Tag Archives: Preservation Week

Preservation Week 2015: Ways to save your stuff.

by Michele Brown

Last week, Tre Berney provided an excellent summary of AV preservation and related issues. What about books, papers, photographs and other memorabilia you’d like to save and pass along? Here are some resources to help you preserve  your collections.

First, the Cornell Library Conservation website offers many resources to individuals and libraries.

Our  recently revised Preservation and Conservation tutorial for China, which was developed as part of the Luce grant, provides a broad survey of techniques for the preservation of all types of library materials.

One useful tool for protecting fragile books is the marginal materials (MM) case. The tutorial includes a slideshow that describes how to make this simple, but effective container. Written instructions for this and other techniques are included in our repair guides.

Providing a good environment for your materials is the first step in preserving them. The Image Permanence Institute offers numerous resources on ways to understand and control the environment in your home or institution. Watch the video on the effect of humidity fluctuation on a rare book!

Would you like to download leaflets that advise you on the care of your collection and give recommendations for disaster recovery? The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) has a series of  preservation leaflets that cover a wide range of topics.

Finally, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) offers a series of  preservation webinars.

These are just a few of the many resources available to help us save our stuff so we can pass it on. Happy Preservation Week 2015!



Caring for your collections: tips from Preservation Week

by Michele Brown

During Preservation Week (April 27 – May 3) we posted tips for preserving your home collections on Facebook.

The best thing you can do for your materials is to provide them with a good environment. This means maintaining low temperature and moderate humidity and storing them away from light on properly sized book shelves (for books) or in archival folders and boxes (for photos and manuscripts). Careful handling is also important.

Preservation Tip #1: Keep the humidity at 50% RH or below, but above 30% RH. High humidity promotes mold growth; humidity that is too low may cause some materials to become brittle. Avoid storing your materials in  basement and attic spaces.

Preservation  Tip #2: Maintain a low temperature (below 70 F) in the areas where your materials are stored. Check out the Dew Point Calculator at the Image Permanence Institute’s site and learn more about how temperature and humidity affect your collection.

Preservation  Tip #3: Protect your materials from light. Light exposure causes fading and discoloration.

Preservation Tip #4: Use archival enclosures to organize and protect documents and photographs.

Preservation Tip #5: Do not fold down corners, use sticky notes or paper clips to mark your place. Instead, use strips of acid-free paper.

Preservation Tip #6: Keep food and drink away from your collections. Food and drink can damage materials and will attract insects and other pests to your collection.

Preservation Tip #7: Keep your materials free from dust by cleaning them periodically with microfiber dust cloths or a HEPA vacuum. Dust can be abrasive and disfiguring and also contains mold spores.

Preservation Week: Pass it on

by Michele Brown

Preservation Week was created in 2010 by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), to promote preservation of our library collections.

Libraries all over the country have scheduled preservation events for this week (April 27-May 3). Free webinars and webcasts are available at the ALCTS Preservation Week website.

The Cornell Conservation Lab is celebrating Preservation Week by posting preservation tips on Facebook throughout the week. These tips will be summarized in a blog post next week.

Preservation tips and profiles of our conservators, Michele Brown and Michele Hamill are also being shown on our electronic sign at the Olin Library Circulation Desk.

Join us next week for a summary of our tips for preserving your collection.

Preservation Week 2013

Cornell University Library Conservation celebrated Preservation Week 2013 by posting a preservation tip on our Facebook page each day.

Here is a summary of the week’s tips.

Tip #1: Do not store your books and documents in the basement.  Sustained humidity above 70% will promote mold growth. For more information on assessing the temperature and humidity of your library environment check out the dew point calculator at the Image Permanence Institute web site.

Moisture caused mold to grow on these pages.

Tip #2: Archival enclosures will preserve your family collections for generations to come. Check  preservation supply companies  for safe paper and plastic enclosures for documents and photographs. The Northeast Document Conservation Center has compiled useful information in their Storage Methods and Handling Practices preservation leaflet.

Archival folders and boxes protect photos and documents.

Preservation Week tip #3: Protect your library materials from light. Exposure to light can cause cloth and leather to discolor, photographs to fade, and varnishes to yellow. The Library of Congress has information about the lighting of library materials.

Fading caused by light exposure.

Preservation Week Tip #4: Do not use office supplies with your family treasures. Pressure sensitive tape and paper clips will stain and damage paper and photographs. Post-it notes leave a sticky residue.

Office supplies can damage family documents.

Preservation Week Tip #5: Keep food and drink away from library materials and family treasures. Food residues attract insects, mold and other predators. Food and drink stains are permanent.

Coffee and a marker have disfigured this photo.