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Subject: Library of Congress Preservation Research and Testing lab

Library of Congress Preservation Research and Testing lab

From: Carole Zimmermann <czim>
Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2006
The Preservation Directorate of the Library of Congress has just
received two million dollars in reprogrammed funds to upgrade the
Preservation Research and Testing lab (in addition to upgrades in
conservation).  This reflects the keen awareness the Associate
Librarian of Congress for Library Services, Deanna Marcum (former
president of CLIR), has for the need to support preservation of
collections in all formats.

As Dr. Marcum notes,

   "With the full knowledge that many institutions are spending less
    on preservation as they invest more in digital collections
    management, it is more important than ever that the Library of
    Congress make every effort to serve a national role both in
    preserving collections and in conducting preservation research
    and disseminating the results to the broader community.
    [Consequently] we have filled preservation positions with
    national leaders and invested in new equipment for the research

New equipment and lab upgrades will enable the Library of Congress
to identify new materials, develop new techniques, and set new
standards to meet preservation needs of constituents nationally and
internationally. The upgrades will enhance our ability to continue
forensic analysis and product testing, as well as increase our
capabilities in many ways.  These include our ability to monitor
changes in the condition of collections, identify decomposition
mechanisms of magnetic media, evaluate failure mechanisms of new
digital storage systems, evaluate production prototypes for scanning
sound recordings, mimic degradation caused at a microscopic level by
temperature and relative humidity, analyze collections
non-destructively, examine collections in situ, reduce time needed
for accelerated aging studies, and take and analyze air samples.  It
will also provide better space and equipment to attract scientists
to work with us.

The strength of the Library's commitment to improve care of
collections is supported further by the fact that the role of
preservation has become a prominent and expanded part of the new
Library Services Strategic Plan for 2008-2013.  In addition to
reinforcing core programs, the Associate Librarian of Congress has
asked the Preservation Directorate to reinforce its leadership role
in planning a national preservation strategy for document
collections, including a national disaster response training
program.  In conjunction with this, the Directorate is organizing a
major meeting on December 7, 2006, with funders and allied
organizations to present a draft of our strategy and solicit
feedback.  The meeting will also mark the 40th anniversary of the
recovery efforts associated with the Florence Flood, a seminal event
in the founding of the Directorate's precursor "Restoration Office,"
and the 30th anniversary of the Library's launch of the former
National Preservation Program Office.

Inquiries about the December 7, 2006 planning and anniversary event
can be directed to

    Dianne van der Reyden
    Director for Preservation
    Library of Congress

Carole Zimmermann
Library of Congress
Preservation Research and Testing Division
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, DC  20540-4560
Fax: 202-707-1525

                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:12
                 Distributed: Friday, September 1, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-20-12-001
Received on Tuesday, 29 August, 2006

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