College & Research Libraries News

Preservation News

Jane Hedberg

SOLINET offers publications on WWW

The Southeastern Library Network, Inc. (SOLINET) has mounted a number of their preservation leaflets on the Web. As of this writing, the list includes nine bibliographies, three compilations of Internet resources, four vendor supply lists, three general preservation handouts, and five disaster preparedness handouts. The bibliographies entitled “Resources for Preservation Staff and User Education,” “Funding Resources for Preservation,” and “Selected Resources On Digital Imaging” are of special interest.

SOLINET has also mounted Michael Trinkley’s report, “Protecting Your Institution from Wild Fires: Planning Not to Burn and Learning to Recover.” This document provides much valuable advice about dealing with wild fires, a topic often ignored in disaster preparedness literature. Trinkley covers the differences between urban and rural fires, fire- proofing, surviving nearby fires, evacuation, personal protection equipment, and salvage of fire- and smoke-damaged collections. This report may also prove a useful resource for members of the general public in areas at risk for wild fires.

The URL for the leaflets is http://www. and the URL for the report is presvtn/new/fire.htm.

“Salvage at a glance”

The Western Association for Art Conservation (WAAC) has published Betty Walsh’s article “Salvage Operations for Water Damaged Archival Collections: A Second Glance,” with her previously published chart “Salvage at a Glance” in its Web newsletter. The article gives an overview of appropriate actions to be taken following both minor or major disasters in archives.

The chart gives brief descriptions of salvage priority, handling precautions, packing techniques, and drying methods for a variety of media, including paper documents, maps, plans, books, manuscripts, works of art on paper, paintings, computer media, CD’s, sound recordings, photographs, motion pictures, and microforms. The layout of the chart makes it very easy to consult during an emergency.

Both documents are available in the WAAC newsletter, v.19: no. 2, on the CoOL Web site at

Aging tests for paper

Research by the preservation directorate at the Library of Congress has developed a new accelerated aging test for paper that is both faster and more accurate than previous tests. Researchers compared the products of degradation from samples of paper naturally aged in the dark with the products from three types of artificially aged paper. The results indicate that paper strips in capped glass tubes heated in a dry oven for less than a week most nearly resemble the paper aged naturally. The previously used testing methods required heating under controlled temperature and humidity conditions for 30 days. This new testing method will be submitted to the Institute for Standards Research of the American Society for Testing and Materials in June 1999-

For more information, contact Chandru Shahani, preservation directorate, Madison Building, LM-G21, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540-4500; fax: (202) 707-3434; e-mail:

Year 2000 alert

Preservation systems are not immune to Y2K problems. In addition to the more obvious computer-related devices like dataloggers, systems for heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC), security, and fire suppression may have internal clocks that are not programmed to handle the transition to a new century. Thanks to William Real and Walter Henry for the reminder that we should be looking into this. ■

Jane Hedberg prepares this column for the College Libraries Committee, Commission on Preservation and Access. Submissions may be made to Jane Hedberg, Wellesley College; JHEDBERG@WELLESLEY.EDU; fax: (781) 283-3690

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