The restoration Laboratory of the Historical Archives of the Congregation
for the Evangelization of Peoples was designed and established in 1931
thanks to the work of an archivist and with the help of an expert restorer
of the Vatican Library, with the motivation: "a laboratory for the
restoration of old volumes of the archive where the corrosive action of the
ink is most obvious and destructive".
The delicate task was then given to the order of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary, who for two generations carried out their work of restoration and bookbinding, pledging to make available to scholars a significant part of the archival material in its main funds.
In the following years, at the threshold of the millennium, the religious personnel was replaced by lay specialists who contributed to the transfer of the Historical Archive in the new headquarters of the Janiculum. This allowed them to invest in new and more suitable equipment, in addition to changing the methodological approach, paying greater attention to prevention.
Currently, the laboratory is responsible for the preservation of the material of the Archives, the damage assessment and interventions appropriate to each fund, the mechanical cleaning, the actual restoration and preparation of documents for the preparation of exhibitions and occasional events.