on the subject of humanitarian and natural science in books and book collections, as well as on restoration activities.
To ensure wider exchange, the Russian organisers also invited specialists from the Graz University Library (Austria), the restorer Manfred Meyer and the Head of the special collections department Erich Renhart to give lectures at the conference. The conference was held in Russian with simultaneous translation into English.
At the event, Chanaka Perera spoke about the National Library of Qatar and its own restoration workshop. The strong focus on providing thoughtful service to readers, the architecture of the building, the organisation of the space and the uniqueness of the collection left no-one indifferent. The description of the restoration workshop, the specialist restorers, and the modern equipment for conducting in-depth studies strongly increased the interest of Russian colleagues in visiting Qatar National Library.
In April 2019, specialists Maria Kolpakova and Evgenia Vivdenkova from IFLA PAC Regional Centre for the CIS and Eastern Europe visited the IFLA PAC Regional Centre For Arabic Countries and Middle East to participate in the “Book Binding Conservation” workshop. The workshop was conducted under the supervision of Mireille Porterie, a French expert in conservation. During the workshop were demonstrated methods of restoration of book bindings using Japanese restoration paper. The presented methods were informative and will be taken into work.
In addition to participating in the workshop, an excursion in the library were organised for the specialists from the Russian PAC Centre. The modern, thought-out library building is interesting not only from the practical side, but also as an original architectural project. The restoration workshops of the National Library of Qatar are equipped with advanced equipment for research and practical restoration. Specialists visited the restoration workshops of not only the National Library of Qatar, but also the Museum of Islamic Art and the National Museum of Qatar. All of them are distinguished by the presence of large space, high level of natural light illumination, high-quality equipment and highly qualified staff.Certainly, the professional exchange that took place was useful and interesting both for the specialists themselves and for strengthening communication between the PAC Centres. We hope for further cooperation and joint projects.