Books and historic documents are in danger from four main causes of damage: frequent past usage, current usage, storage conditions and their construction and materials.
For advice on storage, handling and repair PCCs should consult a specialist book conservator. Under the Parochial Registers and Records Measure (1978) all parish records more than 100 years old have to be deposited with the diocesan record office, unless special dispensation is granted by the Bishop. Any records over 100 years old which the parish is permitted to retain must be stored in the stringent conditions set out in the 1978 Measure and the place of storage will be inspected by a diocesan archivist. Parishes with historic books may wish to have them placed on permanent loan to Chester Cathedral. The Cathedral does not have the resources to restore books on behalf of parishes but may agree to store them in appropriate conditions, allowing parish access to them on request. Parishes who wish to discuss this should in the first instance contact:
The Cathedral Librarian, Chester Cathedral, 12 Abbey Square, Chester CH1 2HU.
- Churchcare - this includes details about how best to store, handle and display historic books
- Conservation Register - care and conservation of books