What is Preservation
Difference between Preservation and Conservation
- 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.
Need of Preservation and Conservation
Factors for Deterioration of Documents in Libraries
- Climatic factors
- Chemical Factors
- Different types of Insects and Rodents
- Human beings
- 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.
Points to kept in View for Preservation
- 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.
Preservation of Library Materials
- 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.
- Old and rare books/documents of historical value
- Audio – visual materials
- Scholarly outputs of any Institute/organization in the form of Articles and Theses
- Government documents
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.