What is Preservation?
Preservation, by definition, is: "activities associated with maintaining
library and archival materials for use either in their original physical form or in some
other usable way."
- Preservation includes Conservation:
- The reactive or proactive treatment of library material to strengthen them physically or
stabilize chemically, thus sustaining their survival as long as they are needed in the
- Preservation includes Reformatting:
- The recording of information in one medium to another. The most common reformatting
method is microfilming, where printed information on paper material is converted to film.
Recent conversion capabilities onto CD-Rom format have allowed transfer to a medium that
is more easily searched.
- Preservation includes some Collection Development activities:
- This term encompasses a number of activities, preservation being one of them. It
includes the determination and coordination of the selection policy, assessment of the
current needs of users and potential users, collection evaluation, selection and
acquisition of materials, and planning for resource sharing.
- Preservation includes Disaster Prevention:
- The UCSD Libraries have a disaster team and disaster plan in place in case of fire,
earthquake or other hazards that could cause damage to the collections.
One of the best sites on the Web for preservation information is CoOL, or Conservation OnLine, a project
of the Preservation Department of Stanford University Libraries.
Return to Preserving Library Materials.