Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: CPA International Report Series

CPA International Report Series

From: Maxine K. Sitts <mksitts>
Date: Friday, February 3, 1995
Commission begins International Report Series

The Commission on Preservation and Access has released two reports on
worldwide efforts to encourage and coordinate preservation of the
written record, which is disappearing at an alarming rate.  The
introductory report, The International Program and Its Global Mission,
sets the stage for a series of reports on national and cooperative
preservation initiatives around the globe.  The second report,
Preservation Activities in Bulgaria:  The State of Affairs and
Possibilities for Cooperation, chronicles the preservation challenges
that have developed from that country's long tradition of using
manuscripts, rather than the printed word.

The four-page introductory report notes that "more nations than ever are
in the midst of a movement dedicated to preserving materials and making
them available."   Examples of these efforts include:  in Yemen, placing
selections of Koranic fragments on CD-ROM; in Spain, digitizing
10-million documents relating to Spain's power in the Americas; and in
France, converting 140,000 volumes of microfilmed records into U.S.
compatible, machine-readable format.

Yet, the report also points out that "dust, mold, dampness, pests,
acidic paper, and simple age are conspiring to decimate the written word
everywhere."  In fact, at least a quarter of all holdings are being
lost, and with them, the ability to understand the past and influence
the future. The report concludes:  "Having access to the history,
literature, art, philosophy, science, journalism, cultural studies, and
knowledge from all lands is vital if we are to maintain the global
community we have already become."

In addition to Bulgaria, future reports will focus on preservation
strategies in Central and Latin American libraries, European
collaborative preservation programs to preserve intellectual heritage,
and the European Register of Microfilm Masters.

Preservation in Bulgaria

Written by Sonja K. Jordan, Head of Preservation at the University of
Notre Dame, this 11-page report traces the literary history of Bulgaria
and the current state of its preservation activities, before concluding
with some general observations and a list of future directions compiled
by Bulgarian libraries.

Bulgaria's borders were once called the "Gates of the People" during the
seventh and sixth centuries B.C., with monastic and literary libraries
flourishing until the Ottoman occupation beginning in 1393, and then
again for the 65 years after Ottoman rule ended and Soviet rule began.
Now, with the demise of the centralized Soviet propaganda system,
preservation efforts have become splintered and severely under-funded.
Simply put, Bulgarian libraries have no defined mission and purpose and
th present political and economic reality precludes making preservation
a priority.  Jordan notes that Bulgaria has few librarians with
preservation training and experience, with "no new blood" to revitalize
the profession. Further, she writes, "The material resources, facilities
and technical equipment of Bulgarian libraries are lagging by 50 years."

The report ends with a list of "Directions for the Future" that have
been identified by Bulgarian libraries.  These include the need for a
conceptual vision and strategic plan, financial resources, automated
technologies, expanded coordination among libraries, and a broadening of
material and technical facilities.

Copies of both reports are available, while supplies last, for $10 each.
Prepayment is required.  Send checks made payable to "Commission on
Preservation and Access" to the following address:

    Commission on Preservation and Access
    1400 16th St. N.W., Suite 740
    Washington, DC 20036-2217

For review copies contact:  Maxine Sitts (202) 939-3400.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:62
                 Distributed: Tuesday, February 7, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-8-62-009
Received on Friday, 3 February, 1995

[Search all CoOL documents]