January 19, 1999 Fourth Preservation Awareness Workshop To Be Held at Library of Congress on April 13

Press Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
Public Contact: Amparo Torres (202) 707-1026
Website: www.loc.gov/preserv/servpubs.html

The problems of keeping, organizing and storing old family photographs, important papers, or special books that are fading, yellowing and growing ever more fragile are common to individuals as well as to libraries and museums around the world.

The Library of Congress is offering its fourth annual free workshop to help members of the public learn more about handling, cleaning, preserving 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 Library's 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 13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. No reservations are necessary.

This year the workshop will be held in the Librarian's Reception Room, LJ 119, in the northwest corner of the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, with presentations taking place in the Coolidge Auditorium, on the ground floor of the Jefferson Building. Persons wishing to attend should enter the Jefferson Building through the Visitors' Center entrance, on the west ground level.

For the second year, Allan J. Stypeck, host of the popular public radio show "The Bookguys," 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. Co-sponsored by the Library's Center for the Book and the Preservation Directorate, the workshop is part of the Library's 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 115 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.


PR 99-021
ISSN 0731-3527