Press contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
Public Contact: Amparo Torres (202) 707-1026

February 23, 1998

Library of Congress Plans To Hold Third Preservation Awareness Workshop April 21

Everyone who has old family photographs, important papers, or special books that are fading, yellowing and growing ever more fragile faces the perennial problem of how to conserve them.

The Library of Congress is offering its third annual workshop to help participants learn more about handling, cleaning and storing these valuable materials.

The first Preservation Awareness Workshop, held in 1996, proved so successful, with more than 600 people in attendance, that the Librarys Preservation Directorate decided to make the workshop an annual event. Once again, the general public will have an opportunity to view demonstrations and gather information from conservators and other specialists at the Library of Congress on April 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. No reservations are necessary.

As a special feature this year, Allan J. Stypeck, host of the popular NPR show "The Book Guys," will be available all day to appraise (free of charge) old books, prints, photographs, manuscripts and sound recordings.

In addition, professional conservators, members of the American Institute for Conservation, will be on hand to assess the condition of personal books, documents and photographs and to offer specific conservation treatment options and storage advice.

The day-long free event will take place in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. Co-sponsored by the Library's Center for the Book and the Preservation Directorate, the workshop is part of the Librarys celebration of National Library Week.

Throughout the day, visitors will be able to see live demonstrations of gold tooling, paper mending, book sewing, materials testing, and matting and hinging of works of art on paper. Library staff at table displays will be available to answer questions as well as provide printed information on the handling, cleaning and storage of books, papers and documents, fine prints, photographs, CDs, sound recordings and motion picture film.

Slide presentations will focus on some of the factors that place personal collections at risk and help workshop attendees determine when it is wise to seek professional advice.

In addition to the Library's professional conservation and curatorial staff, representatives of nonprofit professional associations in the preservation field as well as companies that manufacture and distribute conservation products will be on hand to answer questions and offer other information on preservation products and issues.

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. It contains 113 million items, including more than 17 million books, 4 million maps, 13 million visual materials, 2 million sound recordings and 49 million manuscripts. The mission of the Library's Preservation Directorate is to preserve these collections for future generations. Founded in 1972, the preservation program has trained many distinguished scientists, conservators and other experts in the preservation field; the program is also open to interns from all over the world, who learn while working with the Library's professional staff. Many of the conservation methods developed at the Library have become standard procedures in libraries and archives worldwide.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading and libraries and to encourage the study of the book as an artifact, art form and means of communication. Its projects are supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations.

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PR 98-024
2/23/98
ISSN 0731-3527

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