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Subject: Results of survey on preservation of science and technology materials

Results of survey on preservation of science and technology materials

From: Jill Newby <jnewby>
Date: Monday, June 12, 1995
Just over a year ago, the ACRL Science and Technology Section
conference program committee for 1995 sent out a brief questionnaire
to sci-tech library listservs on the current status and importance
of preserving the record of science and technology.  The results of
that survey are summarized below.

To learn more about the issues involved in this critical area and to
see how librarians and archivists are dealing with the preservation
sci-tech materials, please join us at our ALA conference program,
"Preserving the Record of Science and Technology: A Call to Action",
Monday, June 26th from 8 - 11 am at the Hotel Intercontinental,
Grand Ballroom in Chicago.  This program is co-sponsored by STS and
the ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section and the Collection
Development and Management Section.

The program will focus on issues in the preservation of science and
technology materials. Speakers will analyze the scientific process
and the resulting documentation, report on the preservation status
of sci-tech materials, and discuss models for a disciplinary
approach to preservation.


    Helen Samuels, Institute Archivist, Massachusetts Institute of
    Technology:  "What is the Record of Science and Technology"

    Joan Warnow-Bluett, Associate Director, Center for History of
    Physics, American Institute of Physics:  "The Role of Discipline
    History Centers"

    Samuel Demas, Head, Collection Development and Preservation,
    Cornell University:  "Building Alliances for Disciplinary

Poster sessions on current sci-tech preservation efforts will follow
to stimulate informal discussions among attendees on cooperation in
preserving the records of different disciplines.


1994 STS Preservation Survey Results:

Many thanks to the 37 respondents who contributed to this survey.

1.  Please describe your institution's current or planned
preservation project(s) of science and technology materials.

    Bucknell University:  Currently writing a disaster response
    plan, which includes prioritizing collections to be rescued in
    emergencies, and steps to be taken to protect the collection and
    prevent damage.

    Columbia University:  Current proposal to microfilm 800 serial
    volumes in the hard sciences taken from holdings of the eleven
    comprehensive research libraries in New York State and filmed by
    Columbia.  Recently received funding from the Commission on
    Preservation and Access to investigate a variety of means for
    scanning large color maps.

    Cornell University, Mann Library:

    In Process:

        1.  Four year project to identify and preserve the regional
            natural history literature of the northeast bio-region
            (New England States, PA, NJ, NY, Ontario, And Quebec.

        2.  Multi-year project to preserve and enhance access to the
            core historical literature of U.S. agriculture.  Have
            received funding from NEH and another agency for
            scanning and production of microfilm.


        1.  Planning to identify and preserve the core historical
            literature of home economics in the next few years.


        1.  Have already identified and preserved the most
            significant historical literature concerning agriculture
            in NY.S.  Have developed and tested a methodology for
            identifying and preserving state and county level
            publications on agriculture.

        2.  Have already identified and preserved the most
            significant historical literature in most (but not all)
            areas of entomology (in western languages only).

    Kansas State University:   Plan to microfilm the "American
    Miller " upon receipt of a grant.

    Linda Hall Library:  Purchases replacement microfilm and
    photocopies for brittle materials.

    Missouri Botanical Garden:  Planning a joint project with the
    New York Botanical Garden and other botanical libraries for the
    preservation of botanical literature that are in danger of

    National Agricultural Library:  Have an electronic preservation
    committee whose charge is to coordinate efforts within NAL to
    identify materials in the collection for electronic
    preservation; to develop a program for monitoring the quality of
    electronically, archivally stored materials and for periodically
    refreshing the data; establishing a liaison and working with LC
    and NLM and other federal libraries to share information on
    preservation responsibilities with a minimum of overlap,
    handling archival copying, and sharing storage facilities.

    MIT Burndy Library:  While in the process of cataloguing the
    collection they are doing a condition survey.  Re-housing
    pamphlets, etc., and noting any volumes that require binding
    repairs or replacement.  Re-housing all the manuscripts in the
    collection into acid-free folders and boxes, and mylar
    L-envelopes as needed.

