The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 11, Number 1
Jan 1987


A Harvest of Planning Reports

Five years ago the first reports appeared from the Preservation Planning Program, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and administered through the Association of Research Libraries (AN, v.6 p. 25 and 43). This program has been remarkably successful in stimulating libraries to set up preservation programs ever since. It combines the virtues of a grass roots movement, a consultant's study, and an administrative order, though it is actually a guided self-study, resulting in recommendations Ten libraries are going through the process in the current hatch, or have recently completed their study. Three of them are Northwestern University Library, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Their reports are available for $10 each from CMS Publications Department, Office of Management Studies/ARL, 1527 New Hampshire Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20036. Their publication numbers are, respectively, PP09, PP07 and PP08.

Northwestern found that nine out of every ten books in the library need treatment. They estimate that it will cost $45M to preserve the collection. At the Smithsonian, almost a third are so brittle that parts are likely to be lost if they are used. Only 15.5% of the collection at the University of Tennessee is deteriorated.

The reports cover a great deal more than condition: restoration, disaster control, environmental control, care and handling and all the recommendations that were made by the study teams.

Both the Manual and the 600-page Resource Notebook will soon be updated and expanded with the aid of a $13,937 grant from NEH. They should be available early in 1987. They can be ordered either in the present or the revised version by anyone for $10 and $20 respectively, if the price has not changed since they were first published.

The Office of Management Studies is continuing to accept applications from libraries wishing consultation assistance in conducting the Preservation Planning Program. For more information call Maxine Sitts or Duane Webster at OMS (202/232-8656).

Note: A review and comparison of eight or more of these reports is planned for a future issue. This will examine reports from the Center for Research Libraries, Colorado State University, University of Oregon, National Library of Medicine, Northwestern, Smithsonian Libraries, SUNY Stony Brook and the University of Tennessee.]

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