September 21, 2000 Library of Congress Hosts Fifth Annual Preservation Awareness Workshop on Thursday, October 19

Press Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
Public Contact: (202) 707-3478

The Library of Congress is offering its fifth annual free workshop to help members of the public learn more about handling, preserving and storing books, photographs, films, videos, family documents and sound recordings on Thursday, Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. No reservations are necessary.

The workshop will be held again this year in the Librarian's Reception Room, LJ 119, in the northwest corner of the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, and nearby rooms, with presentations taking place one floor below in the Coolidge Auditorium. The entrance to the workshop in the Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., is through the Visitors' Center entrance, on the west ground level.

Sponsored by the Library's Preservation Directorate and the Center for the Book, the workshop gives members of the public an opportunity to view demonstrations and gather information from conservators and other specialists at the Library of Congress about the care, treatment and storage of precious books and other documents.

For the third year, Allan J. Stypeck, host of the popular public radio show "The Book Guys," will be available all day to appraise (free of charge) old books, prints, photographs, manuscripts, sound recordings and other treasured materials. Those planning to bring materials for evaluation by Mr. Stypeck are asked to limit their request to two items; and they must obtain a special pass as they enter the Jefferson Building identifying those items so that they will be able to exit the building with them later in the day.

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. 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.

Short presentations in the Coolidge Auditorium will focus on some of the factors that place various kinds of 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's Preservation Directorate works to ensure long-term, uninterrupted access to the intellectual content of the Library's collections (the largest in the world with more than 119 million items in a variety of formats) for future generations, either in original or reformatted form. Its mission is accomplished through conservation, binding and repair, reformatting, materials testing and research, and staff and user education.

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.


PR 00-143
ISSN 0731-3527