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Syracuse University Libraries

Preservation: Instructional Resources

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


The Preservation Department has numerous videos that explain various repair techniques and other aspects of preservation.  These repairs are not suitable for rare or valuable items, but are great for general collection books.  Our most popular video, with over 558 thousand views, is on Wet Book Rescue!  Speaking of water...NEVER SNIFF A MOLDY BOOK!  (Health hazard)

This video shows the process of a full reback book repair.




As drying wet books is a popular topic, here is another presentation by Conservation Librarian David Stokoe. 

Other sources of preservation/conservation videos:

The Metadata and Collections Section of the American Library Association's CORE division offers over 40 excellent videos on preservation topics.  Many are videos from previous Preservation Week celebrations, covering such topics as photograph preservation, digital preservation, dealing with mold, preserving scrapbooks, caring for textiles, and reformatting audio-visual materials.  (This ALA section includes what was previously known as ALCTS, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services.)

Documentary Heritage and Preservation Services for New York (DHPSNY).  From their website: "Our goal is to improve each organization’s capacity to collect, preserve, and provide access to archival and library research collections according to professional standards and practices."   This organization has a very large number of free webinars available.  Just a few examples include Stories from the Field: Mold at RPITemperature & Relative Humidity in Collections Care, and Common Collection Conditions: Assessing the Condition of Your Photograph Collections

The conservation experts at the British Library have a series of short videos on best practices for handling rolled or folded items, etc.  Scroll down the page to the "Help" section.

The Foundation for Advancement in Conservation program, Connecting to Collections Care (C2CC), has a large collection of archived webinars.  Scroll down each item to find a link to the YouTube video; sometimes the link is labeled as for closed captions.  Some are available only as audio recordings.

The Institute of Conservation (ICON), a UK-based group, offers a wide variety of resources, including webinars on a variety of materials. Topics include Japanese paper, condition assessment from a distance, and more.

The Conservation Division at the Library of Congress has some extremely informative "Highlights" videos documenting projects that they have completed.  These are projects undertaken by trained conservators, and not meant to be instructional, but they do show the variety of items that conservators handle.

Preservation 101

As described on the Northeast Document Conservation Center's website, "This free online resource provides a basic introduction to the concepts and standards used to build an effective preservation program, and includes a discussion of preservation policies, building and environment, care and handling of collection materials, reformatting, emergency preparedness, and conservation practices."

Repair guides and notes

For typical repairs done in the Preservation lab, check also under the "Terms, Tools, materials" tab in the top menu.  Scroll down on that page to Circulating Collection care.

This repair guide for books from the circulating collections was written by Marianne Hanley, Preservation Librarian, and was designed as a reference for student employees in the Preservation Lab.

Dartmouth College has an excellent book repair manual including videos covers materials and techniques for a wide range of repairs.  Information on parts of a book, grain direction, corner consolidation and using Japanese paper are among the topics included.  

From the Alaska State Library comes a wonderfully extensive book repair manual by Artemis BonaDea.  This 200 page manual includes details on such topics as finding the grain of paper, tying weaver's knots, working with Japanese paper, hinging in pages, sewing, box construction and more.


Indiana University Libraries ' online book repair manual is an especially good source for information on enclosures and supplies/materials, such as various types of adhesives and what situations call for the different types.