    National Library of Medicine:  Has an institutional mandate to
    preserve the biomedical literature.  In the past 7 years has
    microfilmed about 45,000 volumes and are continuing to microfilm
    about 5,000 volumes per year.  NLM's History of Medicine
    Division is concerned with the conservation and preservation of
    rare and historically valuable biomedical materials.

    Novacor Research Library:  A not-for-profit Sci/Tech library in
    a for-profit organization.  Main concern is preservation of
    those materials which detail the scientific experiments, tests,
    etc.  The library microfiche and store offsite all lab notebooks
    and internal reports. They also backup databases daily to CD

    Oregon State University, Guin Library:   Actively collects grey
    literature on the Columbia River Salmon, and preserves it
    through simple binding. Some special items--rare books--are kept
    in a special case and occasionally boxed if necessary.

    Penn State:  Digital scanning project of an archival collection
    of Pennsylvania agricultural county agent reports from
    1912-1983.  To date over 68,000 pages have been scanned.

    In Oct. 1994, the University Libraries will begin a two year
    preservation microfilming project to reformat 1050 volumes in
    the area of the history of rural America, including early
    American agricultural journals, early monographs, Penn State
    masters theses and dissertations on the history of agriculture
    and agricultural education.

    Rhodes University, JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology, South
    Africa: This special library devoted to the study of
    ichthyology, fisheries and aquaculture has an archive of
    unpublished correspondence, manuscripts, memorabilia, original
    artworks (mainly now in published books), original photographs,
    press cuttings, negatives, photographic slides etc relating
    ichthyological research in South Africa and to some extent
    African countries to the north. This material is soon to be
    housed and catalogued on a computer system (UREKA) in the Cory
    Library at Rhodes University. Here it will be stored in
    temperature and humidity controlled environment in a fireproof
    room in as optimum conditions of "acid free" as is affordable.

    The Institute also houses a massive reference collection of fish
    (4.5 Kilometers shelf space). These are catalogued on computer
    and preserved in ethanol under optimum conditions with an
    elaborate fire alarm system.

    San Diego Natural History Museum:  Working on improved archival
    housing of materials, including UV blocking and also a
    long-range preservation plan in preparation of a building

    Stony Brook Engineering Library:  Participated in a project to
    microfilm old sci-tech journals not available in microfilm

    SUNY Albany:  Participating in joint science serials
    microfilming project with Columbia.

    UC Santa Barbara Map Library:   Requested funds for preservation
    of air photos (color transparencies made from nitrate

    University of Florida, Gainesville:  Microfilming of Florida
    Geological Survey publications (completed).  Microfilming of UF
    Engineering & Industrial Experiment Station publications
    (planned).  Microfilming of pre-1958 UF Theses and Dissertations

    University of Utah:  Recent project:  Flattening and
    encapsulation of thesis maps.

    University of Washington Health Sciences Library:  Emphasis on
    prevention of deterioration and in disaster planning.

    USGS NMD Reference Collection:   Conservation and preservation
    of the topographic map collection (over 300,000 maps dating from
    late 1870s to date).

2.  Please rank what is most important to preserve (1 most
    important-8 least important)

    *2.77   Local documents

    3.0     Other:  large folded paper, maps, charts, patents,
            photographs, negatives, engraving woodcuts, preprints,
            reprints, fishing gear, holographic collections

    3.06    Journals

    3.16    Theses

    3.21    Books

    4.68    Conference proceedings

    4.81    Reports

    5.05    Non-print materials:  Computer databases, floppy disks,
            laser discs, cd-rom, internet resources, microfilm,
            fiche, slides, recordings, videotapes, artwork, spatial
            data, software

*Based on ranking totals for 37 respondents.  Not all categories
were given a rank by all respondents.

3.  Please describe the rationale for your rankings (ie.,
institutional priorities, lack of preservation in this area, etc.)

    (12)    Institutional priorities
    (7)     Usage
    (4)     Unique collecting areas
    (2)     Importance of retrospective materials for each discipline
    (2)     Regional responsibilities
    (2)     Difficulties in preserving certain kinds of materials
            (e.g. large format photographs)

    One comment each for the following:

    *   Brittle materials

    *   Journal literature most important in biomed. area

    *   Past preservation surveys

    *   Necessity of planning cooperative preservation of books and
        journals on a national level

    *   Lack of preservation in this area

    *   Lack of funding and staff for preservation activities

    *   Should preserve materials that will never be put in
        electronic format, e.g. grey literature, "little titles"

    *   Important to preserve books because they are general
        reviewed and are compendium of information on a subject.

