Preservation conservation program
lecture presented at the Records Management Seminar sponsored by InfoManagement Specialists Inc. on 24-26 April 2014 at Tagbilaran, Bohol
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Preservation conservation program
Fe Angela M. Verzosa
Preservation vs Conservation –
What’s the difference?
Preservation is a
branch of library and
maintaining or restoring
access to artifacts,
documents and records
through the study,
and prevention of decay
refers to the
treatment and repair
of individual items to
slow decay or
restore them to a
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
encompasses three aspects:
planning, implementation, prevention
PRESERVATION: who is responsible?
•keep them under best conditions
•determine which require special
facilities or handling
•decide which merit conservation
advises the best treatment
undertakes the repair/conservation
Handle library materials gently.
Set a good example for users.
Handle materials gently.
Safeguard materials for future users.
program that deals with the physical
or chemical treatment of documents
encompasses three functions:
examination - procedure taken to determine
the original makeup of an item and extent of its
deterioration, alteration, and loss.
preservation - action taken to retard/prevent
deterioration or damage by control of their
environment and/or treatment to maintain their
original state, as far as possible.
restoration - action taken to return a deterio-
rated or damaged item to its original form.
comprehensive - a recognized tool in
collection management; it evaluates the condition
of a collection as a whole and proposes solutions
to improve conditions.
environmental - assesses the suitablity of
the building and its facilities for storage.
condition - assesses the physical condition
and state of repair of the library’s holdings.
pre-survey planning - reviews a full
range of documentation, mission statement,
policies & procedures, construction records,
floor plans, existing preservation program,
on-site visit- a walk-through examination
of the building and its facilities.
the report- a technical report summarizing
all the findings and recommendations.
institutional actions- implementing
the building itself: roof and walls -
leaks? insulation? dampness?
environment in the building:
temperature and humidity controls?
building security: locks? alarms?
extinguishers? sprinkler system?
storage areas and workrooms: pest
control? ventilation? types of shelves?
best means of gathering data needed to
evaluate treatment priorities
survey instrument should be as
extensive as possible
survey form should be simple to fill out
survey data may include the following:
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: _____________________
significant current/projected use
physical condition of original
cost-effectiveness of treatment
outlines priorities and goals
provides a conservation policy
designates responsibility for the
knowledge of nature of collections
knowledge of conservation, or
enthusiasm, interest, willingness to
learn conservation skills
authority to gather information, plan
the program, review facilities and
environment, execute the program
must be written
approved by the Conservation Committee
adheres to basic principles in conservation
contains manual of procedures that should
serve as helpful guide and training aid
lists specific “do’s and dont’s”
C o n s e r v a t i o n C o n s u l t a n t ( s ) C o n s e r v a t i o n S c i e n t i s t ( s )
c o n s e r v a t i o n t e c h n i c i a n ( s )
P r e s e r v a t i o n O f f i c e r L i b r a r y D i r e c t o r / C u r a t o r
C o n s e r v a t i o n C o m m i t t e e
must be a line item in the institutional budget
at least 15-20 % of total budget
expenses should include
archival storage materials
subscription to literature on conservation
expanded projects such as
establishment of conservation laboratory,
fumigation chamber or vacuum
vacuum / freeze-drying chamber
Japanese tissue paper, matboard
Mylar polyester sheets
(RH instrument tool)
restoration work must be done only by
staff training is an ongoing responsibility
training and orientation must be
directed toward staff at all levels
the number of staff involved will depend
on the size and type of the institution,
and on the extent of conservation
acid – internal factors affecting quality of paper
light - ultraviolet rays in sunlight and fluorescent light
cause chemical changes in the paper and accelerate the
process of fading
temperature and humidity - accelerates the
growth of mold and the internal decomposition of paper
air pollution - causing discoloration, embrittlement
and disintegration of the paper fibers
Insects and rodents
Water damage is a fairly common cause and one
that should be anticipated in most disaster prevention/
Photocopying frequently damages bound volumes
Shelving - Leaning books cause undue strain on the
spine, and tightly packed books are harmed with
shelving and removal.
Wear and tear from use
temperature and humidity control
filtration screens against dirt and air
filters against ultraviolet and infrared rays
acid-free/rust-free storage facilities
good housekeeping (and pest control)
Principles in Conservation
rule of reversibility - no procedure or
treatment should be undertaken that cannot
later be undone.
