New Initiative - Preservation Week: The Preservation Directorate (PD) was instrumental in developing, with ALA, a new National Collections Preservation Week(http://www.ala.org/preservationweek ). The PD offered multiple activities in its support, supplemented by the generous assignment by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) of a staff liaison. In association with Preservation Week 2010, there were 65 events across the US offered by 40 libraries and archives in 19 states, the District of Columbia, and American Samoa. These included exhibits, clinics and open houses, staff training, lectures and Webinars, and a preservation film festival. PD staff and the IMLS liaison helped advance the initiative by:
- Authoring a Library exhibit on preserving collections and helping develop and provide associated children’s events with the Library’s Young Readers Center.
- Collaborating with the Library’s Office of Strategic Initiatives National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program and the National Audiovisual Conservation Center to create Personal Archiving Day at the Library of Congress.
- Presenting public lectures on care of photographs, books, personal papers, films, videotape, sound recordings, and personal digital collections at the Library; the Historical Society of Washington, DC; Baylor University, Waco, TX; and the Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA.
- Creating resources to support Preservation Week for the ALA Web site, including bookmarks that provide key tips for preserving common personal collections, for distribution at key events; providing Web-based masters for download and local distribution by other event sponsors (http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alcts/confevents/preswk/events/bkmks.cfm ).
New University Course: Directorate staff developed, with the University of Maryland, a new graduate level Library Science and Archives track course. This course describes following: the basics of preservation management; building management assessment, planning, renovation, and risk mitigation; emergency planning and response work; environmental risk evaluation and response work; custom and commercial housing planning, creation, and selection; collections handling techniques; preservation for exhibitions including space assessment, transit, case analysis and management, and special housings; general circulating collections binding and care; rare book assessment, history, technology, and treatment; paper documents, records, and manuscript component materials, assessment, characteristic deterioration, mitigation, and treatment; AV materials assessment, obsolescence, storage, handling, care, duplication, restoration, and training; photographic materials identification, deterioration, assessment, housing, storage, and treatment; collections reformatting including principles, history, use, practices, and workflows as well as standards, guidelines, and best practices for microfilming, photocopying, and digitization; digital preservation including types of digital domains, current frameworks and concepts, current tools and services, best practices, and a basic overview of personal digital archiving; and preservation research and testing including quality assurance for supplies, optical properties research, chemical and physical properties research, and mass deacidification.
Space Updates/Science Lab Launches: The Directorate’s three science labs and the Center the Library’s Analytical Science Samples (CLASS) officially opened in the past year. Two articles on PD labs were published online. The New Optical Lab Brings LOC into 21st Century noted that PRTD’s recently open Optical Properties Laboratory contains a hyperspectral imaging system that’s revealing fascinating details of historical heritage, an environmental scanning electron microscope that can show real-time damage to AV items from changing environments, equipment for optical disc quality testing, and a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy system to detect chemical markers for sticky-shed (http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2010/02/new-optical-lab-brings-loc-into-21st-century/ ). The Op Lab also now houses the IRENE prototypes for capturing sound from damaged grooved recordings. The work of the Op Lab and the even more recently opened Chemistry and Physical Properties Labs are described online in the IFLA PAC IPN article The Science-Based Fight Against Inherent Vice (http://www.ifla.org/files/pac/ipn/50-may-2010.pdf ) [PDF: 2.11Mb / 44 p.].
In addition, the Conservation Division’s new collections recovery room, a model set-up for preservation training, drills and activities in collections salvage and recovery work related to the Library's Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) is illustrated and described online.(http://www.loc.gov/preservation/about/conserv/recoveryrm.html)
Webpage Updates: To keep the preservation field up to date on preservation developments, the PD uploaded several new websites on its home page, including updates on research, analysis, and quality assurance, as well as emergency preparedness, including the two links below:
- To address needs following a major earthquake in Haiti, PD developed a Cultural Heritage Collections Preservation Information Clearinghouse site at http://www.loc.gov/preservation/about/haiti.html. Staff are also involved in initiatives to develop salvage training and/or “Angel Projects” to help collections in Haiti through the American Institute for Conservation, and in conjunction with the 2011 IFLA meeting in Puerto Rico.
- To commemorate MayDay Emergency Preparedness initiatives, the PD, in consort with IMLS, developed a Preservation Planning Tool: Table Top Planning Scenarios, Level of Collections Emergency. These narrative situations complement a potential level of emergency chart as tool for validating a collections emergency response plan against the many combinations of factors an emergency event might include. Because full-scale emergency response rehearsals are impractical for most institutions, these realistic scenarios are intended to be the basis for table top or talk through exercises to cross-check assumptions and response strategies (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/emergprep/plan/scenariosII.pdf) [PDF: 96.7 KB/ 7 p.].
- Conservation Division staff described their work to prepare globes, drawings, prints, bound volumes, objects and archives and manuscript collections for moving to Ft. Meade in a new website entitled Stabilizing Special Collections for High-Density Storage. Similar descriptions and illustrations of stabilizing special collections were included in a poster in honor of Archives Month, 2009 (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/about/conserv/storage/index.html).
