ERIC Number: ED430572
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Future of the Past: Preservation in American Research Libraries.
This report summarizes the challenges and accomplishments in preservation efforts since the early 1960s. The paper gives an overview of the preservation and management of research collections and describes the context in which decisions are made by researchers and librarians about what to preserve and how. By examining how librarians and scholars grappled with the first great crisis in the preservation of library materials--the pandemic loss of information printed on embrittled acid paper--it traces the development of the current consensus on how to manage large collections recorded on many media of varying stability. Highlights include permanent paper, paper deacidification, the rationale for reformatting, the scope of the problem, and local responsibilities vs. national priorities. The need for a national preservation plan is discussed, as well as selection of materials for the national plan and the role of scholars in selection. The paper also addresses the problem that, despite striking progress made in preservation technology and management, the difficulties of preserving original library materials have scarcely diminished over time and demand the same thoughtful cooperation between scholars and librarians as they enter the 21st century as the brittle-book problem received in the 1980s. (AEF)
Descriptors: Archives, Cooperative Planning, Evaluation Criteria, Higher Education, Library History, Library Materials, Library Planning, Paper (Material), Preservation, Printed Materials, Research Libraries, Selection
Council on Library and Information Resources, 1755 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036; Web site: http://www.clir.org ($15).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council on Library and Information Resources, Washington, DC.