2017 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 nbournoutian@law.columbia.edu or Lauren Seney at lpsene@wm.edu.


Instead of the usual resource or recommendation, the Preservation Committee shares a fascinating conservation project for the final tip of 2017. The London Metropolitan Archives are engaged in the ongoing restoration of the Great Parchment Book of The Honourable The Irish Society. The book contains a major survey compiled in 1639 of Derry estates, which was a vital source for the City of London’s role in the colonization of Ulster. The site allows one to explore sections of the book, and the accompanying blog details the conversation, digital reconstruction, transcription, and publication of the fire-damaged parchment pages. Hopefully these efforts will inspire everyone to tackle seemingly impossible preservation challenges in the new year!


The Preservation Committee highlights The Preservation Self-Assessment Program (or PSAP) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is a free online guide for collection managers with detailed instructions for the care, preservation, and risk factors for many mediums and formats– including a wide variety of AV and photographic/image materials.


Did you miss the livestream of the Library of Congress National Digital Initiatives’ (NDI) symposium “Collections as Data: Impact” back in July? The LOC’s Digital Preservation page has the video link and speaker lineup. The day long presentations feature case studies and stories from librarians, artists, and academics on applying digital methods to analyzing and sharing collections.


Jeff Peachey’s blog is highlighted this month. Peachey is an independent conservator and bookbinder, and he frequently posts detailed entries about the technical and artisanal “how” and “why” of various conservation processes. One recent post describes an innovative step-by-step process to replicate early 19th Century book cloth. Perhaps your library can draw inspiration for an in-house repair you’ve been meaning to take action on.


Are you looking for flexible yet guided continuing education or refresher training related to preservation? One option for these final weeks of summer could be ALCTS’s web course Fundamentals of Preservation. The 4-week session runs Monday, 8/14/2017 – Friday, 9/8/2017, and allows modified self-paced work combined with quizzes and weekly real-time chats.

JULY 2017

To mark Independence Day, the TS-SIS Preservation Committee’s July Tip of the Month departs from the usual resource recommendations to share some options for your reading and viewing pleasure. The history of conservation of the original copies of the Charters of Freedom — the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights — is fascinating, and may be practical after all if your library has any parchment-based items​.​ The National Archives has an interesting overview article of the Declaration of Independence’s ​transfer, storage, and conservationover the centuries, and a video of a 2009 presentation given by Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler and Catherine Nicholson, Conservators at the National Archives highlights their discoveries made while treating the documents for survival into the 21st Century.​

JUNE 2017

Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) maintains a useful resource list for all things related to Digital Preservation. Whether your institution is already highly experienced in executing large-scale digitization projects, or has only a small number of digital resources important to preserve long-term, there is probably something to help you brush up on the best practices that meet your needs.

MAY 2017

May 1st marks MayDay 2017. Does your institution need to revise or create a plan of action to respond when your collection is threatened?

Promoted by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (FAIC) (239 KB PDF), MayDay “encourages cultural organizations to take one simple step to protect the art, artifacts, records, books, and historic sites they hold in trust.” Take advantage of their tips, tutorials, and special events (there’s even a prize drawing).

Also just announced today, the FDLP will host a free webinar on June 1st on the topic of disaster response: Nothing Ever Happens Until it Does: Disaster Prevention, Response, and Recovery.

APRIL 2017

This year’s Preservation Week is April 23-29. Does your library have plans in the works to raise awareness among your staff and the public? If you’re still looking for ideas, check out ALA/ALCTS’s links to preservation resources and event planning tools. You can also peruse the YouTube channel of all previous free Preservation Week webinars for a topic relevant to your library’s current staff development needs.

MARCH 2017

This month, the Preservation Committee highlights an upcoming free online learning session that may be of interest for those who are new to developing or managing digitization projects. The webinar “Digital Imaging 101: Converting Tangible Publications to Digital Assets” will be presented by the FDLP Academy, a service of the U.S. Government Publishing Office.


As the extra hustle and bustle of the new calendar year is winding down, this month the TS-SIS Preservation Committee highlights its own Preservation Resources pages. Have you had any new colleagues join your institution recently? Perhaps now is the perfect time to review the basics of preservation with them, or simply refresh your own knowledge. The Staff Awareness Guide and Guidelines and Tips offer some jumping-off points.


This month, the TS-SIS Preservation Committee highlights the Regional Alliance for Preservation. RAP is a great place to start your search for services or in-person training opportunities related to preservation and conservation.