Preservation strategies for Library and Archival Resources


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presented at PAARL Summer Conference on the Future of Libraries as Agents of Change, held at Four-Season Hotel, Iloilo City. Philippines on
2001 April 21

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Preservation strategies for Library and Archival Resources

  1. 1. Preservation Standards by Fe Angela M. Verzosa DLSU Archivist
  2. 2. PRESERVATION <ul><li>deals with the acquisition, organization, and distribution of resources ( human, physical, monetary ) to ensure adequate protection and access to historical and cultural information of enduring value for present and future generations of users. </li></ul><ul><li>encompasses three aspects: </li></ul><ul><li>planning. implementation, prevention </li></ul>
  3. 3. PRESERVATION: who is responsible? <ul><li>library manager </li></ul><ul><li>archivist </li></ul><ul><li>conservator </li></ul><ul><li>personnel </li></ul><ul><li>users </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians: </li></ul><ul><li>keep them under best conditions </li></ul><ul><li>determine which require special facilities or handling </li></ul><ul><li>decide which merit conservation </li></ul><ul><li>Conservator: </li></ul><ul><li>advises the best treatment </li></ul><ul><li>undertakes the repair </li></ul>
  4. 4. preservation surveys <ul><li>comprehensive - a recognized tool in collection management; it evaluates the condition of a collection as a whole and proposes solutions to improve conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>environmental - assesses the suitablity of the building and its facilities for storage. </li></ul><ul><li>condition - assesses the physical condition and state of repair of the library’s holdings. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Comprehensive surveys <ul><li>pre-survey planning - reviews a full range of documentation, mission statement, policies & procedures, construction records, floor plans, existing preservation program, insurance, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>on-site visit- a walk-through examination of the building and its facilities. </li></ul><ul><li>the report- a technical report summarizing all the findings and recommendations. </li></ul><ul><li>institutional actions- implementing </li></ul><ul><li>follow-up </li></ul>
  6. 6. Environmental Survey <ul><li>the building itself : roof and walls - leaks? insulation? dampness? </li></ul><ul><li>environment in the building : temperature and humidity controls? lighting conditions? </li></ul><ul><li>building security : locks? alarms? extinguishers? sprinkler system? </li></ul><ul><li>storage areas and workrooms : pest control? ventilation? types of shelves? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Condition Survey <ul><li>best means of gathering data needed to evaluate treatment priorities </li></ul><ul><li>survey instrument should be as extensive as possible </li></ul><ul><li>survey form should be simple to fill out </li></ul><ul><li>survey data may include the following: </li></ul>
  8. 8. Collection Location Date of survey Conducted by Box and folder no. Type of material Inclusive dates Format Media Type/Quality of storage containers Condition of collection: general appearance insect damage tears/abrasions harmful means of surface dirt/dust attachment (clips, pins) water/other stains enclosures (flowers, clip- discoloration pings, photos, etc) embrittlement other observations: evidence of mold/mildew __________________ Use of collection: Priority ranking of collection for treatment: _________ Recommended treatment: _____________________
  9. 9. preservation priorities <ul><li>high-quality informational content </li></ul><ul><li>significant current/projected use </li></ul><ul><li>physical condition of original format </li></ul><ul><li>cost-effectiveness of treatment </li></ul>
  10. 10. Principles in Conservation <ul><li>rule of reversibility - no procedure or treatment should be undertaken that cannot later be undone. </li></ul><ul><li>compatibility of problem and solution - the chosen treatment to be applied should not be greater or weaker than the problem. It may be best to do nothing at all if no acceptable treatment solution is compatible to the problem. </li></ul>
  11. 11. more principles ... <ul><li>rule on restoration - how far reconstruc-tion may be undertaken without losing or diminishing the integrity of the item or document. </li></ul><ul><li>documentation - maintaining a complete and accurate record of all treatments. narrative description checklist of work done photographic record (before, during, and after) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Do not use any measure, treatment, or program that: <ul><li>cannot be reversed if necessary </li></ul><ul><li>cannot be used properly </li></ul><ul><li>will not last a long time </li></ul><ul><li>is harmful to people </li></ul><ul><li>changes the physical property of material </li></ul><ul><li>dissolves or damages any part of the material </li></ul>
