Saturday, November 29, 2014

Preservation Management and Weeding Out of the Collection

इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं -

Preservation Management and Weeding Out of the Collection

P- 15. Special and Research Libraries *

By :malhan v,Paper Coordinator


There exist three types of libraries- academic, public and special. Special libraries are the libraries which are not academic, public or national libraries. These libraries are not usually open to the general public, though many are available to specific elements of the public or scheduled appointments. Special libraries are generally staffed by librarians, although many librarians employed in special libraries are specialists in the library's field rather than generally trained librarians, and often are not required to have advanced degrees in specifically library-related field due to the specialized content and clientele of the library ( Special libraries include corporate libraries, law libraries, medical libraries, museum libraries, news libraries, and nonprofit libraries.

Special libraries develop their own culture. They are part of the culture of their parent organization, thinking and doing things the way the organization thinks and does things. Special libraries are "special" in their collection, clientele/users and services and they provide pinpointed, exhaustive and expeditious services to their users. Being special libraries, they have to preserve and conserve their special and heritage materials for further use. 

What is Preservation

Preservation is a process that prevents damage to the paper based and media collections. Eden et al. (1998) have defined preservation as ‘all managerial, technical and financial considerations applied to retard deterioration and extend the useful life of (collection) materials to ensure their continued availability’. It includes all the managerial and financial considerations, including storage and accommodation provisions, staffing levels, policies, techniques, and methods involved in preserving library and archival material and the information contained in them.

Preservation encompasses through a wide range of activities that prevent damage to paper-based and media collections, such as proper housing, environmental control, and disaster planning; and such as treatment, replacement, or reformatting that address existing damage. It involves keeping a balance between collection-level activities, like - environmental control, which can be difficult and/or costly to manage but provide the greatest long-term benefit for the most materials, and item-level activities, like the conservation treatment, which are often more easily understood and managed but can have limited effect, especially if the items are returned to a damaging environment.

However, conservation is occasionally used interchangeably with preservation, particularly outside the professional literature. But conservation is somewhat different that is carried out only by trained professionals with access to appropriate equipment and materials. Conservation is also an extremely labour-intensive and costly exercise, which very few institutions world-wide can afford.

Difference between Preservation and Conservation

Preservation and Conservation are the terms which very often are used interchangeably to mean the process of keeping an object safe from harm or loss, damage, destruction or decay, and maintaining it in a reasonably sound condition for present and future use. Library community have been using "preservation" as an umbrella term for activities which reduce or prevent damage to extend the life expectancy of collections; and also the "conservation" which refers more specifically to the physical treatment of individual damaged items. But strictly speaking, preservation and conservation words have different, though interrelated and overlapping connotations.

Conservation has three aspects: 
  • Examination: To determine the nature/properties of materials and causes of deterioration and alteration.
  • Preservation: Adoption of appropriate prophylactic and prospective measures to maintain the specimen in as good a condition as possible, and to prolong its life to whatever extent possible.
  • Restoration: Appropriate remedial treatment of an already affected specimen.

However, the term "restoration" is used mostly in the context of museum objects or motion picture films. It generally refers to the process of returning an object to its original state, or what is thought to have been its original state.

Thus, preservation is the part of conservation that is concerned with maintaining or restoring access to artifacts, documents and records through the study, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of decay and damage.  While the conservation refers to the treatment and repair of individual items to slow decay or restore them to a usable state.

Need of Preservation and Conservation

Most of the libraries have paper based reading materials in the form of manuscripts, books, periodicals, paintings, drawings, charts, maps etc. The basic materials and constituents of the physical entity contain a wide range of organic materials, including paper, cloth, animal skins, and adhesives. Such organic substances undergo a continual and inevitable natural ageing process. Besides in the books, apart from paper the other materials like board, cloth, leather, thread, ink, adhesive etc. are used. All these materials used are nutrition to some living organisms and thus they decay easily.

So, the libraries need to preserve and conserve the library materials from factors of deterioration and, if possible, restore their local history and local genealogical materials. Preventive measures can considerably extend the useful life of collections, and are usually much more cost-effective than interventive measures taken to remedy damage after deterioration has taken place. 

