Dr. Jan Lyall, the new Director of the Preservation Services Branch (National Library of Australia, Canberra, ACT, 2600, Australia) sent printouts of terms, objectives and data elements in the "Conservation Treatments Information System" to the Newsletter office last September. It covers much more than treatments, and is designed for use in museums, archives, libraries, historical collections, and any type of collection. It can store and retrieve (or will, when it is finished) all kinds of information related to exhibits, loans, temporary locations, periodic inspections, job deadlines, work in progress, work completed, and production/treatment time. It can describe each object by dozens of attributes; it contains a thesaurus; and it can record treatment steps and solubility test results, and on and on.
As broadly useful as this program is, it will answer only a few of the preservation needs of libraries outside of the conservation lab or rare book room. However, the fact that it is intended to be a national information system means that even smaller libraries holding items of intrinsic value will be able to benefit from it, the same way American research libraries benefit from RLIN, without having to do the programming themselves. In this way, it facilitates cooperative effort among institutions in preserving the nation's most valuable books and documents and artifacts--its cultural heritage. Perhaps this is the sort of data bank Chris Clarkson had in mind as a remedy when he complained that it was impossible to collect even the most rudimentary information concerning the significance (i.e., intrinsic value) of a particular volume, e.g.
How many like volumes remain intact?
What condition are they in?
Are they in public or private ownership?
(See his article, "The Conservation of Early Books in Codex Form: A Personal Approach," the Paper Conservator 3 (1978): 33-50.)
Timestamp: Sunday, 03-Mar-2013 21:35:00 PST
Retrieved: Tuesday, 21-Nov-2017 21:09:00 GMT