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CPA Newsletter #94, Nov-Dec 1996

Commission on Preservation and Access

The Commission on Preservation and Access


November-December 1996

Number 94

Oberlin Group Approves Sponsorship for Preservation and Access


he Oberlin Group has accepted the Commission’s invitation to become a collective sponsor. This consortial arrangement provides a way for preservation and access programs to extend more fully to college libraries. The list of participating libraries is being assembled, with the new sponsorship to begin in January 1997. The names of all participating Oberlin Group institutions will be presented in a future newsletter.

As sponsors, Oberlin Group participants will receive multiple copies of Commission publications at no charge and will be eligible to use displays and other materials. In addition, the Commission’s College Libraries Committee is exploring several possibilities for special events geared for college libraries.

The Oberlin Group is a loose federation of library directors from selected liberal arts colleges. 

Scientist Reviews Mass Deacidification Methods in Joint Publication


he Commission on Preservation and Access and the European Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA) have co-published a scientific report that reviews several techniques for mass deacidification. The 54-page report, Mass Deacidification: An Update on Possibilities and Limitations, was written by Dr. Henk Porck of the Department of Library Research, Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague. Porck includes a state-of-the-art overview of the Battelle, Bookkeeper, DEZ, FMC, and Wei T’o processes, discussing for each technique:

  • a short history of its development,
  • principles of the treatment,
  • a summary of research and test results, and
  • an inventory of actual applications.

In addition, the publication describes several large-scale (rather than mass) technologies, which combine deacidification with paper strengthening (Bückeburg process, graft-copolymerization, paper-splitting, and the Vienna process).

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The report does not present recommendations in favor of one or another technique, but in a final section the author discusses the main issues in a critical evaluation of the possibilities of mass deacidification in general. The report was written for the nonspecialist who needs to be informed about the present state of mass deacidification research and applications. It includes an extensive bibliography and list of contacts.

In the U.S. and locations other than Europe, the Commission on Preservation and Access is serving as the publisher and distributor. Prepayment of $15.00 by check (U.S. funds) is required. Commission sponsors receive publications at no charge. The European Commission on Preservation and Access is distributing the report in Europe free of charge. 

Yale Presents New Findings from Project Open Book


ale University Library recently announced the publication of a new report on the digital image conversion of preservation microfilm. The 80-page report presents findings from the third phase of Project Open Book. In this phase, a demonstration project was to establish in a research library the capacity for large-scale conversion of preservation microfilm and to measure the quality, cost, and administrative complexities of such a capacity. This most recent project was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. [For reports of earlier phases, partially supported by the Commission, see two Commission publications, The Setup Phase of Project Open Book (6/94, 24pp.) and The Organizational Phase of Project Open Book (9/92, 11 pp.).]

In partnership with the Xerox Corporation, Yale built a networked, multi-workstation conversion system, recruited and trained three technical assistants, and converted 2,000 books to digital image files. The project incorporated a sophisticated study of the costs of the digital conversion process, the results of which are summarized in the report. Finally, the project resulted in the development of guidelines for cataloging image files in an online bibliographic system that permits direct access to images and indexes via the Internet. The new report’s appendices include samples of image quality and index structures, job descriptions for project staff, cost data, and image cataloging guidelines.

Conversion of Microfilm to Digital Imagery: A Demonstration Project. Performance Report on the Production Conversion Phase of Project Open Book. Paul Conway, Principal Investigator. New Haven: Yale University Library, August 1996. Available for $15.00 plus 6% Connecticut sales tax per volume. Shipping and handling is $4.00 per order. The Yale University Library can accept only checks or money orders for payment. They should be made out to Yale University Library–Project Open Book. Purchase orders or credit card orders cannot be accepted. Mail requests to: Paul Conway, Preservation Department, Yale University Library, PO Box 208240, New Haven, CT 06517. Orders may be faxed to (203) 432-1714.

— Adapted from Yale Library announcement

Pests and Preventive Preservation


he 12th Annual National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Preservation Conference will focus on new methods of preventing and treating insects and fungi in archives. “What Is Being Done to Control Insects and Mold Now that Systematic Fumigation Has Ended?” is scheduled for March 18, 1997, at the Archives II building, College Park, MD. Scheduled speakers include experts from the National Museum of Natural History, the Royal British Columbia Museum, and the Canadian Conservation Institute.

Since systematic fumigation ended a few years ago, there have been many developments in the prevention of insect and fungi infestations in archives. Recently, Integrated Pest Management has emerged as practical and affordable.

For a registration form: e-mail:; Fax: 301 713-6653; Mail: Conference Coordianator (NNP), National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD 20740-6001.

Commission & Council Annual Report

The Commission and Council have published their combined Annual Reportfor the period July 1, 1995 ­ June 30, 1996.