  13. 13. retarding deterioration <ul><li>temperature and humidity control </li></ul><ul><li>filtration screens against dirt and air pollutants </li></ul><ul><li>filters against ultraviolet and infrared rays </li></ul><ul><li>deacidification </li></ul><ul><li>acid-free/rust-free storage facilities </li></ul><ul><li>careful handling </li></ul><ul><li>good housekeeping (and pest control) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Conservation Guidelines <ul><li>light control </li></ul><ul><li>pest control </li></ul><ul><li>temperature and humidity control </li></ul><ul><li>handling of materials by staff </li></ul><ul><li>handling of materials by users </li></ul><ul><li>acidity control </li></ul>
  15. 15. Conservation Guidelines <ul><li>store materials away from light </li></ul><ul><li>keep lights off or low </li></ul><ul><li>install ultraviolet filters </li></ul><ul><li>avoid using original items in displays and exhibits </li></ul><ul><li>monitor light levels regularly (50 to 150 lux) </li></ul>Light control :
  16. 16. Conservation guidelines <ul><li>check incoming materials for signs of infestation </li></ul><ul><li>separate infested materials for treatment </li></ul><ul><li>never eat/drink in storage/research areas </li></ul><ul><li>keep archives/library clean and uncluttered </li></ul><ul><li>set traps/poison baits to catch rodents </li></ul><ul><li>contact services of an exterminator </li></ul>insects and rodents:
  17. 17. Conservation guidelines <ul><li>temperature of 20 to 25 0 C or 60-65 0 F </li></ul><ul><li>wide fluctuations should be avoided </li></ul><ul><li>low RH (below 20%) leads to dessication and embrittlement of paper </li></ul><ul><li>high RH (over 60%) accelerates chemical and biological deterioration </li></ul><ul><li>recommended level is 50 % </li></ul>temperature & humidity:
  18. 18. Conservation Guidelines <ul><li>store materials in acid-free containers </li></ul><ul><li>remove paper clips, staple wires, pins, string, tape, etc. while processing (use plastic clips, fasteners, etc instead) </li></ul><ul><li>use metal shelving at least 4- 5 inches above floor level </li></ul>Acid:
  19. 19. Conservation Guidelines <ul><li>handle materials as little as possible </li></ul><ul><li>never use ink or adhesive tape </li></ul><ul><li>do not write on any part of the material except to make notations using soft pencil </li></ul><ul><li>substitute copies for originals </li></ul><ul><li>do not overpack in boxes or in shelves </li></ul>handling of materials:
  20. 20. handling of materials when in use: <ul><li>do not leave users unattended </li></ul><ul><li>only issue a limited number of docu-ments or folders, or one box at a time </li></ul><ul><li>do not allow material to be taken out from reading room </li></ul><ul><li>do not allow materials to be rearranged </li></ul><ul><li>only staff should take charge of photocopying </li></ul><ul><li>examine materials after use </li></ul>
  21. 21. Conservation Facilities <ul><li>air conditioning </li></ul><ul><li>dehumidifier </li></ul><ul><li>fumigation chamber or vacuum fumigators </li></ul><ul><li>vacuum / freeze-drying chamber </li></ul><ul><li>conservation laboratory </li></ul>
  22. 22. Conservation Supplies <ul><li>Japanese tissue paper, matboard </li></ul><ul><li>acid-free storage folders/boxes </li></ul><ul><li>Mylar polyester sheets </li></ul><ul><li>blotter paper / un-coated wax paper </li></ul><ul><li>soft brushes and cleaning pads </li></ul><ul><li>hygrometer (RH instrument tool) </li></ul><ul><li>polyethylene-lined kraft paper </li></ul>
  23. 23. Conservation Treatments <ul><li>Fumigation </li></ul><ul><li>Dry cleaning, washing and bleaching </li></ul><ul><li>Deacidification </li></ul><ul><li>Mending, reinforcement, and support using Japanese paper lamination encapsulation </li></ul><ul><li>Freeze-drying </li></ul>
  24. 24. Basic Repair Procedures <ul><li>relaxing and flattening documents </li></ul><ul><li>removal of paper fasteners (pins, clips) / adhesives </li></ul><ul><li>appropriate means of attachment </li></ul><ul><li>surface cleaning of paper records </li></ul><ul><li>testing for ink solubility </li></ul><ul><li>ph-testing for acidity </li></ul><ul><li>mending with Japanese paper </li></ul>
  25. 25. Salvage Techniques <ul><li>air-drying </li></ul><ul><li>interleaving pages with absorbent paper and books placed upright </li></ul><ul><li>pressing when dry </li></ul><ul><li>hair-drying on cool setting </li></ul><ul><li>dehumidification </li></ul><ul><li>freezing (at minus 20 o F ) </li></ul><ul><li>Vacuum drying </li></ul>
  26. 26. preservation options conditions <ul><ul><ul><li>actions </li></ul></ul></ul>damaged fragile and endangered frequently used pest-infested <ul><li>in-house treatment </li></ul><ul><li>deacidification </li></ul><ul><li>lab conservation </li></ul><ul><li>encapsulation </li></ul><ul><li>lamination </li></ul><ul><li>microfilming </li></ul><ul><li>digitization </li></ul><ul><li>photocopying </li></ul><ul><li>fumigation </li></ul>
  27. 27. Summarizing a preservation program... <ul><li>examine the environment </li></ul><ul><li>improve the environment </li></ul><ul><li>examine the materials / establish priorities for treatment </li></ul><ul><li>separate materials for in-house treatment from those requiring professional care </li></ul><ul><li>establish a work room for remedial treatment </li></ul><ul><li>supervise in-house repairs and restoration </li></ul><ul><li>work with a professional conservator </li></ul><ul><li>keep informed </li></ul>