Media Events: PD activities were featured by various media, including a special TV show called Modern Marvels that aired in June; film crews from CNN and from a Brazil TV group, who both extensively taped conservation and preservation science activities; and film and print media outlets that focused on preservation science, including Wired Magazine, Boing-Boing, NBC, ABC, The Washington Post, the New York Times, and Roll Call. Many featured a story about the Library’s use of a custom-designed hyperspectral imaging system to examine Thomas Jefferson's Rough Draft of the Declaration of Independence. The Library's scientists were able to confirm that Jefferson at first wrote ...our fellow subjects... before remembering that, in declaring our independence, we were to become a nation of citizens (see http://bit.ly/9XWQ1L and http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/21/opinion/21iht-edwidmer.html ).
Cooperation With Other Institutions: The PD has several on-going collaborations with other institutions, including IFLA PAC North American Network members, which increased from a dozen to 15 members during the year (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/about/ifla/index.html); other libraries, universities and forensic and heritage science labs; standards committees and other boards; and institutions abroad.
- IFLA PAC NAN members were involved in ongoing discussions with Harvard regarding science projects and mold remediation research, and ongoing collaboration with Pepperdine University in teaching the UCLA Rare Book School section on preservation.
- Allied agencies collaboration included ongoing work with the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs on development of technology to capture sound from damaged cylinders and similar vertically grooved materials, and a new initiative with the University of Maryland to teach a semester-long course on preservation for archivists.
- Standards Committees and Boards: Directorate staff served on committees or boards for IFLA PAC, ALA, SAA, AIC, ASTM, and Heritage Preservation.
- Foreign programs: Directorate staff served on the steering committee for the newly developed Heritage Science Masters Program for the University College of London, and consulted with institutions in Turkmenistan, Uganda, and Mauritius.
Emergency Preparedness Initiatives for Libraries: Several initiatives addressed emergency preparedness for libraries, two workshops with FLICC and a webpage update in recognition of annual efforts to mark MayDay (May 1) with advice on how to protect collections against disaster.
- On February 23, 2010, Safety Net IV: FLICC Disaster Preparedness National Update, held at the Library of Congress and sponsored through FLICC, featured updates on national and international initiatives on disaster preparedness in cultural institutions by Jane Long, Heritage Preservation; Angela Gladwel, FEMA; and Nancy Gwinn, the ALA representative for the U.S. Committee on the Blue Shield. Fifteen representatives of federal libraries attended (http://www.loc.gov/preserv/symposia/safetynet4.html).
- For May 1. 2010, to commemorate MayDay Emergency Preparedness initiatives, the PD, in consort with IMLS, developed a “Preservation Planning Tool: Table Top Planning Scenarios, Level of Collections Emergency” These narrative situations complement a potential level of emergency chart as tool for validating a collections emergency response plan against the many combinations of factors an emergency event might include. Because full-scale emergency response rehearsals are impractical for most institutions, these realistic scenarios are intended to be the basis for “table top” or “talk through” exercises to cross-check assumptions and response strategies (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/emergprep/plan/scenariosII.pdf) [PDF: 96.7 KB/ 7 p.].
- On June 24, 2010, Safety Net V: Can We Relax Yet? Assessing Risks to Library Collections and Operations [PDF: 931KB / 1 p.], a day-long workshop co-sponsored by the National Agricultural Library, FLICC, the Library of Congress Preservation Directorate, and LYRASIS was designed to present a practical approach to risk assessment, held at NAL.
Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Planning at LC: In addition to the Safety-Net Workshops, the Directorate continually updates its collection emergency initiatives, this year by conducting telephone drills with several Library units. Two particularly important updates in the last year include the development of the following:
- A collections recovery room, which serves as a model set-up for preservation training, drills and activities in collections salvage and recovery work related to the Library's Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). This facility is illustrated and described online (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/about/conserv/recoveryrm.html).
- A contract for hiring services in the event of the need to salvage large volumes of collections at the Library (over 500 books or the equivalent) has been developed. A generic version of this contract will be available on our website in coming year.
Programs for General Public: PD staff hosted over a half-dozen public programs, gave dozens of lectures, designed and taught several courses and workshops, and provided scores of tours, as well as trained a dozen interns and volunteers in preservation.
Topics in Preservation Series: In FY2010, for general and professional audiences, the PD hosted 7 free Topics in Preservation Series (TOPS) programs. (Over a dozen webcasts are now available online at http://www.loc.gov/preservation/outreach/tops/index.html). Topics included
- Nov. 12, 2009, To Touch or Not to Touch? State-of-the-art Challenges of Heritage Diagnostics by Dr. Matija Strlic, Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Heritage at the Centre for Sustainable Heritage, University College London, covered current multi-disciplinary research initiatives on environmental interactions with cultural heritage collections.