Complimentary copies have been sent to all Commission sponsors and to those on both organizations’ mailing lists. The report also will be accessible on the organizations’ Web sites.

The annual report combines the program activities of the two organizations into one narrative. In her introduction, President Deanna B. Marcum writes:

This is the time, we are convinced, to think about the information management structures that will be required for the twenty-first century. What must be in place to assure enduring and equitable access for scholars and researchers so that all that has been learned and thought and recorded becomes raw material for new knowledge in subsequent generations? ….

The report begins by acknowledging the support of foundations and sponsors. It includes sections on digital libraries, economics of information, leadership, preservation, the International Program, communications and publications, and collaborations. The appendices include financial reports, lists of the year’s publications and reports, grants and contracts, and members of the boards, committees and tasks forces, and staff.

The Commission and Council are making available printed copies of the reports at no charge, while supplies last. Requests for copies of Annual Report 1995-96 should be submitted by fax, e-mail, or letter to: Alex Mathews at the Commission/Council address.



he first meeting of the conjoint board of the Commission on Preservation and Access and the Council on Library Resources took place October 31, 1996, immediately following the annual meetings of each individual organization’s board. Among the developments and decisions:

  • The Commission and Council will operate pro tempore as amerged organization until legal documents are enacted. Legaldocuments to complete the merger will be drawn up for board actionin April 1997, with the merged organization to begin operations officially on July 1, 1997. The final name and mission statement of the merged organization will be developed between now and April 1997.
  • As described over the past year and explained in the 1995-1996 AnnualReport, the merged organization will encompass program areasof CPA and CLR, including leadership, digital libraries, economics ofinformation, preservation and access, international, and scholarly involvement.
  • The following officers were elected.
  • Chairman: Stanley Chodorow
  • Vice-Chairman: Marilyn Gell Mason
  • Secretary: David B. Gracy II
  • Treasurer: Dan Tonkery
  • Billy E. Frye was honored on his retirement from the CPA boardfor his role in founding the Commission and for his leadership aschair for the past nine years. Frye continues to serve on the CLRboard.
  • Upon the advice of the executive committee, the board approved afellowship program honoring A.R. Zipf, a pioneer in informationmanagement systems. The fellowship will be awarded annually to agraduate student who shows promise for leadership and technical achievement in information management. The fellowship reflects Mr. Zipf’s longstanding interest in assisting students and young professionals seeking education and training related to information science.
  • The board approved a Commission contract with the InternationalFederation of Library Associations and Institutions and its CoreProgramme for Preservation and Conservation to support jointpublication of the IFLA Principles for the Preservation and Conservation of Library Materials, as described below.
  • To support the work of the National Digital Library Federation,the board approved a Council grant to the Research Libraries Groupto prepare curriculum materials for use in training workshops, asdescribed below.

Finding Aids Workshops


he Council on Library Resources has awarded a grant to support training opportunities for librarians, archivists, and others who will be creating discovery and navigation tools for the digital images being created as part of digital library projects. The Research Libraries Group (RLG) will use the funding to hire trainers to conduct a series of regional training sessions for the broader community. The goal is to train a significant number of staff in what appears to be the most promising way to make large collections of primary materials accessible to scholars. The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation previously awarded a grant to RLG to support the development of the workshop curriculum.

RLG’s “Finding Aids SGML Training” project builds on earlier efforts at the University of California, Berkeley, to use Encoded Archival Description (a specialized form of Standard Generalized Markup Language) to convert printed finding aids that accompany primary resources collections to digital form. Many of these collections of unique manuscript and pictorial materials have not been cataloged in any level of detail. Converting these collections to digital form requires that the materials be indexed if they are to be searchable and retrievable.

The grant addresses an important dimension of one of the primary areas being investigated by the National Digital Library Federation Planning Task Force. 

IFLA Principles


he Commission will collaborate with IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) and its Core Programme for Preservation and Conservation (PAC) to revise, publish, and disseminate the IFLA Principles for the Preservation and Conservation of Library Materials.

The project approved by the conjoint board will involve both the International and the Preservation and Access Programs of the Commission and Council in helping prepare and distribute the revision. In its proposal, IFLA/PAC explained that the previous edition of the Principles has proved immensely useful, especially in developing countries, but that in light of fast-moving developments, a revision is now necessary.

The first version of the Principles was published in the IFLA Journal, 5 (1979). A revised and expanded version was published by IFLA in 1986 as Professional Report No. 8, with the intention to produce further versions when appropriate. Plans call for an update of the overall text and new chapters concerning photographs, audiovisual carriers, and digital formats. 

