Association of College & Research Libraries

Preservation News

Jane Hedberg is preservation program officer at Harvard University, e-maii:; fax: (617) 496-8344

IFLA releases guide to best practices

The Core Programme on Preservation and Conservation (PAC) of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has released “Safeguarding our Documentary Heritage” in French and English on CD-ROM. This guide is an outgrowth of UNESCO’s “Memory of the World” program and contains preservation information about causes of deterioration, preventive measures, and recommended practices for a variety of media. It covers environment and storage, disaster planning, graphic documents, photographic documents, film, mechanical carriers, magnetic carriers, optic carriers, and electronic documents. Publication on CD- ROM permits enrichment of the text with active links to sources on the Web. UNESCO hopes the guide will become a training tool for preservation educators.

Excerpts from the publication are available on the UNESCO Web site at http://www. Copies of the complete CD-ROM are available for free from Marie-Thérèse Varlamoff, director of the Project, Bibliothèque nationale de France; e-mail:

NPO online leaflets

The National Preservation Office (NPO) of the British Library has mounted the full-text of some preservation guidance leaflets on its Web site. Titles include “Good handling principles and practice for library and archive materials,” “Photocopying of library and archive materials,” “Guidance for exhibiting archive and library materials,” “The application and use of standards in the care and management of libraries and archives,” and “Preservation of photographic material.”

The leaflets are available in PDF format at fpublications.html. Paper copies of the same leaflets (a maximum of five copies per title) are available from the National Preservation Office, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB, England; phone: ++44 (0)20 7412 7612; fax: ++44 (0)20 7412 7796; e-mail:

NARA Conference

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will hold its 16th annual conference on March 27, 2001, in College Park, Maryland. Entitled “2001, A Case Oddity: Preserving the Physical Evidence of Artifacts,” the conference will address the preservation of objects that have forensic value. Preservation of fingerprinted objects, firearms, blood, and biological matter presents a special challenge, so speakers will cover custodial issues and responsibilities, as well as conservation topics.

Registration costs $75 and pre-registration is required. For more information, contact Eleanor Torain, 8601 Adelphi Road, Room 2807, College Park, MD 20740-6001; phone: (301) 713-6718; fax: (301) 713-6653; e-mail:

LC's digital future

In 1998, the Librarian of Congress commissioned a National Research Council (NRC) study of Library of Congress’s (LC) technology practices and initiatives. “LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress,” the report on that study, was issued during the summer of 2000. The report observes that LC has “a vital role in documenting and preserving the history of American creativity and in building a collection with truly worldwide scope. But it cannot go on as before." The NRC’s recommendations included providing leadership in preservation and archiving digital materials, cooperating with other institutions on digital collection development and preservation programs, developing efficient copyright processes for original digital materials, and upgrading its technology infrastructure. The New York Times published a summary of the report, “Saving the Nation’s Digital Legacy” by Katie Hafner, on July 27, 2000.

The full text of the report is available at html.

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