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Syracuse University Libraries

Preservation: Preservation Research

Preservation information from the Syracuse University Libraries' Preservation Department. Book repair techniques, general information on preservation practices, and other resources.

Selected Books on Preservation

Managing Preservation for Libraries and Archives

The preservation of library and archival materials can encompass everything from bookbinding and paper repair to new techniques for maintaining and exploiting digital text, sound or images. Managing Preservation for Libraries and Archives brings together an international team of contributors presenting the latest findings on key areas of preservation and addressing the most common storage and retrieval problems for different types of media. The authors also revisit traditional preservation and conservation approaches and suggest how to develop policies for the future. 

Preservation Management Handbook

Cultural heritage professionals - museum curators, museum professionals, archivists and librarians - work with their specialized knowledge to prioritize the needs of their collections. Preservation managers draw on experts in climate control, fire safety, pest management and more in developing the large overview of a collection and its needs. And all the special materials within the collections have their experts too. Here, in one volume, is a wide range of topic-specific expertise that comprises both an enduring text for preservation students as well as an essential one-stop reference for cultural heritage professionals--particularly those in small- to medium sized organizations where resources are limited and professional help is not always at hand. 

Preserving Our Heritage

Winner of the 2016 Preservation Publication Award from the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Drawing on a multitude of historical texts, this sweeping yet accessible volume provides a broad understanding of preservation for librarians, archivists, and museum specialists, and related LIS and continuing education classes. Cloonan offers readers an overview of longevity, reversibility, enduring value, and authenticity of information preservation. 

Repositories for Print

Repositories for low use books have long existed for the larger cultural institutions across the globe. Libraries have long been strong developers of off-site storage. This need has evolved for libraries because of their continuous collection of print materials as a record of the intellectual and cultural output of different cultures. 

New Directions for Special Collections

Addressing the most exciting and challenging areas in the profession, this text will be invaluable to any professional looking ahead to the future of special collections and related cultural heritage work. Special collections today--from rare books and other specialized book collections to audio recordings and visual images--offer librarians limitless opportunities to showcase their skills in curating, preserving, and offering access to these resources to patrons. 

Sustainable Audiovisual Collections Through Collaboration

The art and science of audiovisual preservation and access has evolved at breakneck speed in the digital age. The Joint Technical Symposium (JTS) is organized by the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations and brings experts from around the world to learn of technologies and developments in the technical issues affecting the long-term survival and accessibility of audiovisual collections. 

Book Repair

Libraries of all types have books that need to be repaired or conserved, especially in light of budget restrictions that may prohibit purchasing replacements. Limited funds also mean that this activity is increasingly handled in-house. Fortunately, there is a comprehensive source to which you can turn with all your questions: Book Repair: A How-To-Do-It Manual, Second Edition Revised by Kenneth Lavender with revisions by Artemis BonaDea. 

From the Hand to the Machine

No where did the industrial revolution occur faster and to such a degree than in the United States during the 1800s. American paper and printing industries grew exponentially, enabling the mass production of reading material. New businesses specialized in art reproductions for homes of the middle class, employing nineteenth-century inventions, lithography and photography.

Today, paper and book conservators are faced with problems of identifying a bewildering array of papers and mediums that comprise nineteenth-century artifacts, as well as analyzing complex deterioration processes. Basing sound storage and exhibition recommendations, and conservation treatments on as much material and technological information as possible is crucial if the conservator is to make the correct decisions for the preservation of valued artifacts.

Who Wants Yesterday's Papers?

Prompted by Nicholson Baker's Double Fold, which indicted librarians for creating microfilm instead of saving newspapers and other printed artifacts in original format, this volume distills the essential issues from the proceedings of a conference held by notable scholars and librarians at the University of Maryland Libraries in March 2002.

A Splendor of Letters

In A Splendor of Letters, Nicholas A. Basbanes continues the lively, richly anecdotal exploration of book people, places, and culture he began in 1995 with A Gentle Madness (a finalist that year for the National Book Critics Circle Award) and expanded in 2001 with Patience & Fortitude, a companion work that prompted the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer David McCullough to proclaim him "the leading authority of books about books." Basbanes now offers a consideration of the many pressing issues that surround the role of books in contemporary society, such as the willful destruction of books and libraries in Sarajevo, Tibet, and Cambodia, and the spirited efforts to restore them. 