 NDLF Update
Planning Retreat Sets Course


he National Digital Library Federation held a planning retreat in September, attended by members of its Policy Committee (formerly Policy Board) and Planning Task Force. The members reached decisions concerning the appointment of an Acting Program Officer and recruitment of a Program Director (see below). Among other outcomes of the retreat, NDLF reached consensus that:

  • 1)NDLF should establish a mechanism for monitoring and assessing search and retrieval engines.
  • 2)Basic agreement by NDLF members on rights management and economic models must be reached for further progress to occur. This should be worked upon by the Rights workgroup.
  • 3)NDLF must define a process for the setting of and abidance to standards and best practices in the area of archiving digital corpora.
  • 4)NDLF should continue the work of the Policy Committee, Planning Task Force, and the three task-oriented work groups on Rights, Discovery/Retrieval, and Archiving.
  • 5)NDLF will recruit and select a permanent Program Director whose role will be proactive, coordinative, consultative, and results-oriented with regard to the mission of NDLF and the projects in which NDLF invests.
  • 6)NDLF will support a planning grant proposal for the Making of America, Part II digitization project. blueding.gif

Acting Program Officer Appointed


ony Angiletta, Assistant University Librarian for Collections at Stanford University, is serving as the Acting Program Officer of NDLF for a period of six months during the search to recruit a permanent Program Director. He was curator for Social Sciences and head of General Reference at Stanford from 1986-1991, and previously served as bibliographer for Social Sciences at Yale University and Assistant Professor of Political Science at Southern Connecticut State University. 

Recruitment for Program Director

A search committee comprised of four NDLF Policy Committee and Planning Task Force members has met and a job posting has been disseminated with the following text:

he National Digital Library Federation (NDLF), a group of research libraries dedicated to establishing, maintaining, expanding, and preserving a distributed collection of digital materials accessible by scholars at all levels, is seeking a Program Director to lead and manage its programs and projects. Reporting to the Policy Committee of the Federation through the President of the Council and Commission, the Program Director will play a critical role in charting a course for NDLF in its first years and in the formation and implementation of the Federation’s programs over time.
The Federation seeks candidates with significant experience in research libraries, higher education, or technology organizations; experience in digital library applications preferred; excellent communications, facilitation, and coordination skills; adeptness at working in decentralized and multi-institutional environments; demonstrated experience in successful program or project leadership and management; familiarity with electronic publishing and the information marketplace, and sufficient technical knowledge to enable effective coordination of tasks to be accomplished and make a contribution to program and project results.
Relocation to Washington, DC, desirable, but not required. Although a permanent appointment is preferred, a minimum two-year term appointment may be possible. Appointment date: April 1, 1997, or as soon as possible thereafter. Salary and benefits commensurate with experience. Applications received by December 15, 1996, will be given preference in consideration. Nominations and applications should be sent to: Search Committee for NDLF Program Director,1400 16th.St, NW, Suite 715, Washington, DC 20036.
For further information on NDLF activities,contact:
Tony Angiletta, Tel: 202 939-3369; Fax: 202 939-3499; E-mail:



Morino Institute Supports Work with Libraries, Community Information Networks

Reston, VA, November 4, 1996. The Morino Institute is pleased to announce that it has awarded a two-year grant to the Council on Library Resources to provide for the hosting, updating, and ongoing development of the Institute’s online Public Access Network Directory.

Public Access Networks are networked communications systems and information bases structured around public interest goals and focused on an individual community or geographic area. The Institute created the Directory in May, 1995, to help citizens, community service groups and others locate and connect with the hundreds of public access networks in operation today. The Council will be responsible for bringing the information up-to-date, and putting in place an outreach program to collect information on public interest/access networks.

Said Mario Morino, Chairman of the Morino Institute, “We are very excited about the plans to reach out to a much broader audience for inclusion in the Directory, as well as the establishment of an interdisciplinary advisory group who will recommend ways to make the Directory even more beneficial to individuals, organizations and communities.”

“The Directory of Public Access Networks is an important addition to the Kellogg project, which is focused on the role of public libraries in communities,” said Deanna Marcum, President of the Council and Commission. “These networks are an increasingly important part of community information and communication systems. Working on the project will help us bring these two groups together.” For more information, contact: Deanna Marcum, 202-939-3370; e-mail,; or Cheryl Collins, 703-620-8971; e-mail,

–Adapted from Morino Institute
Press Announcement

Public Library Case Studies to be Available

Public Libraries, Communities, and Technology: Twelve Case Studies will be issued by the Council on Library Resources in November 1996. With a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Council and Commission staff visited 12 public libraries in 1996 to document innovative uses of information technology to serve local communities. This publication describes each library’s approach to technology development and identifies commonalities among the sites that have implications for leadership. The 124-page document is available for $15.00, and it will be made available on the Web.

The Council’s Kellogg Program Advisory Committee selected the 12 libraries from among 293 responses to a call for participation. These responses may be viewed at


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