Barnsley Archives’ Conservation Programme
5th April 2023
Barnsley Archives and Local Studies have an ongoing conservation programme to ensure that the 4000 collections in their custody can still be safely used by researchers many years, decades and centuries from now. This programme is a crucial part of the work they do and is supported by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, the Friends of Barnsley Archives and Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust.
One item conserved in recent months was a plan of the Dearne and Dove Canal. It was drawn up in 1793 to accompany an Act of Parliament and shows the intended route of the canal. The construction of the canal was duly authorised and work was fully completed by 1804. It provided a crucial transport link for Barnsley and South Yorkshire during the industrial revolution and beyond. It remained operational until 1961.
The plan was in particularly poor condition with a large quantity of degraded and discoloured adhesive tape having to be removed. A sizeable portion of the plan was also missing. In addition, there were a number of tears and some general discolouration throughout. However, specialist conservation work has thankfully managed to save the plan, and it can safely be handled by researchers now and in the future.