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CPA Newsletter #100, Jun 1997

Commission on Preservation and Access

The Commission on Preservation and Access

Newsletter June 1997 Number 100

Preservation Field Services Cooperate with Outreach


reservation field services located throughout the United States are responsible for providing a variety of resources to thousands of institutions and individuals. Each service produces educational materials and conducts training events geared to the needs of its region. When viewed as a whole, however, the combined offerings of these services can provide an even more powerful capacity to meet the nation’s needs for preservation action.

To facilitate broader sharing of this knowledge and expertise, the Commission is sponsoring a one-year demonstration project. For the next 12 months, field services will test methods for sharing their information more widely. One such method is a “Regional Alliance for Preservation” newsbrief, which will be written and distributed cooperatively by the field services. Preservation administrators on the Commission’s mailing list will find a copy of the first newsbrief (May 1997) included with this newsletter. Others wishing a copy may contact any of the field services listed below. A shared Website also is under development.

The participants are all funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). They are:

The AMIGOS Preservation Service
AMIGOS Bibliographic Council, Inc.

Tom Clareson or Steve Smith
12200 Park Central Dr., Suite 500
Dallas, TX 75251-2104
(800) 843-8482 or (972) 851-8000 * Fax: (972) 991-6061
E-mail: or

The Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts

Virgilia Rawnsley, Director of Preservation Services
Susan W. DuBois, Preservation Services Representative
264 South 23rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 545-0613 * FAX (215) 735-9313

The Northeast Document Conservation Center

Steve Dalton, Director of Field Service
100 Brickstone Square, 4th Floor
Andover, MA 01810-1494
(508) 470-1010 * Fax (508) 475-6021
E-mail: or

The Southeastern Library Network Preservation Services

Julie Arnott, Manager, Preservation Services
Christine Wiseman, Preservation Field Service Officer
Sharla Richards, Preservation Field Service Officer
1438 W. Peachtree St., NW, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30309-2955
(800) 999-8558 and (404) 892-0943 * Fax: (404) 892-7879

To help plan the project, the Commission organized a meeting of field service officers, a preservation consultant, and a representative of the NEH Division of Preservation and Access in February 1997. The group agreed that developing more coordinated communication would enable the service providers to:

  • share training materials and educational programs more fully,
  • eliminate redundant training and publishing activities,
  • take advantage of subject strengths of individual centers,
  • develop a supportive infrastructure in the face of reducedNEH funding;
  • coordinate fund-raising efforts, and
  • provide a larger array of high-quality services and materials to their clients.

Toward the end of the project, the informal Regional Alliance for Preservation will explore the feasibility of continuing and expanding their cooperative efforts. The goal is to develop productive working arrangements among the services so that the newsletter and Web communications can continue beyond the demonstration period. In addition, if the demonstration is successful, the original participants may wish to invite others to join the effort. The Commission sees this as a particularly opportune time to assist such outreach activity, which contributes to our combined efforts to preserve preserve important components of our nation’s cultural heritage.

76 University Administrators Urge Funding for NEH

I n a joint letter sent May 14, 1997, to key members of the House and Senate, 76 university presidents and chancellors have expressed strong support for continued funding of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). In its defense of NEH as a federal agency with broad impact on the civic life of the nation, the letter states, “[NEH] is taking the lead in preserving rare books and newspapers, and it finances the preparation of authoritative editions of the papers of Washington, Jefferson, and other presidents and leading Americans.”

“The NEH’s national programs, which support activities involving universities, are now operating at 40 percent of their fiscal year 1995 level. It is our hope that you will be able to find the resources to preserve, and begin to rebuild the NEH.”

Noting that, apart from colleges and universities, the NEH is the largest sponsor of the humanities, the letter also affirms, “the federal government has an essential leadership role in supporting the humanities, and it is clear that neither states nor the private sector has the incentive to fill the broad role of NEH.” The joint letter, developed through the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), was sent as the House and Senate Budget Committees were preparing to draft their respective FY’98 budget resolutions. Cornelius J. Pings, President of AAU, has been a member of the Commission board of directors since October 1993. — Adapted from May 14,1997, Press Release, AAU/NASULGC, Washington, DC

European Meeting on Paper Preservation Upholds ECPA Mission

O n March 20-22, 1997, a European Meeting on Paper Preservation was held in the National Library of the Netherlands (Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague), organised by the Dutch Government. The meeting was attended by government officials, archivists, librarians, and scientists representing the European Union (EU)-member states, as well as by representatives from international organizations. The participants emphasized the need to implement urgent preservation measures in order to guarantee optimal long-term access to the substantial paper collections in archives and libraries, which will continue to be of essential importance in the information society. Although they acknowledged that the primary responsibility for the preservation of their own national cultural heritage lies with the individual EU-member states, participants concluded that large-scale preservation requires broad cooperation in research, training and education, development of registers of preserved materials, and awareness-raising. The steps already taken with regard to international cooperation in the preservation of archival and library materials, such as the activities of IFLA’s International Core Programme for Preservation and Conservation, the International Council on Archives, and the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme, were endorsed. Participants stressed the need to intensify support for the European Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA) in its mission to further collaboration between libraries, archives and allied organisations to ensure preservation of the European printed and written cultural heritage. Likewise they called for wider participation from member states in the European Register of Microform Masters (EROMM), thereby enhancing its function to avoid duplication of efforts. Participants asked the Council of European Ministers of Culture to ensure that existing and new initiatives, such as the proposed programme Raphael (DG-X), recognize the importance of long-term access to information. The Meeting recommended that the Council of European Ministers initiate action on the following priorities:

1. Establish, on the basis of the framework already provided by the ECPA, a permanent clearinghouse function, to be maintained for the dissemination of information and exchange of experience on research as well as national and international policies and practices in the field of preservation.
2. Initiate a concerted action of different parties from the private and public sector (publishers, manufacturers of paper and other media, preservation suppliers, archivists, librarians) in order to stimulate innovative and competitive solutions to ensure the permanence and accessibility of information preserved in archives and libraries.
3. Develop and implement a broad promotional campaign across Europe to enhance awareness of the risks threatening the memory of Europe and the need for action to guarantee optimal long-term access to the paper collections in archives and libraries in the information society.

— Adapted from ECPA Announcement

LC Holds Second Annual Preservation Awareness Day

M ore than 500 librarians and members of the public visited the Library of Congress (LC) on April 15 for its second annual Preservation Awareness Day. The Commission expanded its participation this year by featuring its “New Technologies” display and showing the video Slow Fires. Alex Mathews, of the Commission staff, demonstrated the CPA Web site. The daylong workshop, which was free and open to the public, was co-sponsored by LC’s Center for the Book and the Preservation Directorate as part of National Library Week. The Commission’s exhibits and copies of Slow Fires are available for use by libraries, archives, and other institutions involved in preserving the cultural heritage. There is a nominal handling fee for non-sponsors.

For more information, contact Alex Mathews, E-mail:

Preservation Graphics Still Available

S everal years ago, the American Library Association (ALA) developed a tip kit and associated graphics to promote preservation awareness. Although these items are no longer in the ALA catalog, the bookmarks, posters and pamphlet are still available.

 Going... A “Going, Going, Gone” pamphlet, which describes the problem of disintegrating paper and books and suggests ways individuals can help solve the problem, is available in groups of 100/$24.00. Order number: 0X00000558. The Commission supported a printing of this pamphlet. Bookmarks are available in bundles of 200/$7.00. Order number: 0X00000557.

 Going, Posters, or banners, measuring 11″ x 34″, are available in three styles, each featuring a different book title. All banners are $4.00 each.

  • “Handful of Dust” order number: 0X00000554.
  • “Gone with the Wind” order number: 0X00000555.
  • “Invisible Man” order number: 0X0000056.

 Gone All can be ordered directly from ALA Customer Service at 800-545-2433 (press 7) or call Janet Darata at 800-545-2433 x1537, particularly for bulk orders. There is a minimum order of $30.

Historical Collections Slated for Digital Access

T en libraries from across the United States have been given awards totaling $600,000 through a partnership between the Library of Congress and Ameritech to digitize historically significant American collections and make them available for the first time via the Internet from the Library’s American Memory site. The library collections include :

  • Brown University, Providence, RI. Consists of 1,500pieces of African-American sheet music from 1870 to 1920.
  • Denver Public Library, Denver. The History of theAmerican West, 1860-1920 materials include 7,500 photos documenting the lives of the Plains, Mountain and Southwestern tribes of Native Americans and the mining booms in Colorado.
  • Duke University, Durham, NC. Consists of 3,000pieces of historic American sheet music from the period 1850-1920.
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., for AmericanLandscape and Architectural Design, 1850-1920. These materials consist of 2,500 lantern slide images assembled to support teaching and student presentations in the field of architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning.
  • New York Public Library, New York City, for SmallTown America: Stereoscopic Views from the Dennis Collection,1850-1910. Includes 11,552 stereoscopic views representing the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
  • North Dakota State University, Fargo, for TheNorthern Great Plains, 1880-1920. Includes more than 900 images documenting the settlement and agricultural development of the Northern Great Plains.
  • Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, for TheAfrican-American Experience in Ohio, 1850-1920. These 22,000 pages of text and images focus on slavery and emancipation, religion, public opinion, and political action.
  • University of Chicago, Chicago, for AmericanEnvironmental Photographs, 1897-1931. Includes 5,800 photographic images documenting natural environments, ecologies, and plant communities in their original state throughout the United States.
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, forFirst-Person Narratives of the American South, 1860-1920. This compilation of 100 printed texts documents the culture of the 19th century American South from the viewpoint of Southerners and includes diaries,autobiographies, memoirs, travel accounts and ex-slave narratives.
  • University of Texas, Austin, for The South TexasBorder, 1900-1920. Materials consist of 8,241 photographs of northeastern Mexico and the South Texas border area, including images of the diverse ethnic groups living in the area, military preparation for the Mexican Revolution and World War I, and the natural and built environment.

Additional information on the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition is available at: the Library’s Web site URL:, the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition Web site URL:, and the Ameritech Web site URL:

The Commission distributes this newsletter to selected organizations and individuals around the world. Distribution is limited to sponsors and key constituencies working to provide enduring and equitable access to the historical and cultural heritage. For information on becoming a sponsor, contact the Commission headquarters.

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.

Deanna B. Marcum–President James M. Morris–Vice President Maxine K. Sitts–Program Officer, Editor

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