Factors for Deterioration of Documents in Libraries

Generally poor handling or storage; theft or vandalism; fire and flood; pests; pollution; light and incorrect temperature and relative humidity are some of the factors responsible for the deterioration of the documents in a library. These may broadly be categorized into following factors:

  • Climatic factors
  • Chemical Factors
  • Different types of Insects and Rodents
  • Human beings
  • Disasters

1. Climatic Factors: Sudden variations in temperature and moisture are two important climatic factors. So there should be uniform temperature and dry place for stacking the documents. Direct sunlight is to be avoided to reduce the softness of the paper and binding.

Moisture, humidity and dampness can also damage the paper based documents - books and journals etc. Dampness can ruin the paper and provide the opportunity of breeding for many injurious insects. Therefore, moisture, humidity and dampness are to be removed by proper ventilation in the stack rooms. Besides, dust is hygroscopic in nature and when it is mixed with high humidity, it is transformed into dirt and if this dirt sticks to the surface of the books, it becomes difficult to remove. Dust and dirt are sources of both physical and chemical degradation of the library collection. Dust acts as a nucleus around which moisture collects and this moisture provides the necessary humidity for the growth of fungus and for chemical reaction, which lead to the formation of acids. Since dust and dirt are solid particles of varying size and hardness they exert abrasion on the surface of the books. Dust and dirt can be removed by providing warm and dry environment in the stack rooms.

2. Chemical Factors : The fibers with low cellulose contents are used in paper making and also the chemical compounds like alum, rosin etc. for sizing of paper which cause acidic effect and facilitate chemical deterioration of the paper with the passage of time. Besides, in the various unwanted materials such as oxides of carbon, sulphur, nitrogen and hydrogen sulphides are also present in the atmosphere, which get absorbed by the paper in moisture and library materials get affected. The main deleterious substances include – sulphur dioxides, oxides of nitrogen and ozone. Sulphur dioxide is harmful to cellulose materials like paper and cloth. The most familiar effect in libraries is the brown and brittle edges of books which is caused by sulphur dioxide. Besides, most of the nitrogen dioxide comes from automobile exhausts and when it combines with oxygen and water turns into nitric acid, which attacks the dyes in ink, cloth, paper and leather. Ozone also acts as a powerful destroyer of organic materials. It makes the colours of fabric book covers fade and the book binding materials such as leather, gelatin, glue and paste are also susceptible to deterioration by ozone in humid atmosphere.

One of the best ways of controlling atmospheric pollutants is filtering of the air intake in to storage areas, which can be attained by air conditioning system. Besides, simple measures like wrapping the books and manuscripts in cloth or placing them in book containers can also reduces the effects of pollution to a great extent.

3. Insects and Rodents: Several types of insects, like – cockroach or black beetles, termites or white ants, silver fishes, book lice and book worms are found in the stack room of the libraries, which can easily harm the housed documents.

Cockroach or black beetles are generally found in warm countries. They eat away the binding and other gummed parts of the documents. DDT powder may be used to kill them. Alternatively, camphor or naphthalene tablets can be used. Fumigation and naphthalene bricks are more effective to kill bookworms.

Termites or white ants are also most injurious enemies of books and other paper based reading materials. They eat easily books, files and even the catalogue cards, if they are not used for a long time. Once the termites start destroying the documents, it becomes very difficult to stop them. Basically there are two types of termites – earth dwelling termites and wood dwelling termites. Carbon disulphide or carbon tetrachloride can be used to eliminate the termites. Solignum oil may also be used in stack rooms as precaution.

Silver fishes also destroy the binding paper and starch at night by perforating the papers, prints, photographs, catalogue cards and card board boxes. Silver fishes can be removed by a spray of the mixture of simple boric acid and flour near the books. A mixture of sodium fluoride and flour in a ration of 12: 100 would also be effective to remove them.

Book lice are very small insects and may be present in thousands of numbers between two pages of a musty book. These can be avoided by using ethylene, carbon dioxide and formaldehyde vapours.

Book worms include the larvae of different types of beetles, which are mainly found in tropical and semi-tropical parts of the world. They lay their eggs on the edges of books, generally on the bottom edges and shelves. The removal of books damaged by beetles from the shelves immediately is the only solution.

