The restoration room
of the National library of Florence

Since March 1997 the restoration department of the Central National Library of Florence has had its seat in the heart of San Ambrogio, inside a former convent whose rooms, though maintaining their essential structure, have been adapted to suit the needs of the laboratory in which the technicians of the Ministero dei Beni Culturali work.

One of the volumes restored in the National Library of Florence
(photo FAN©)

The Centre of restoration was initiated immediately after the flood of 1966. Located in the National Library it set itself up as the first nucleus of Italian restorers under the guidance of the technicians of the Library of Congress and the British Museum in London though also playing a role were three other nations and with their experts contributed to the formation of the Florentine technicians. For example, the Australian government totally financed the construction of a restoration laboratory for printing and geographical maps at the National Library.

Restoration of a work at the National Library of Florence
(photo FAN©)

Originating from all over the world, the combination of all these people gave initiative to a welter of ideas, intuitions and projects flourishing in the face of an emergency. They still work principally if not exclusively on the books damaged in the flood which are subjected to routine operations and whose files contain standardized opinions and prescriptions. Knowledge of the type of paper is fundamental for the exact diagnosis of the volumes' pathology and for the appropriate treatment.


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