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Location: Davis Library, CB#3910
Phone: (919) 962-8047
UNC Libraries' Preservation Department
CB# 3910, Davis Library
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-8890
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Preserving Library Collections
What happens as books, computer files, audio cassettes, and other library materials age? Often the answer is a physical change that makes it harder to get at the information students and faculty need. Paper becomes brittle, diskettes and tapes may be damaged by a magnetic field, and so on. In fact, all types of library media are vulnerable to natural aging and accidental damage. The Preservation Department is devoted to finding ways of keeping library resources available to people who need them. To do this well and with an eye toward the Library's overall mission, Preservation Department staff members work closely with related University Libraries departments.
The Preservation Department's Preservation Services unit treats general collections materials from the beginning to the end of their lifecycles, seeing books through the process of shelf preparation and commercial binding, and performing in-house binding and repair. Preservation Department staff also maintain and implement disaster response procedures and conduct staff education and outreach programs.
Information About Preservation
While many preservation treatments require considerable skill and training, some of the most important treatments are performed by everyone who uses the library. Simply observing a few care and handling guidelines will help extend the life of library collections and will decrease the need for costly repair, rebinding or replacement. Online preservation sites also provide useful information on the care of individual and institutional collections.