The School of Mining Engineering of Madrid Library conserves, as part of its Old, Historical Collection, around 10,000 documents dated from between the 16th century and the first part of the 20th century. This mainly comprises books and journals, although also houses other types of materials such as maps, photography collections, handwritten documents, and other educational resources. In short, it is one of the most important specialised bibliographic and documentary collections of mining and related materials in the world. It dates to the beginning of mining teaching in Spain, after the foundation, in 1777, of the Almadén Underground Mining and Geography Academy by order of King Charles III.
Time, use and storage resulted in the degradation of part of the bibliographic and documentary material conserved. The lack of specialised technical and professional means, as well as the absence of a clearly defined conservation strategy, put the collection’s longevity at stake. For this reason, the institution commissioned Titanio Estudio to analyse the condition of the collection, its installations and means of storage. This information was used to prepare a specific Preventive Conservation Plan adapted to the unique needs of the School of Mining Engineering of Madrid Historical Library. This document was drafted to establish the guidelines to follow for the preventive conservation of books, bibliographic and documentary material, establishing criteria in accordance with national and international guidelines and laws, and defining certain simple protocols and actions that do not usually require specialised technical personnel and can be done by the library staff themselves.