Fish insects also damage the books by eating the coloured parts of binding and damaging the maps and other illustrations. Ethylene, carbon-dioxide and formaldehyde vapours can be used to remove them.

Rodents include mice, rats, squirrels and many other species. Mice and rats are mainly found in libraries and they find their way into buildings through dry drains and openings in doors and windows. They eat and destroy library materials made up of paper, cloth, leather, glue, etc. These animals are very swift to move and hide in dark corners. It is generally better to trap rodents than to use a poison that will allow them to crawl into building crevices and die; for rodent carcasses are breeding grounds for insects that also damage library and archival materials. Therefore, preventive measures should be used at frequent intervals in the libraries.

Though the fungi are not the insects but they are also very injurious to the documents. They grow in humidity and form a thin whitish coating consisting of many kinds of fungi. They can destroy the paper and leather leaving white scars on the books. Fungi can be removed by proper ventilation system. A loose shelving of the books can be done to avoid the attack of fungi. Hot air circulation will also be useful. Besides, a mixture of thymol crystal, mercuric chloride, ether and benzene may be used to destroy the fungus layer over the documents and the shelves.

4. Human Beings: Human beings, the readers and sometimes the staff may also damage the library reading materials by misplacing, mutilating and theft of the documents. Librarians in charge of the documentary heritage are directly responsible for the overall conservation and preservation of their collections. But they are not always aware how to handle, store and use collections carefully to minimize damage and help preservation.

Misplacing is the habit of placing of the books by some readers at places other than the shelves they are supposed to be, thus other will not find the desired books at the right time and place.

Mutilation of the documents is related to dog earing of the pages, plates and pictures in the documents due to one or several reasons. This may be due to sluggishness, vengeance and mental ill health of the readers.

Theft is the carrying away of reading materials without prior permission of the library authority. Controlled entrance and exit and strict vigilance in the stacks, reading rooms and other important places in the libraries and thorough checking and search in and at the exit are essential to avoid the theft. Sahoo (2007) has elaborated following precautions need to be taken to avoid human oriented destruction in the libraries.
  • Important books and manuscripts should be kept in specially prepared containers.
  • For carrying a large number of books trolleys should be used. Utmost care should be taken while transporting rare, valuable and delicate books.
  • Care should be taken while photocopying the books as at that time considerable stress is imposed on the material and the bindings suffer most and also the spine damages.
  • Use bookends to support books when shelves are not full. Books should not be shelved too tightly or too loosely.
  • It must be always ensured while opening the books, pages are not torn or covers are not damaged. To turn a page lift the top corner and lightly slip the finger tips down the fore-edge supporting the page.
  • Pages should never be folded otherwise creases will be formed and they may be torn at the folds. Corner of pages should also not be folded to mark the pages.
  • Avoid licking of fingers as an aid to turn pages.
  • Underlining must be avoided.
  • Books should not be left open on the reading table, face downwards.
  • Leaning on an open book should be avoided since this can damage the spine and binding.
  • Never allow a book to stand on its fore edge.
  • When a book is displayed open, never use metal clips or pins to hold book pages open.
Besides, storage systems must be tailored to the various types of materials in the collection. While open shelving can usually accommodate document and book storage, certain other materials such as microfilms, framed arts, oversized maps and architectural drawings require specialized systems such as drawers or cabinets.

5. Disasters: Disasters may be natural or man-made disasters. In libraries, archives and museums there is a likely-hood of fire as the collections are mostly organic in nature. Once fire starts, it is difficult to save those materials which get fire. Items not directly engulfed in flames can be charred by soot and smoke. Heat emitted from fire causes bindings to shrink and warp and plastic base materials to melt. Water used for fighting fire can cause enormous damage. Besides fire, floods, high winds, cyclones, earth quakes are also agents of deterioration for the library collections. These will lead documents to absorb water, swell, warp and become extremely vulnerable to physical damage. Dyes and ink may bleed and book pages stick together. Leather bindings seriously warp and change shape. Thus, the effects of disasters on library collections may be too much harmful.

