August 17, 2000 Library of Congress Web Site Tells Preservation Story

"Bach to Baseball Cards" Describes Preservation Treatments

Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940

The Preservation Directorate in the Library of Congress recently launched "Bach to Baseball Cards," a Web publication that celebrates more than 100 years of preservation at the Library of Congress.

The site contains illustrations and descriptions of some of the most important preservation treatments that have been carried out on the Library's 119 million items. It illustrates both the diversity of the Library's collections and the broad range of creative techniques that have been applied over the years to preserve and protect our nation's rich resources for future generations.

The historical importance of each item described in the publication is followed by a brief discussion of its preservation treatment. Accompanying "thumbnail" images can be blown up and printed out. Items included in the publication span the range of formats found in the Library's collections and include newspapers, manuscripts, photographs, prints, posters, works of art, books, maps, music manuscripts, sound recordings, and moving images.

Go to the Web site, click on "Newspapers" and learn about the treatment of a folded and brittle supplement to The New York Times, dated April 28, 1912, that told the story of the sinking of the Titanic. An example under "Manuscripts" is the treatment of Thomas Jefferson's drawing of a macaroni machine, made with iron gall ink and long ago mounted on silk. Ansel Adams's ("Photographs") shots of Japanese relocation camps were consolidated along the edges where the emulsion had flaked and then matted; dime novels from the 1860s were inserted into special sleeves and boxed ("Books"); and the old discolored shellac was removed from a 3-inch terrestrial globe by James Wilson from the 1820s and its base was mended ("Maps"). Other techniques employed to conserve fragile posters, laminated manuscripts, "sticky" audio tape and nitrate film are described and illustrated in the Web publication.

"Bach to Baseball Cards," prepared jointly by staff in the Conservation Division and curators in the custodial divisions, is being issued in two releases. This first release contains more than 100 entries. A second volume with additional entries will be issued later this month.


PR 00-079
ISSN 0731-3527