The purpose of library preservation is to ensure the present and future use of information in whatever form it has been recorded.

The Preservation Unit’s program for analog materials provides a range of services to care for collections. This is accomplished through a variety of collection- and item-level approaches and strategies including emergency preparedness, environmental monitoring, user education, book repair/conservation, and shelf-preparation. Actions are taken to prevent or slow down the deterioration of library materials, improve their condition, and provide access.

The Preservation Unit works with HF Group for its commercial binding needs. Treatments most requested are standard periodical binding, custom and music book binding, digicover, and KASEBox enclosures. All bindings are per ANSI/NISO/LBI Z39.78-2000 Standard for Library Binding. In addition, the Preservation Unit has a marking/processing section which processes and makes shelf-ready many materials new to the collection that do not come shelf-ready or that require further attention. These services include call number labeling, security stripping and identification stamping.
Books in the general collection are used in many ways, and are exposed to any number of conditions resulting in damage or wear-and-tear — especially as they circulate. Despite the ubiquitious use of eBooks and online content, approximately 180,000 paper books circulate yearly on average. Book repair offers a low cost source for treatments both simple and complex. Its onsite location keeps books accessible during repair and allows books to be handled on a rush basis. More simple treatments include hinge tightening, paper mends, tip-ins, pockets, rebacking, and the making of in-house enclosures and boxes. In addition to damaged materials identified at the circulation and shelving desks, book repair also works on books old and new that are being added to the collection and need extra treatment.
Cultivating staff and patron awareness of the need to treat library materials with careful handling is an important task faced by library preservation personnel. Most damage is simply the result of using materials without proper care. We’ve published two Libguides that deal with the care and handling of library materials, as well as identifying damage that already exists.

General Collection Care for Staff

General Collection Care for Users

Providing a suitable environment is the most fundamental means of preserving library and archive collections. The Preservation Unit supplies PEM2 Dataloggers to monitor the storage environment for collections in the Film and Media Archive, Rare Books, and University Archives; the Art & Architecture, East Asian, and Music Libraries; and the West Campus closed stacks. Data is uploaded on a regular basis to IPI’s eClimateNotebook program which allows for analysis and storage planning.
Emergency preparedness is a component of the preservation program. Sound emergency planning can prevent true disaster or ensure a cost-effective and timely recovery if collections are affected. It can deal with a whole range of events, from routine leaks to large-scale natural disasters.

Emergency Information

Northwest Document Conservation Center: NEDCC Preservation Leaflets
: NEDCC’s Preservation Services department provides
free preservation advice to institutions and individuals worldwide. The Center provides
Preservation Leaflets with information on a wide variety of preservation topics and links to additional resources.

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
(AIC): AIC is a national membership organization in the United States dedicated to the preservation of cultural Material. See also:
AIC Conservation Wiki

Canadian Conservation Institute: Ten Agents of Deterioration
The CCI developed a framework for the preventative conservation of heritage objects in museum and archive collections. This framework identifies the 10 primary threats.

National Information Standards Organization (NISO): Library Binding
this document gives a detailed and thorough description of the binding process.

Library of Congress: Collections Care:
this Library of Congress page provides suggestions for handling and storage of various media types to prevent damage as well as guidelines for binding and repair should damage arise.

Alaska State Library: Conservation Book Repair:
this website provides access to the chapter of a training manual on book repair, from the basics to more advanced operations.
Collections Emergencies

Library of Congress: Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery
this Library of Congress page provides a list of priorities to keep in mind when disaster strikes.

Western Association for Art Conservation. Salvage at a Glance
Salvage Operations for Water Damaged Archival Collections: A Second Glance

Minnesota Historical Society Conservation. Salvace Procedures for Wet Items

American Institute for Conservation (AIC): Disaster Response and Recovery
this AIC page provides instructions for how to respond onsite to a disaster and how the collection should be handled in the ensuing fallout.

Harvard Library: Emergency Response Bibliography
this page provides a number of links to aid in salvage and recovery of various media in differing conditions after a disaster.

Council of State Archivists: CoSA’s Pocket Response Plan
: The Pocket Response Plan (PreP) is a concise document for recording essential information needed by staff in case of disaster.

Danielle Creech, Head of Preservation and Digitization
Phone: 314-935-4287
Fax: 314-935-9890