ATA News

National Library restores 600 old books dating from 1800-1940

TIRANA, May 24/ATA/ The book restoration laboratory at the “Sotir Kolea” book center has restored about 600 books dating from 1800-1940, part of the archive of the National Library. Thanks to the support of the European Union, there were made available the necessary equipment to preserve the precious fund of books and the rare values they carry.

During last year, the “Sotir Kolea” center was provided with some special equipment for the restoration laboratory which help the book restoration processes.

Antonio Çikollari, in charge of the book maintenance sector at the “Sotir Kolea” center, said that, once the work was done mechanically. The workers made them by hand or with almost primitive tools. While with the new equipment provided, the work is much easier; it becomes much easier for the library employees, but it also affects the amount of restoration and handling of the books. According to Çikollari, in 15 minutes time there can be cleaned up to 40-50 books.

“The selection of books is also done depending on the contents. For example, we have books of Erasmus of Rotterdam which have been found in the premises of the National Library and that are damaged by the effect of time, even if they have never been exhibited. So, there is a need to pay special attention to these rare works that we have, so that we can give light to these hidden values and reveal them to the public”, said Çikollari.

The equipment to the “Sotir Kolea” center, an annex of the National Library, were delivered almost a year ago by the EU4Culture grant program. The equipment, worth 668,922 Euros, include servers, book and bar-code scanners, laptops, tablets, specialized cleaners, disinfectants and drying rooms, cleaning machines for removing the acidity of book paper, etc., which have already increased significantly library services.