As disasters are generally unexpected events, therefore it is vital for any library to take every possible precaution to prevent the occurrence of an unavoidable disaster. A disaster planning is an essential element of preventive conservation. It is also necessary to identify the external and internal threats that might cause problems for the collection and measures to meet those threats. So, it should be mandatory for every library to have a written disaster preparedness and response plan containing description of emergency procedures, emergency supplies list, disaster response outline, conservation experts, list of staff volunteers, list of external contacts and names, addresses, home and work telephone numbers of personnel with emergency responsibilities. Besides, libraries should be provided with fire and smoke detection system and automatic fire extinguishing system.

Use of match stick or open flame and smoking should strictly be prohibited inside the library. Inflammable materials and chemicals should not be stored inside the stacks. The telephone number of the fire office should be visibly and clearly exhibited for emergency situation. Location of emergency gate must be clearly indicated. The electrical defects and faults should be set right in time.

Besides, libraries have also started to maintain a good collection of digital materials, which need proper conservation. They need careful handling and proper storage condition with moderate temperature and humidity for their optimum use.

Points to kept in View for Preservation

Preservation includes prevention as well the curative measures taken for materials after its deterioration. Preventive measures have already been discussed with in the factors causing deterioration. But actual preservation starts with the activities taken for curing the damaged documents. Generally the following points are given due consideration in assessing the collection for curative preservation in a library (Anonymous, 1992).
  • Evaluation of heavily used, fragile, and rare local history and local genealogical materials should be made to determine what materials need to be preserved.
  • Fragile materials are most often works printed on acidic paper and usually include most newspapers, city directories, telephone directories, and some books. Damaged bindings with inside margins too narrow to rebind may also be considered fragile materials.
  • Rare local genealogy or local history materials are usually works of which a limited number of copies were printed and/or the monetary value has escalated since their publication. Most land ownership maps and manuscript copies of fire insurance maps fall into this category.
  • Photographic prints and negatives require special attention as they may be damaged by their emulsions, bases, mountings, display, or storage.
  • Materials in machine-readable, audio, or video formats and also the digital assets require occasional use and need special care.

So, preference needs to be given for above categories of the materials for preservation. 

Preservation of Library Materials

Preservation of the library's manifold collections has always been a concern, but it is perhaps only in the last two decades that librarians have come to fully appreciating the staggering nature of the preservation problem. The processes of preservation, conservation and restoration are applied to safeguard the library materials from further decay and deterioration. As already been mentioned, preservation is the process in which all actions are taken to check and retard deterioration where as conservation includes proper diagnosis of the decayed material, timely curative treatment and appropriate prevention from further decay. Thus, basically saying, there are two types of preservation:
  • Preventive preservation which includes all forms of indirect actions aimed at increasing the life expectancy of undamaged or damaged elements of cultural property. It comprises of all the methods of good house-keeping, caretaking, dusting, periodical supervision and prevention of any possibility of damage by physical, chemical, biological and other factors.
  • Curative preservation that consists of all forms of direct actions aimed at increasing the life expectancy of undamaged or damaged elements of cultural property. It includes binding fumigation, deacidification, lamination, and other jobs which are to be carried out depending upon the physical condition of the individual document.
Preventive preservation plays a vital role and has assumed much importance in our country because a large number of institutions do not have proper conservation facilities. In fact, many problems can be solved, if diagnosis in time is followed by proper preventive measures. Various preventive measures which could be taken have already been described under factors causing deteriorating of the documents. Here, curative preservation will be discussed.

Library has various types of documents which may be of cultural heritage and historical values. Dr. Ranganathan has divided the documents into four types – conventional documents like books and periodicals etc.; neo-conventional documents like patents and specifications etc.; non-conventional documents like, audio-visual materials, microfiches & microfilms and meta–conventional documents which are produced by directly recording of social or natural phenomena like, photographs etc. Besides, now-a-days, CDs, DVDs and other materials are also coming in the library which can be placed under non-conventional materials.
Library being the custodians of documents has to devise some management strategies to preserve and conserve the documents of cultural and historical values for the future generation. Generally, the following types of the documents are preserved in the libraries:
  • Manuscripts
  • Old and rare books/documents of historical value
  • Journals
  • Audio – visual materials
  • Newspapers
  • Scholarly outputs of any Institute/organization in the form of Articles and Theses
  • Government documents
Other reading materials can be preserved as per local policies of the library.