- Nov. 18, 2009, Terahertz Spectroscopy and Imaging Techniques for Conservation Science: Innovative Non-Invasive Observation Methods by Dr. Kaori Fukunaga, Research Manager in the Applied Electromagnetic Research Center of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, Japan, covered the use of terahertz (THz) spectroscopy and imaging as emerging techniques in the field of optics research and the transfer of these techniques to the preservation of cultural heritage.
- March 19, 2010, Development and Research Applications for a Reference Collection of 20th Century Photographic Paper by Paul Messier, an independent conservator of photographs, covered his ongoing, decade-long project, the assembly of the world's largest reference collection of photographic paper, and present opportunities for multiple collaborative research initiatives.
- April 16, 2010, a Special TOPS 50th Event: Introduction to the Work of the New Preservation Science Laboratories of the Library of Congress commemorated the 50th TOPS program, with the staff of the Preservation Research and Testing Division (PRTD) presenting a series of lectures on a wide range of collaborative science projects addressing needs of traditional, audiovisual and digital collections (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/outreach/tops/tops50/index.html).
- June 7, 2010, Introduction to Non-Contact Method of Recovering Data from Obsolete Formats was presented by Brian Wilson of Applied Pictures. July 15, 2010, The Mechanical Properties of Cultural Materials by Dr. Marion Mecklenburg, Senior Research Scientist, Museum Conservation Institute, Smithsonian Institution, covered the role that mechanics has in helping to determine the effects of temperature, relative humidity, conservation treatments and chemical degradation on the long term stability of cultural collections.
- Sep. 20, 2010, Current Preventive Conservation Approach: the UNESCO Chair’s Perspective by Prof. Koenraad Van Balen, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, R. Lemaire Int’l Center for Conservation Leuven, Belgium and Ms. Anouk Stulens, Monumentenwacht Flanders Antwerp, Belgium.
A gallery talk by an LC conservator lead to “Preserving ‘Herblock’ a Rewarding Job for Conservators” about PD staff’s work with the drawings of Washing¬ton Post political cartoonist Herb Block (http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2010/02/preserving-herblock-a-rewarding-job-for-conservators/).
Interns and Volunteers: The PD hosted a dozen interns and volunteers this year in the divisions for Conservation (CD), Binding and Collections Care (BCCD), and Preservation Research and Testing (PRTD).
- CD’s Ceil and Michael E. Pulitzer Fellow Eliza Spaulding (MA candidate from the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University) treated a Pennell colored crayon sketch, an 18th c. Japanese Shigemasa color woodcut, and an autograph score in iron gall ink by Ludwig Spohr. CD’s Insurance of North America Fund Fellow Nita Maria Greene (MA candidate from Northumbria University) treated graphic arts illustrations, architectural drawings on tracing papers, and a large format theater poster, while researching historical and contemporary paperboard materials fabricated for the art and commercial market. (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/outreach/intern/index.html)
- Harper-Inglis Fellows for BCCD and PRTD respectively were Emily Rainwater (MS candidate from The University of Texas at Austin), who developed didactic materials to be used for Preservation Week activities, and Jordan Brough (Masters of Forensic Science, George Washington University) assessed the capacity of various imaging systems, including PRTD’s Image Xpert system, to determine the long-term changes in historic inks and preservation treatments. (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/outreach/intern/harper.html)
- PRTD hosted 6 summer interns: Molly McGath (PhD candidate in Materials Science and Engineering, University of Arizona) worked on GC-MS and headspace analysis to assess the capacity to detect mold and other compounds from sniffing collection items; Marcello Manfredi (Masters in Chemical Sciences and Technologies, University of Eastern Piedmont Amedeo Avogadro, Italy) will work to characterize changes in parchment through spectral imaging to assess optimal storage conditions; Anita Hayem-Ghez (Masters of Optical Science candidate, Institut d'Optique, Palaiseau, France) used hyperspectral imaging to characterize pigments and colorants, and markings indicating methods of construction of LC Portolan Charts; Meghan Hill (of Maryland Institute College of Art) assisted with imaging 37 maps in a Ptolemy atlas project; Kajal Hamidzadeh (Undergraduate in Cell Biology & Genetics, University of Maryland) advanced tracking of pigment and iron gall ink samples in the new Center for the Library’s Analytical Science Samples (CLASS); and HACU Josephina Maldonado (BS University of Texas at EI Paso; BA candidate at New Mexico State University) developed XRF calibration curves for metals in paper, as well as specific analyses of smalt in paper. (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/outreach/visit/index.html)
- Two volunteers include PRTD’s William Bennett, to access and house the Barrow Books Collections for the Center for the Library’s Analytical Science Studies (CLASS), and BCCD’s Elise Calvi, from Indianapolis Historical Society. (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/outreach/intern/volunteers.html)
Publications: Staff publications and presentations for FY2010 can be found at http://www.loc.gov/preservation/resources/misc/Current-pubs.html ; staff gave over 100 presentations.