Preservation Week is here again! This weeklong celebration of preservation and conservation activities in libraries, archives, and museums is the brainchild of ALCTS, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, a branch of the American Library Association. Later this week we’ll be sharing two guest blog posts on the preservation and conservation concerns of two common kinds of bindings: case binding and library binding.
While conservation and preservation are words used somewhat interchangeably in everyday conversation, in the library world they have specific, but intertwining, meanings. Preservation refers to the steps taken to slow the deterioration of materials. These steps include environmental controls provided by an HVAC system, housing items in neutral-pH folders and boxes, and reducing exposure to light whenever possible. Conservation refers to the steps taken once an item has been damaged and needs repair, cleaning, or restoration. If you’ve been following our Instagram feed, you may have noticed some photographs of metal artifacts at various points in the cleaning process. This is a conservation project we’re currently tackling.
If you have questions about preservation, conservation, or Preservation Week, don’t hesitate to contact us here at the museum. There are also lots of great free resources at the Preservation Week website.