The Preservation unit supports the Libraries’ mission by providing preservation and conservation services for the Libraries’ general collections, special collections and archives. We endeavor to maintain access to the intellectual content of the Libraries’ holdings by providing preservation and conservation services such as book repair; conservation treatments and services; preparation of newly acquired materials for shelving, including providing enclosures, binding or other treatments; preparation of damaged or special materials for transfer to offsite storage; and bindery services.
In addition, Preservation administers the Rescued Books procedure (including the brittle/unbindable procedure); evaluates the condition and treatment needs of individual collections; and establishes treatment standards for the collections based on current best practices.
Preservation hosts links on our web page (use the Resources tab below) to many other sites offering support for preserving library, museum, and personal collections.
Research material, memories, and treasures should last a lifetime and be passed on to future generations. Sponsored by the ALA’s Association of Library Collections and Services and partner organizations, Preservation Week is intended to inspire actions to preserve personal, family and community collections of all kinds, as well as library, museum and archive collections. The goal is to raise awareness of the role libraries and other cultural institutions can play in providing ongoing preservation information. Click here for more information on Preservation resources and a schedule of sponsored webinars (pdf).
The Bindery Preparation unit is responsible for fulfilling the binding needs of all of the Libraries’ collections. We also provide archival quality enclosures for brittle or fragile materials. We do our best to provide thoughtful, cost-effective judgments regarding the handling of all of the collections through good preservation practices.
Contact Barbara Nichols303-492-0934 with questions.
Monographs and periodicals are checked to verify that they will withstand the binding process. If they cannot be bound they are referred for preservation assessment or repair..
We perform quality control on all volumes or enclosures returned from the bindery to ensure that they are sound and correctly labeled. All books are bound in accordance with the LBI standard ANSI/NISO/LBI Z39.78-2000.
We do our best to maintain an efficient turnaround time for items being bound or boxed. Please allow between 3-6 months for a title to go through the whole process.
The Shelf Preparation procedures prepare circulating and reference materials for shelving, circulation or transfer to our off-site storage facility, PASCAL. Most items receive a property stamp, a security device and a label with location and call number information.
Newly acquired Library materials also undergo a condition review and are routed to the Book Repair or Bindery Preparation unit for treatment or a protective enclosure before being released.
Contact Megan Lambert, 303-492-4834 with questions.
Conservation and Repair
The Book Repair unit performs the first steps (triage) of the Rescued Books Procedure, identifying damaged books and making a preliminary decision about the best treatment options. This unit also executes quick and simple repairs for the general collections such as spine mends, tip-ins, or pamphlet binding.
Contact Megan Lambert, 303-492-4834 for assistance when “From Repair” is displayed as the item’s status.
The Conservation unit performs a variety of intermediate and advanced book repairs for both circulating and non-circulating collections. We provide a variety of conservation treatments including archival enclosures of all types, conservation matting, condition assessments and encapsulation of small to medium size flat documents.
Contact Kay Moller, 303-492-8396 or Lauren Stapleton, 303-492-6914 with questions or assistance in locating items in the unit for treatment.
NOTE: General Collection items will display a due date and “PRESERVATION” if they are in the Preservation for conservation treatment or Rescued Books review. The Preservation Treatment Program for Branch Libraries or Departments (pdf) is managed by the Book Repair unit by Megan Lambert 303-492-4834.
Preservation Assessment – General Collections
Brittle books and books that cannot be repaired are referred to Preservation by the Circulating Collections Care unit and by Libraries’ faculty or staff. We research the usage, holdings, replacement cost and other factors to make a decision on the best treatment option. Some items are referred to subject specialists for a final decision.
Review Procedure (pdf)
Contact Christine De Vries 303-492-8122 or Lauren Stapleton 303-492-6914
Gift and Purchase Review
Preservation previews gift and most purchased collections when they are received in Acquisitions for processing. The purpose of the preview is to alert subject specialists when a book or collection has significant problems that require will extra handling or treatments which add to the expense of adding the item/collection to the Libraries’ holdings.
Preservation Preview of Gift Books and Purchased Collections (pdf)
Contact Nicole Blechynden 303-492-2796
Conservation Needs Assessment Project
Under the direction of Patricia Morris, the Preservation Department conducted a detailed conservation needs assessment of the collections throughout the Libraries during the years 2005-2009. Links to completed reports and supplemental information can be accessed at Conservation Needs Assessment Report.
Contact Christine De Vries 303-492-8122
We have compiled an annotated list of online conservation and preservation resources for training and research. The document includes bookmarks to simplify browsing the sections addressing:
- Preservation and conservation standards and resources
- Book repair instructions
- Personal archiving resources
- Emergency planning and response
Threats to Collections
Is it mold? (Courtesy of Minitex)
Silverfish & Paper-Destroying Pests (pdf) (Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)
Silverfish and Firebrats (Courtesy of the University of Minnesota)
Museum Pests.net (Courtesy of Integrated Pest Management Working Group (IPM-WG))
Conservation Training at the University of Utah, 2012
Preservation staff member, Lauren Stapleton, recently spent a week training in Utah on advanced conservation techiniques.
The 7 Deadly Sins...Of Book Care
Look for our exhibit in the Norlin West Entrance lobby.
Conservation Needs Assessment Project
Christine De Vries, 303-492-8122
Under the direction of Patricia Morris, the Preservation Department conducted a detailed conservation needs assessment of the collections throughout the Libraries (2005-2009). Links to completed reports and supplemental information can be accessed at Conservation Needs Assessment Report.
Library Facility Surveys
Carl Stewart, Libraries Facilities Manager 303-492-2249
All of the University Libraries collection locations on campus have undergone a broad preservation survey which examined the history, procedures and current conditions of collection areas. As part of this work, we consolidated data from our environmental monitoring program, identified and mitigated potential disaster risks, and discussed preservation concerns with the respective library staff and building proctors.
Please contact Carl Stewart, if you have questions about these reports.