4.  Are there any sci-tech fields that should receive immediate
preservation attention?

    (3)     Botanical literature
    (3)     Chemistry
    (2)     Folded maps in the back of publications
    (2)     Geological materials
    (2)     Electronic resources
    (2)     Mathematics

    *   Technology manuscripts and rare books

    *   Brittle and acidic journal collections

    *   Civil engineering

    *   Graphic materials that don't microfilm well

    *   Sci-tech journals in all fields

    *   Organized snap-shots of Internet resources

    *   Biology monographs

    *   Local historical atlases in marine science

    *   Mining, mechanical, chemical and geological engineering

    *   Electronic materials pertaining to Computer Science

    *   Physics

    *   Fields where scientific interest has died out

    *   Local environmental documents

    *   Agriculture

    *   Astronomy

5.  Please list any science and technology preservation projects
that you are aware of being conducted outside your institution.

    a.  Oregon State University Library is currently scanning the
        Linus Pauling papers and creating a searchable database of
        correspondence and reports.

    b.  RLIN provides information on member institutions that have
        microfilmed titles for preservation.

    c.  Penn State's optical scanning project of historical steel
        workers and agriculture department documents.

    d.  Univ.of Nevada-Reno has done some work with maps in the back
        of publications.  Some years ago, Denver Public Library had
        a project to preserve maps in backs of USGS pubs.

    e.  NAL- Univ. Pitt. Library School - Michigan State joint
        project to examine the use of images in information
        retrieval and scanning of botanical prints and photos of
        plant insect pests and diseases.

    f.  Columbia University - Map Preservation project of older New
        York State museum publications.

    g.  CIC project  - local agricultural materials.

    h   National Institute for Conservation - natural science

    i.  Motion picture films and photographic technology (no
        institution given)

    j.  SLA, Div. of Physics, Math and Astronomy - microfilming
        observatory materials

6.  Are you or your institution interested in participating in a
cooperative preservation initiative?  Is so, please be sure to
include your name and address with the return of this survey.

    Brown University
    Eric Shoaf

    Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library
    Margaret Henderson

    Columbia Univ.
    Janet Gertz

    Cornell Mann Library
    Sam Demas

    Emory University
    Bob Greene

    Illinois State Univ.
    Pat Dolan
    Beth Schoberand (Biology, chemistry. mathematics education)

    Kansas State Univ
    James Mason
    Diana Farmer

    Linda Hall Library
    Nancy Day

    Michigan Tech. Univ.
    Janet Anuta Dalquist

    Missouri Botanical Garden
    Connie Wolf

    MIT Burndy Library
    Christine Ruggere

    National Agricultural Library
    Maria Pisa

    Carol Unger

    Oregon State Univ. Marine Science Library
    Janet Webster

    Penn State
    Sue Kellerman

    Princton, Chemistry Library
    Lois Nase

    Rhodes Univ., JLB Smit Institute of Ichthyology
    Margaret Crampton

    San Diego Natural History Museum Library
    Ann Payne
    Sally Shelton

    SUNY Albany
    Veronica C. Cunningham

    SUNY Stony Brook
    Dianne Stalker

    Univ. of Kentucky, Agriculture Library
    Toni Powell

    Univ. of Florida, Gainesville
    Vernon Kisling

    Univ. of Maryland - C.E.E.S. - Chesapeake Biological Labs
    Kathy Heil

    Univ. of Wash Health Science Library
    Nancy Ottman Press (setting policy for preservation of
    electronic formats)

    Univ. of North Carolina, Geology Library
    Miriam Sheaves

    USGS National Maps Division
    Mary E. Graziani

Jill Newby
Co-Chair, STS 1995 Conference Program Planning Committee
Weber State University
Ogden, UT 84408-2901

                   Conservation DistList Instance 9:3
                   Distributed: Monday, June 19, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-9-3-005
Received on Monday, 12 June, 1995

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