The Book and Paper Group
The American Institute for Conservation

University of Cincinnati University Libraries Preservation Program

by Toby Heidtmann

The University of Cincinnati has been state supported since the mid-1970's. the libraries are administratively organized as University Libraries, the medical libraries (Health Sciences Library, Nursing & Health Library, Cincinnati Medical Heritage Center), the Law library, and libraries on each of the two branch (2 year) campuses. There are more than 36,000 students enrolled. There Are about 1.75 million volumes in all the libraries.

University Libraries serves the College of Arts & Sciences, and the several professional colleges (College - Conservatory of Music, Engineering, Design, Art, Architecture & Planning (DAAP), and Education). in addition to the main library (Langsam Library), there are 10 branch libraries. the libraries of University Libraries hold about 1A million volumes.

UC was awarded a NEH grant in the late 1970's and those funds were used to create an endowment for development of the humanities collections and conservation. Currently, the Conservation unit is partially funded from this endowment's annual income.

The repair program for University Libraries is centered in the conservation unit headed by Virginia Wisniewski. It is a unit within the Collection Management Department; the department also includes the binding preparation, end processing, storage management, gifts and replacement programs. the total staff is 12.5 FTE staff and about 2A FTE student assistants.

There is one UC conservation facility, but the Law library and the Cincinnati Medical Heritage Center perform limited repair and re-housing operations. the largest portion of the work comes from the main and branch libraries as the result of circulation. Also, a significant amount of work done in conservation is newly catalogued materials (pamphlets, music scores, and items earmarked by selectors). Our primary focus is general collections, but we do limited work on special collections materials as well.

The Conservation unit includes 3 full-time positions; the Conservator and head of the unit, a Library Conservation Technician (LMTA2), and a student supervisor, who is also responsible for evaluation of incoming materials (Library Associate 2). We also employ about 1.2 i-1 ~ in student labor. Our classified staff is unionized. There are 5 levels in the classified system. Library Associate 2 being the highest. the conservator position is an unclassified (non-union) position.

Toby Heidtmann
Preservation Librarian
Cincinnati, Ohio

Publication History

Received: Fall 1992

This paper is one of the institutional profiles offered by participants in the Library Collections Conservation Discussion Group at the the Book and Paper specialty group session, AIC 20th Annual Meeting, June 2-7, 1992, Buffalo, NY.

Papers for the specialty group session are selected by committee, based on abstracts and there has been no further peer review. Papers are received by the compiler in the Fall following the meeting and the author is welcome to make revisions, minor or major.