Preservation and Conservation

Department information

What we do

We seek to find ways to prevent damage, extend useable life, and repair damage for the library’s collections, in all formats. If the library collects it, our mission is to preserve it. 

Preservation and Conservation staff routinely prepare and send selected books out to contract vendors for binding or deacidification. Highly skilled specialists care for other physical materials onsite in our well-equipped Conservation Lab. We serve as technical advisors to the library on such issues as storage and storage environments for collections, handling, display, and disaster recovery.

In our Digital Preservation Lab, we salvage archival material from obsolete digital media and we coordinate preservation of the library’s digital collections. We partner with the Digital Conversion Unit to prepare materials for scanning and to preserve audio and video recordings.

What we're working on

Read about Conservation Lab projects on the Beyond the Reading Room blog.

Read about our digital preservation work on the Bits and Pieces blog.

The Cathleen A. Baker Conservation Fellowship supports visiting conservators doing research and learning in the Conservation Lab.

Documentation

University Library Emergency Response Plan for Collections. Download a copy of the library’s emergency response plan for collections. Colleagues from other organizations may borrow from this document when creating their own plans.

Caring for personal digital files. This research guide has information and resources about preserving your personal digital files.

Caring for personal books and documents. Find handouts about salvaging wet books, purchasing supplies, locating a conservator or binder to work on your personal books, and more.

Bindery Preparations. Learn more about the department’s Bindery Preparations Unit.

Environmental Monitoring. View charts and reports of environmental data we collect for the library.

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