Georgine Thorburn is the founder and Managing Director of Document S.O.S, Britain's only fully
comprehensive disaster restoration company for business paperwork, books and art damaged by
flood, fire and explosion.
She pioneered the field of mass-damaged document disaster recovery in 1987 after 4 years intense
study of Paper Conservation at Camberwell College of Art. She spent the next 3 years developing
treatments and chemical formulae that are non-toxic and non-damaging to documents and books.
The Document S.O.S Operations Headquarters are near Dartford in Kent. There they have over
300,000 cubic feet of chilled and frozen storage. John Kirby and Georgine joined technical and
precision expertise to build and develop the Dryfast Chamber in 1995. This has the largest capacity
for document drying in the world and has revolutionised the process of drying waterlogged paper.
Cutting edge treatments for sewage and mould damaged paper are part of the continuous product
development by John Kirby, Document S.O.S's technical manager who is also a microbiologist.
Operating a 24 hour response worldwide, Document S.O.S implement immediate disaster control
measures and coordinate precision disaster recovery and electronic tracking to ensure maximum
business continuity in the aftermath of an incident, whilst greatly mitigating insurance claims.
The freeze/vacuum drying chamber, which is reputedly one of the largest in Europe, and is fitted with
state-of-the-art Eurotherm monitors. This allows the client to have accurate details of the drying
process which is of particular interest to antiquarian collections.
The historical conservation services have just been introduced to provide a rolling schedule of
conservation works for large collections. However, most watercolours, prints and books can be treated
in a conservation manner which will increase their life span for the future.
Georgine and her team of trouble-shooters have reinstated damaged documents and books from
national tragedies, libraries and private collections worldwide, saving insurance millions of pounds.
This broad expertise has led her to chairing the Special Interest Group of the British Damage
Management Association (BDMA), the certifying authority for the recovery and restoration industry.
The Piper Alpha Oil Well tragedy, the B.C.C.I., and the City of London Terrorist Bombings are but a
few examples and their growing international reputation involved them with documents from the
World Trade Center disaster on the 11th September 2001.
In 2005 Document SOS were WINNERS of Insurance Service Provider of the Year
and FINALISTS for Recovery of the Year at the British Business Continuity Awards.