The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 17, Number 6
Nov 1993

Summer Fellowships In the LC Preservation Directorate

The Library of Congress has a Junior Fellows Program, which allows college students and recent graduates to work full time in selected divisions (including the Preservation Directorate) of the Library for two to three months, beginning in May or June. Stipends of $300 a week will be provided.

The Preservation Directorate's program is described in a leaflet, which is transcribed below.

The Preservation Directorate invites your participation in its Junior Fellows Program. The Directorate offers academic fellowships to qualified college juniors and seniors and graduate students in a program designed to fit the interests and schedules of the fellows as well as to serve the mission of the Library. Projects in our Directorate will be of interest to students in chemistry, material science, museum studies, art history, the humanities, library science and preservation.

Scope of the Directorate

The Library's collections are diverse, ranging in nature from paper-based materials to photographic materials to magnetic materials. They also vary greatly in both size and format, and include books, manuscripts, works of art on paper, photographs, recorded sound materials (magnetic and non-magnetic), computer file materials, and motion pictures. The mission of the Preservation Directorate is to preserve these collections in the most appropriate manner for current and future use.

The Directorate consists of five offices, including a small resource/information center and a chemistry laboratory, and has a staff of over one hundred people. The offices in the Directorate that are directly involved with the physical treatment of the collections are the Conservation, Binding, and Preservation Microfilming offices of the Directorate. The Research and Testing Office supports the program with scientific research, and the National Preservation Program Office develops staff and user education programs.

The Conservation Office focuses its efforts on the preservation needs of the materials in the rare and special collections, while the Binding Office prepares for the shelf all bound materials in the general collections. Materials that are too brittle to be bound are sent to the Preservation Microfilming Office, which evaluates them and prepares them for reformating in order to preserve their intellectual content. Concerned with problems of permanence, durability, and long-term preservation, Research and Testing provides scientific and technical support for the Library's preservation program. The National Preservation Program Office directs its attention to providing information and outreach services about preservation, internally to the Library's staff and users, and externally to the library and preservation communities.

Examples of Projects Available for Fellows

Preservation Microfilming. Fellows will perform various technical duties related to microfilming. These include collating and documenting the content of individual items and working with staff in the Preservation Microfilming Office custodial areas to plan preservation microfilming projects.

Collection Assessment. Fellows will work with Conservation and Binding Office staff to examine various collection materials, to document their condition, to define their preservation needs, and to recommend the best approach to assuring their long-term survival in usuable condition.

National Preservation Program Office. Fellows will work with the National Preservation Program Office and Conservation Office staff to undertake site analysis of various areas in the Library. The purpose of the site analyses is to determine the disaster vulnerability of materials housed in areas examined.

How to Apply

Applications must include the following materials:

  1. Cover letter indicating the subject area(s)/division(s) in which the applicants are interested, and language abilities, if relevant.
  2. Application for Federal Employment (SF 171) or resume (including social security number, address, telephone number, date of birth, and citizenship).
  3. Letter of recommendation from an appropiate professor or employer attesting to the applicant's proficiency, reliabilty and the feasibility of his/her carrying out projects.
  4. Official transcript from the current or most recently attended university or college.

All applications should be sent to Merrily Smith, Assistant National Preservation Program Officer, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540; 202/707-1840. All material must be received by March 1. Applications will be forwarded to appropriate divisions, which will arrange either telephone or in-person interviews with the most promising applicants, based on materials submitted. Applicants will be notified of the Library's decision in April.

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