Care for Collections

Care for collections

Conservation - our vital work

Help us raise £860 to conserve this rare
18th century prayer book thought to have
been destroyed in World War II


Donate now


With thanks to all of you who helped us to successfully raise funds for repairs to the Georgian auction catalogue featured last month. Our next challenge is to raise £860 to make repairs to a rare copy of a pocket-sized prayer book from the Georgian period. Discover the story behind the item and make a donation

The Book of Common Prayer [and] The Psalter or Psalms of David, 1797

This pocket-sized volume from the Georgian period was recorded as having been destroyed in World War II because it falls inside the shelfmark ranges in the British Museum which were devastated by bombing. Many books were lost during this time. Miraculously, the volume was found in early 2012. The text is very rare: Of the first title, only three copies survived, including this one and of the second title, this is the only surviving copy.  

How your donation will help: The volume is in unusable condition – none of its leaves are together. The original spine is missing, as is the front marbled flyleaf. It has also been damaged by fire evident by the scorched leather on its binding boards. The textblock which is very acidic has also suffered from water damage. View photos of the prayer book


£ 320.60

raised of the total £860 target needed to repair his prayer book from the Georgian period. Help us raise the full £860 needed to conserve this item.


Why do we need your help?
Our collections are in constant use. Last year 4 million items alone were called up in our Reading Rooms. Our small team of specialist conservators treat 1,800 items every year; this includes repairs for every day wear and tear as well as special repairs to unique items.

Head of Conservation, British Library“Conservation is vital - if items are not in a fit condition to be handled then they cannot be used. Your support will help us to treat items and return them to the shelf quickly.” 

Cordelia Rogerson
Head of Conservation

Watch our video and see our experts repair a favourite childhood book Your donation helps ensure that we keep our collections fit for purpose and in the best possible condition so that they can be available for everyone’s enjoyment, both now and in the future.

Book of Common PrayerThe binding is charred and the leather has shrunk from fire damage. The original spine is missing as well.

Book of Common Prayer

Textblock has been damaged by water and is very acidic. 

Book of Common PrayerNo leaves were together when the volume was found.