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
more principles ...
rule on restoration - how far reconstruc-
tion may be undertaken without losing or
diminishing the integrity of the item or
documentation - maintaining a complete
and accurate record of all treatments.
checklist of work done
photographic record (before, during,
Do not use any measure,
treatment, or program that:
cannot be reversed if necessary
cannot be used properly
will not last a long time
is harmful to people
changes the physical property of
dissolves or damages any part of the
materials by staff
materials by users
store materials in acid-free
remove paper clips, staple wires,
pins, string, tape, etc. while
processing (use plastic clips,
fasteners, etc instead)
use metal shelving at least 4- 5
inches above floor level
store materials away from light
keep lights off or low
install ultraviolet filters
avoid using original items in displays
monitor light levels regularly (50 to
temperature of 20 to 25 0
C or 60-65 0
wide fluctuations should be avoided
low RH (below 20%) leads to dessication
and embrittlement of paper
high RH (over 60%) accelerates chemical
and biological deterioration
recommended level is 50 %
temperature & humidity:
check incoming materials for signs of
separate infested materials for treatment
never eat/drink in storage/research
keep archives/library clean and
set traps/poison baits to catch rodents
contact services of an exterminator
insects and rodents:
handle materials as little as possible
never use ink or adhesive tape
do not write on any part of the material
except to make notations using soft
substitute copies for originals
do not overpack in boxes or in shelves
handling of materials:
Dry cleaning, washing and
and support using
Pressing mended documents using
Reinforcing / binding process
Mending with Japanese
Basic Repair Procedures
relaxing and flattening documents
removal of paper fasteners (pins,
clips) / adhesives
appropriate means of attachment
surface cleaning of paper records
testing for ink solubility
ph-testing for acidity
mending with Japanese paper
interleaving pages with absorbent
paper and books placed upright
pressing when dry
hair-drying on cool setting
freezing (at minus 20 o
for Libraries and Archival
How to handle
library materials ?
Handle library materials with
clean, dry hands.
Keep work stations and patron areas
clean, orderly and uncluttered.
STRICTLY NO FOOD/DRINK
in work and user areas. This
will attract vermin and
Avoid tall piles of books
that can topple over.
Use flat cotton tape or ribbon
to secure damaged books.
Do not use post-it notes,
pressure sensitive tape, or rubber
bands in conjunction with library
Do not use double-sided
security strips, as they will
cause pages to stick together.
Support book spines and covers
when holding books to open...
…or to stamp.
Use bookmarks that are thin,
clean, non-acidic, and will not
damage or distort bindings.
Avoid exposing library materials
to harmful environments.
High light levels can cause book
covers to fade, and water to stain.
How to handle
archival materials ?
Handling of archival materials
do not leave users unattended
only issue a limited number of docu-
ments or folders, or one box at a time
do not allow material to be taken out
from reading room
do not allow materials to be rearranged
only staff should take charge of
examine materials after use
Keep manuscripts/records in
acid-free folders and boxes.
Remove only one folder at a time.
Maintain the order or arrangement
of documents in each folder.
Never remove manuscript
pages from folders.
Wear gloves when handling
Always use a pencil,
never a pen or marker.
Do not rest your hand, arm,
or place any object
on a book or manuscript.
Keep folders and pages flat on
table, do not hold in hands.
Keep volumes flat on table,
do not hold in hands.
Use a book cradle and special
weights, if they are provided.
When leaving for a short time,
close the volume, folder or box.
Notify staff if any materials are damaged
or out of sequence. Do not attempt to re-
arrange them yourself.
Food and drink are not permitted
because they can damage
collections and attract vermin and
Summarizing a preservation program...
examine the environment
improve the environment
examine the materials / establish priorities
separate materials for in-house treatment
from those requiring professional care
establish a work room for remedial
supervise in-house repairs and restoration
work with a professional conservator
damagedfragile and endangered
fragile and endangeredfrequently used
• in-house treatment
• lab conservation
Legal and ethical Issues
•Intellectual Property Rights
•Reproduction rights of Libraries
and Archives in Copyright laws
•Legal constraints in use of
reprographic and digital copies
• Access and security issues
•Privacy and Confidentiality issues
•Keeping the integrity of originals
Library Preservation at
Library of Congress Preservation
New York University Libraries