Developing a Preservation Plan

  • A priority list of heavily used, fragile, and rare local history and local genealogical materials should be prepared for materials in need of preservation. Because a commitment to indefinite or permanent retention involves considerable financial expenditure on accommodation, special storage conditions, and possibly reformatting. Therefore, Adcock (1998) rightly mentions that the decisions have to be made as to what will be collected and preserved.
  • In locales where more than one library may be collecting the same materials it is advisable to develop cooperative preservation programs.
  • Bibliographical searches should be made of sources and databases that include microforms: Guide to Microforms in Print, Register of Microform Masters, Out-of-Print Books: Author Guide (University Microfilms International), CICLC, WLN, RLIN, and other databases that include microforms.
  • Searching should also be made for the sources and databases that include digitization.
  • Financial estimate should also be made to develop and carry out the projects smoothly including development of infrastructure and manpower.

Besides, the librarians should also be in touch of standard outsourcing companies or the local vendors who undertakes the digitization work for speedy and timely digitization. 

Techniques of Preservation and Conservation

There are various techniques which can be applied to cure the documents, but their implications depend upon the nature and conditions of the particular document. The main preservative techniques are discussed below:

1. Binding
Binding is an art of arranging, fastening together and carving sheets of paper composing a book, including ornamentation and decoration of the cover. Library binding is a way to increase the life of books and periodicals used in libraries. This is done by sewing the pages in place and by reinforcing the spine for each volume. Old books and manuscripts need special consideration so they need binding. Binding may be full leather binding, half-leather binding, full cloth binding or the half cloth binding depending upon the quality and utility aspects of the documents in a library. Generally, full leather binding is done for reference books and the books of historical importance. However, Dr. Ranganathan has recommended half-leather binding for the library documents.
Binding may include the following aspects:
Mending – It is major restoration not involving replacement with any new material or the separation of books from cover.
Repairing – It is partial rehabilitation of a worn volume, the amount of work done being less than the minimum involved in rebinding and more than maximum involved in mending.
Reinforcing – It is the strengthening of the structure of weakened volume usually adding material.
Recasting – It is the replacing of the cover on a volume which has come out its cover or has loosened in its cover, the sewing and cover being still in good condition.
Re-backing – It is the attaching of a new shelf back on a volume without any other binding.
Resewing – It is the process of making a new cover and attaching it to the volume.
Recovering – It is the process of taking out the volume out of its cover, removing the old sewing and replacing in the same cover.
Whatever the types of the bindings may be but the ultimate goal of library binding is long-term preservation. Manuscripts, journals, maps and reference books are generally bound for their long-term preservation in majority of the libraries. Library bound books also benefit library patrons by ensuring that the volume in hand is complete, opened with ease, and easy to photocopy.

2. Deacidification
Acidic book papers are the product of a process that revolutionized paper manufacturing in the mid-19th century, when the increasing demand for paper led to the use of ground wood pulp and alum-resin sizing for the production of paper suitable for high speed mechanical printing. The product and process were probably not used on a large scale for books in Asia until the turn of the century. It is now used for producing most of the books worldwide.

Chemists working in the Preservation Research and Testing Office of the Preservation Office in Library of Congress developed, and patented a revolutionary approach to the problem of acid degradation of book papers in 1976. Since then, various processes to deacidify papers have been developed and used, but they have generally been costly, especially if they involved single sheet treatment processes requiring, for example, the dismantling of a book. But a new method is developed that is characterized as mass vapour-phase deacidification through the use of special chemical, diethyl zinc (DEZ). Essentially the process involves loading books into a vacuum chamber, evacuating air from the chamber and moisture from the books—diethyl zinc reacts quickly with oxygen and water— charging the chamber with diethyl zinc in its vapour phase, neutralizing the acidic component of the paper and creating a buffering agent (zinc carbonate) to resist future acid buildups—and then restoring the moisture content of the paper after the deacidification process has been completed.

3. Fumigation
Fumigation is a gaseous process carried out under controlled conditions, to inhibit microbiological growth and insect infestation of reading materials. Effective fumigation is achieved by enclosing the objects to be treated in an atmosphere of thymol vapor generated by gentle heating of the thymol crystals for a sufficiently long period to assure exposure of all parts of the objects. Generally, it is used as a preventive preservation technique to control fungi and also to kill book worms etc.  

