September 25, 2002 Conservation Clinic is One of the Features at Second National Book Festival

Bring Two Items for Evaluation

Press Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940

Learn more about the 2002 National Book Festival

Do you have questions about the best way to clean dust and mold from your old books? Do you worry about preserving your treasured family photographs? Do you wonder about how to store valuable family documents?

Come to the Library's Conservation Clinic at the National Book Festival on Saturday, Oct. 12, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall between the Capitol Reflecting Pool and Fourth Street, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Throughout the day, conservators from the Library will be available to evaluate items and provide conservation advice. Visitors are asked to bring no more than two items to the clinic for evaluation.

The aim of the clinic is to provide conservation advice and information on how best to care for books, scrapbooks, albums, photographs and prints. The Conservation Clinic continues the educational efforts of the Preservation Awareness Workshops that have been conducted at the Library for the last several years.

The Conservation Clinic allows the Library's experts to share their knowledge and provide visitors to the National Book Festival with practical advice on how best to preserve their family treasures. Visitors to the clinic will also be able to:

  • Discover how books have been made through the ages by watching a book conservator sew the pages of a book together;
  • See how paper conservators use ancient and modern technologies to repair damaged prints, maps and other documents;
  • Learn how photograph conservators care for family photographs and scrapbooks and create protective mats and albums;
  • Observe how conservators protect treasures in the Library by making protective boxes and enclosures; and
  • Collect information pamphlets about the Library's preservation and conservation programs and learn how to obtain conservation services.

The Library of Congress has the most extensive preservation program in the world. Each year the Library's preservation staff provides conservation treatment to approximately 500,000 items from a collection of more than 124 million items. More than 30 professionals—specializing in book, photograph and paper conservation—are responsible for preserving rare and valuable materials in all of the Library's custodial divisions. The Library's Conservation Division has been a world leader in developing the profession of library conservation. Many innovative treatments have been developed in its laboratory over the years. For additional information on the activities of the Library's Preservation Office, visit the Library's Web site at

Building on the success of last year's inaugural National Book Festival, also sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by Laura Bush, this year's festival features more than 70 award-winning authors, illustrators and storytellers. Events include author readings and book discussions; performances by storytellers; book sales and signings; appearances by children's storybook characters such as Clifford The Big Red Dog; and musical performances ranging from mariachi and cajun to jazz and bluegrass. Just a sampling of the many authors and musicians planning to participate are: Anita Shreve, Billy Collins and Barbara Taylor Bradford (Fiction & Imagination); David Baldacci, Tony Hillerman and Mary Higgins Clark (Mysteries & Thrillers); Edmund Morris, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and David McCullough (History & Biography); Carmen Agra Deedy, Eric Carle and players from the National Basketball Association and Women's National Basketball Association's "Read to Achieve" program (Children & Young Adults); and storytellers Doug and Frankie Quimby, the Wild Zappers and Roslyn Bresnick-Perry.

All activities—including the Conservation Clinic—take place on the West Lawn of the Capitol and the adjacent Mall, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. For more information, visit the festival Web site at or call the toll-free number at (888) 714-4696.


PR 02-102
ISSN 0731-3527