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CPA Newsletter #10, Mar 1989

Commission on Preservation and Access

The Commission on Preservation and Access

Newsletter March 1989 Number 10

Rowland Brown Will Chair

the Technology Assessment Advisory Committee now being constituted by the Commission. Brown, former President of OCLC, will head up a small group of senior people from universities, industry, and the publishing community who will be exploring technologies with potential for preservation activities. As now envisioned, the Committee will have several initial objectives:

  • Active consideration of the potential of new technologies forstorage and retrieval within the context of a national collection of preserved items, including technologies for capturing information and networking capacities;
  • Recommendation and review of research and demonstration projectsto be funded by the Commission;
  • Consideration of issues involved in the preservation ofelectronic formats and the preservation of media including motion-picture film and sound recordings.

By establishing this Committee, the Commission expects to influence and help shape the application of emerging technologies for preservation purposes, some of which will mature and become routinely available during the next 20 years. Decisions to use untested formats for archival storage will involve a range of issues beyond their technical capacities for storage, access, and image reproduction. These issues, to be explored by the Committee, include longevity of the format, technical standards, hardware and software standards, cost-effectiveness, convenient user access, and assurance of availability. Constituencies to be represented on the Committee reflect the close interrelationships among available technologies, the capacity of the higher-education community to provide access to electronically stored,materials, and the primary publication formats of the future. It is expected that the group will be fully constituted and hold its first meeting in May 1989.

With 19 Cosponsors, SJ RES.

57 on Permanent Paper was introduced by Senator Claiborne Pell on February 8, 1989. The resolution seeks to establish a national policy to promote the printing of books and other publications of enduring value on alkaline, permanent papers. The measure is almost identical to SJ Res. 394, introduced late in the last Congress. Action is needed, says ALA’s Washington Office, to encourage additional cosponsors to move the legislation through the process this year. Senators who are members of the Governmental Affairs Committee are especially important.

  • The identification of common preservation program elements andneeds within the college library setting, and suggestions for local or regional training programs;
  • The encouragement of proposals by college libraries to seekfunding for projects to identify, and reformat or treat unique, endangered materials in their collections;
  • The development of a preservation communication network amongcollege libraries and campus administrators.

Sub-groups will be studying the areas above, with the committee meeting again on June 21, 1989. For more information, contact Committee Chair Kathleen Moretto Spencer, Library Director, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA.

The National Advisory

Council on Preservation (NACP) discussed issues reflecting its broad scope at its annual meeting January 26, 1989, at the Commission’s offices. The NACP expressed support for the concept of a centralized collection of preservation microforms, which would provide secure storage of masters along with rapid, diverse access. Members heard from George Farr, Director of NEH’s Office of Preservation, who summarized plans for the Endowment’s new initiative to preserve the nation’s research base. A presentation by Donn Neal, Executive Director of the Society of American Archivists, stimulated a spirited discussion on the complex issues surrounding archives preservation. The group also reviewed objectives and plans for two evolving Commission projects–the international project and scholarly advisory committees. The NACP was established to provide a link between organizations committed to preservation and the Commission; it plans to meet next in November 1989.

State-Wide Actions

The State of Michigan has announced the formation of the Michigan Alliance for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage. According to Michele Kristin, Public Affairs Officer of The Michigan Council for the Humanities, the new alliance marks the state’s first alliance of conservation leaders to promote the continuing availability of the cultural resources of the humanities for the benefit of future generations. The Alliance includes representatives from archives, art agencies, historical societies, libraries, and museums. Further information is available from Kristin at (517) 355-0160. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners is taking the initiative to develop a statewide preservation strategy for libraries, archives, manuscript repositories, and historical societies. The strategy is expected to include a grants program, needs-assessment surveys, and a series of training workshops, according to Gregor Trinkaus-Randall, Collection Management Consultant. An Advisory Committee held its first meeting last month and will be convening two or three times annually. More information is available from Trinkaus-Randall at (617) 267-9400.

Commission on Preservation and Access

1400 16th Street, NW, Suite 740 Washington, DC 20036-2217 (202) 939-3400 Fax: (202) 939-3407 The Commission on Preservation and Access was established in 1986 to foster and support collaboration among libraries and allied organizations in order to ensure the preservation of the published and documentary record in all formats and to provide enhanced access to scholarly information. The Newsletter reports on cooperative national and international preservation activities and is written primarily for university administrators and faculty, library and archives administrators, preservation specialists and administrators, and representatives of consortia, governmental bodies, and other groups sharing in the Commission’s goals. The Newsletter is not copyrighted; its duplication and distribution are encouraged.

Patricia Battin–President

Maxine K. Sitts–Program Officer, Editor Pamela D. Block–Administrative Assistant Return to CLIR Home Page >>

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