4. Lamination
Lamination is the process that includes the fusion or sticking of sheets of tissue, paper or film to one or both sides of a sheet of paper. It is the technique of manufacturing a material in multiple layers, so that the composite material achieves improved strength, stability, sound insulation, appearance or other properties from the use of differing materials. A laminate is usually permanently assembled by heat, pressure, welding, or adhesives.

Generally, manuscripts and old books whose pages become brittle are preserved through lamination.

5. Microfilming
Microfilming or microfisching generally is the least expensive method of preservation. It is also the most common form of substitution. Here, the material is filmed in reduction on either positive or negative film and that film is read through machines.

Preservation through microfilming is a multi-step process. Ideally, two silver halide master negatives and one use copy are made. One silver halide master copy should be stored in a secure off-site location with temperature and relative humidity controls. The second silver halide master copy becomes the master from which the user copies are made. User copies are generally diazo or vesicular films.
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6. Photocopying of Documents
Photocopying of the old documents is a least expensive method and is acceptable for most archival records. It is also safe and acceptable for most researchers’ needs. But one should avoid repeated photocopying of any item as the exposure to the intense light causes fading and added handling increases the risk of damage. So better is to make one high-quality photocopy or photograph and it can be used as a master for all further copying.
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But fragile records are easily deteriorated on the photocopier, thus they need special attention while photocopied.

7. Photography
Photography is a more expensive option than photocopying. However, photography does have the advantages of providing high-quality copies of good permanence and exposing the records to less light exposure and less risk of damage from handling than photocopying.

8. Refurbishing
This is the basic cleaning, including the application of leather dressing, and minor repairs to help to slow down the rate of deterioration. This is also one of the types of preventive preservation.

9. Digitization
Digitization is the process of conversion of an item – be it printed text, manuscript, image, or sound, film and video recording - from print or analogue to digital. Digitization basically involves taking two types of the process –rekeying of the documents or scanning of the reading materials.

In rekeying, the documents are totally retyped in computer format and then stored for future uses. In this process the actual format of the documents is not retained rather it takes a new shape. While in scanning, physical object is taken for scanning and its image is captured by using a scanner or digital camera. Then, it is converted to digital format which can be stored electronically and accessed via a computer. Here, the actual format of the documents is retained in its original shape.

Scanning is relatively inexpensive and enables archives to make collection material available digitally over the Internet on portable magnetic or optical media. Advantages to this method include the ability to make multiple, exact copies; no loss between generations; and the ability to use advanced search, retrieval and manipulation of the data. 
Alternate Text

There are hundreds of image file formats, many of which are proprietary. GIF, JPEG and TIFF are some common examples of image file formats. Table 1 summarizes the qualities of the common formats, which are portable across various platforms.
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Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) is a universal file format that preserves all of the fonts, formatting, colors, and graphics of any source document, regardless of the application and platform used to create it. It can handle scanning, OCR conversion and structuring both of text and images. PDF files are compact and can be shared, viewed, navigated, and printed exactly as intended by anyone with a free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Optical Character Recognition or OCR is other type of technology that is used to scan the documents. Scanning results in creating images of the pages of a document. These pages may consist of text comprising of letters and words and sentences as well as line drawings, half tone pictures and symbols. When a page is stored as an image, manipulation of the text is not possible as the image file only contains a digital representation of the ``look'' of a printed page but lacks understanding of any of its contents. Thus editing, cut-and-paste, correction, retrieval etc. are not possible. This restricts the use of the scanned document and limits the advantages of digital documents until a way is found to extract the contents of the digital image into text.

The purpose of the whole OCR process is to recognize the letters, words, and symbols printed on a page. Presently, there is a wide range of commercial OCR software in use. OCR systems usually first receive a page image as input, then they segment out characters, and finally they recognize these characters. Additionally, OCR systems may use spell checkers or other lexical analyzers that make use of context information to correct recognition errors and resolve ambiguities in the generated text. The output of the OCR process is a text file, corresponding to the printed text in the image file.

