The Linnean Society is privileged to have an in-house Conservation department to help preserve our outstanding collections.
The Linnean Society is committed to taking the best possible care of its collections. This is not an easy task when occupying an old building with maintenance problems and the constraints that go with a Grade II listed status. Some rooms have been specially fitted out to provide bespoke storage for particular collections.
Since 2000 the Society has employed a full-time conservator on its staff and in recent years has also engaged contract conservators, funded by external grants, to work on specific projects. There are currently contract conservators working on the Smith Correspondence Project, the Linnaean Annotated Volumes and the Wallace Notebooks.
Library books, manuscripts and prints are conserved so that they can continue to be available to Fellows and researchers. Material requested for loan to exhibitions may also require preparation from the conservator.
Disaster Planning and response is an important aspect of collections care, especially in an old building which has to be maintained in accordance with its Grade II listed status. The most serious threat to the collections is from water leaks, and every effort is made to prevent such events and to respond quickly when accidents occur.
For the conservation of the portrait collection, the Society engages a specialist paintings conservator. Recently our portrait of Charles Darwin was cleaned and relined by Amanda Pauley.