Preservation Tips

In honor of Preservation Week and the 30th Anniversary of the Preservation Standing Committee, the Committee introduced a monthly feature, the “Preservation Tip of the Month,” in April 2013. The monthly tip, sent as an e-mail via the TS-SIS discussion list, highlights tricks, resources, and collections to help you reach your preservation goals.

If you have topics you would like to see highlighted, or suggestions for resources, please send those to Narine Bournoutian at

September 2019

Mark your calendars! The Northeast Document Conversation Center (NEDCC) has a series of free webinars starting in November on applying to grants for preservation assistance. The webinars cover both applying to general preservation grants from the National Endowment of the Humanities, as well as more specialized applications for audio preservation and reformatting. It’s never too early to start thinking about what dream projects could become a reality!

August 2019

The Library of Congress recently released the 2019-2020 revision of their Recommended Formats Statement. Of particular note are the updates to the “Moving Image Works” and “Audio Works” categories. If you have any questions, or comments on the statement, please don’t hesitate to share your feedback. Perhaps they will be valuable for next year’s revision!

July 2019

Summer is a time when many of us embark on ambitious preservation projects. But for all our grand ideas and meticulous planning, mistakes or problems will inevitably occur at some point – if not during this project, then the next!

If you want to be prepared for any and all potential speed bumps in an upcoming digital preservation project, or are looking to commiserate after your own unexpected disaster, check out the #digitalarchivesfail series on SAA’s bloggERS. Each of the posts features a real life story detailing a different type of “failure”, from metadata errors to hardware malfunctions, and most importantly: how these setbacks were overcome and what lessons were learned in the process.

June 2019

This month, the Preservation Committee would like to highlight another resource of collective wisdom: the American Institute for Conservation’s wiki page. It is a vast and detailed source for many kinds of preservation and conservation knowledge: from comparing different types of supplies and materials, how to care for a variety of materials, the newest conservation research and literature, health and safety practices, and more. If you’re interested in lending some of your own expertise by contributing, don’t hesitate to follow the steps in the “Getting Started” section of the homepage!

May 2019

The PASIG (Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group) met from February 12-14 in Mexico City. Kelly Bolding from Princeton University has an excellent recap of the programs on SAA’s ERS blog. Conference presentation slides from this meeting and past years are also available.

April 2019

It’s that time of the year again- ALCTS Preservation Week 2019 is April 21-April 27! Even if your position doesn’t involve preservation duties, this year’s webinars on preserving family history and keepsakes may be personally relevant. Be sure to also check out the advice column “Dear Donia”, for answers to fascinating questions submitted by ALCTS members to preservation expert Donia Conn.

March 2019

Many of us listen to all kinds of podcasts on a daily basis. Some many even create podcasts of our own, whether they are library resources for your patrons or just a fun hobby. But have you considered how to safeguard these digital files against loss and digital decay? Preserve This Podcast is a project funded by the Mellon Foundation, hosted through the Metropolitan New York Library Council, and lead by a team of archivists. Their ongoing work includes producing a zine workbook, a podcast series (of course!), surveys on podcast preservation practices, and workshops/conference panels in a variety of cities around the United States.

February 2019

ALCTS is hosting a two part live webinar: Digital Preservation: Audiovisual Edition. The first part will be held on February 27th, 2019 and the second on March 13th, 2019. Whether you are embarking on an AV digitization project or want a refresher on technical aspects of preserving born digital materials, the series may have something of interest!


If your New Year’s resolution is to refresh your preservation knowledge, we’ve got you covered! To start off 2019, the Preservation Committee has a list of upcoming free/low cost webinars from some new and previously highlighted sites and resources. It’s never too early to start planning!