OCR works well for English language documents, but there is no proven OCR software to handle Indian language texts. Today, if Indian language materials have to be digitized there are two options – maintain the files as digital images or manually key in the material.

Digitization can be done as in-house project or through outsourcing. Both have its own merits and demerits. But one should be cautious that copyright violation should not be there, if any while you go for digitization of various documents in a library. 

Problems Associated with the Preservation and Conservation

There arise no problems while you go for preventive preservation and conservation in your libraries. But the problem arises when you go for microfilming or for digital preservation. Both require a good amount of money as new investment for documents, hardware, software and manpower, etc.

The problems of Intellectual Property Rights and of copyright have also increased multifold in comparison to earlier printed media. For the long term preservation, it is essential to migrate information from old to new, from time to time. This is not possible without legal permission of omnibus rights of owners of contents as well as software's. Therefore, digital preservation is one of the greatest challenges for library professionals as well as to the parent organization. Hence, library professionals are expected to be more competent to meet out these challenges. 

Benefits of Preservation

Rare books and the documents of historical & cultural importance are considered as an important means of information. If they are not made available or lost from the collection, a major loss can occur to the present society. Such types of the documents can be seen in many of the libraries and museum all over the world in preserved forms. Thus, preservation provides the opportunity to a library to preserve and conserve them for the use of future generations.

Additionally, if preservation becomes successful then the curative measurements can be delayed for a long time and the occurring expenditure on such types of curative measurements can be used for other works in the libraries. Thus, spending time and resources on preventing damage to library material is almost always cheaper than repairing or replacing it.

Limitations of the Preservation

The limitations of paper documents are well known; after sometimes acid paper becomes brittle. Besides, limitations are also there with the use of microfische and microfilm and digital objects. One of the major risks to the library’s microfilm holdings is posed by acetate film. But this can be inhibited by storing acetate in cool and dry conditions.

Now, the scenario is changing from printed to digital preservation. Digitization not only gives advantages over traditional methods of preservation and conservation but also provide opportunity for wide dissemination of the documents and other materials worldwide. But digital preservation requires good amount of money as new investment for documents, hardware's, manpower management and development of software and manpower, etc.

Further, the storage of CD/DVDs also poses challenges. These special digital assets are to be stored in dry and non-magnetic cases on optimum temperature of 18-20c in vertical position for long term use. Besides, financial implications also exist which may delimits the preservation strategies in a particular library. However, there are many common-sense and economical solutions to preservation problems.

Therefore, all libraries must realize that preserving and maintaining their collections is as important as acquiring them, and that appropriate funds should be allocated accordingly. So, the libraries are supposed to pay due considerations for their preservation programmes. 

Concluding Remark

Every library has a duty to ensure the welfare of its collections for present and future users. It is observed that the concept of preservation is now gradually becoming a central issue in modern librarianship. Today there is no library which cannot afford to take precautionary measures against fire, flood, theft, and mould and insect infestation. Serious disasters are often caused by circumstances which could have been avoided at little cost. There is also an age old saying that “prevention is better than cure”, so is the case with libraries where prevention is not only better but, more often than not, but also cheaper than the cure.

Therefore, in every library at least preventive conservation should be practiced to keep the documents in healthy, good and usable condition. As far as the curative preservation is concerned, digitalization seem to be the best solution, however, digitization efforts in a library require a good assessment of user needs, a clear understanding of the value of individual information resources and strong project management skills and also the money. 

References and Bibliography

Adcock, Edward P. IFLA Principles for the Care and Handling of Library Material. Washington: IFLA, 1998. on 12/12/2013). 
AIC Definitions of Conservation Terminology. aic-definitions-of-conservation-terminology/(Accessed on 12/12/2013).

Anonymous. Guidelines for Preservation, Conservation, and Restoration of Local History and Local Genealogical Materials, 1992. (Accessed on 12/12/2013).

Anonymous. Basic Conservation of Archival Materials: Revised Edition. Canada: Canadian Council of Archives, 2003.

Anonymous. Basic Preservation. Revised Edition. London, Preservation Advisory Centre, 2013. guidelinespreservation (Accessed on 12/12/2013).

Banks, Paul N. Lamination.  Revised Edition. Chicago, The Newberry Library, 1974.
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