The Routledge International Handbook of New Digital Practices in Galleries Libraries Archives Museums and Heritage Sites

The Routledge International Handbook of New Digital Practices in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums and Heritage Sites presents a fascinating picture of the ways in which today's cultural institutions are undergoing a transformation through innovative applications of digital technology. With a strong focus on digital design practice, the volume captures the vital discourse between curators, exhibition designers, historians, heritage practitioners, technologists and interaction designers from around the world. Contributors interrogate how their projects are extending the traditional reach and engagement of institutions through digital designs that reconfigure the interplay between collections, public knowledge and civic society. 

The Preservation and Protection of Library Collections

Preservation involves a complex of activities including climate, air-quality, and surface control, as well as microbiological control, which is a key part of preserving and protecting library collections. The Preservation and Protection of Library Collections examines microbiological control for preservation of library and archival collections. A supporting tool for conservators, this title should be integrated into conservation and preservation policy.

Twentieth-Century Color Photographs

With the advent of digital imaging, the era of traditional color photography is coming to an end. Yet more than 150 years after the invention of color photography, museums, archives, and personal collections are full of images to be cherished, studied, and preserved. These photographs, often made with processes and materials no longer used or easily identified, constitute an important part of the cultural and artistic heritage of the twentieth century. Today it is more important than ever to capture the technical understanding of the processes that created these irreplaceable images. In providing an accessible overview of the history and technology of the major traditional color photographic processes, this abundantly illustrated volume promises to become the standard reference in its field. 

Library Catalog

There are a number of different ways to search for books and articles at Syracuse University Libraries.  From the Libraries' homepage, you can search SUMMON to find items both here at SU and beyond.  You can also use the Classic Catalog for a more targeted search for items here at SU.  The video is a quick introduction to searching SUMMON.  Check with a librarian for more information.

Your Old Books

Looking to learn more about old books in general?  A good place to start is a short guide that is available online and in PDF format from the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries.  The guide provides very general information on rare, valuable, and old books.  The guide also covers topics such as selling, donating, and insuring books. 

Preservation Science

The Library of Congress pursues preservation research with an aim to forward the National Preservation Research Agenda for the Human Record.

SURFACE (institutional repository) materials

SURFACE is the "Syracuse University Research Facility And Collaborative Environment," an institutional repository for mostly open access scholarly, professional, scientific, and creative output produced here at Syracuse University.  There are preservation-related items in the database on a number of different topics.  Four specific areas include:

  1. The Brodsky Series, programs that promote and advance knowledge of library conservation theory, practice, and application among wide audiences, both on campus and in the region. Programs typically include lectures and workshops by prominent library conservators.
  2.   Disaster Recovery, including manuals and planning.
  3.   Presentations, including such topics as book arts and preservation at Syracuse University Libraries.
  4.    Treatment Manuals, including information on constructing exhibition cradles, phase and drop spine boxes, the care and handling of historic sound recordings, and more. 

Some recent examples include:

Selected Articles

Dagmara Chmielewska-Śmietanko, Urszula Gryczka, Wojciech Migdał, Kamil Kopeć, "Electron beam for preservation of biodeteriorated cultural heritage paper-based objects." Radiation Physics and Chemistry, Volume 143, 2018, Pages 89-93.

Maiorana, Zachary, Ian Bogus, Mary Miller, Jacob Nadal, Katie Risseeuw, & Jennifer Hain Teper. "Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost: Preservation in the Age of Shared Print and Withdrawal Projects." College & Research Libraries [Online], 80.7 (2019): 945. Web. 7 Dec. 2020

Maddox Abbott, Jennifer,A. "Moving a Unique Collection to Storage: Improving Access Now and Later." Library Resources & Technical Services, vol. 64, no. 4, 2020, pp. 177.

Irene Alexopoulou, Spiros Zervos. "Paper conservation methods: An international survey" Journal of Cultural Heritage,Volume 21, 2016, Pages 922-930

Boice, Jocelyn, et al. "Preservation for Circulating Monographs: Assessing and Adapting Practices for a Changing Information Environment." Technical Services Quarterly, vol. 34, no. 4, 2017, pp. 369-387.