CLIR Publishes Building Preservation Knowledge in Brazil

CLIR Publishes Building Preservation Knowledge in Brazil


For Immediate Release November 29, 1999

Contact: Kathlin Smith 202-939-4754

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has published Building Preservation and Knowledge in Brazil, by Ingrid Beck, director of preservation at the National Archives of Brazil. The report describes a highly successful project to mobilize preservation awareness and action throughout Brazil.

The project, which has trained more than 3,600 staff members from libraries, archives, and museums throughout the country, began in 1996 and will end phase II of its activities next year. The report shows how a core group of committed individuals organized a “grass roots” effort in preservation so broad and effective that it reached parts of Amazonia accessible only by boat. In 1998, the Brazilian government recognized the project by awarding it the prestigious Rodrigo Melo Franco de Andrade, the country’s highest award for achievement in cultural heritage.

In his foreword to the report, CLIR’s Director of International Developments Hans Rüttiman notes that the project had a modest beginning. It started as a request to the Commission on Preservation and Access (later incorporated by CLIR) to help support the translation of important preservation literature into Portuguese. It then grew to include workshops and the creation of a national preservation database and a preservation map of Brazil, thanks to significant support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Vitae. The preservation map may be viewed at

Mr. Rüttiman notes that, while it is unwise to assume that a single blueprint can be applied to all countries, the project had certain characteristics that are fundamental to the success of large-scale preservation efforts. They include “complete dedication and hard work by a group of individuals, the careful selection of regional coordinators who continue and enlarge the work locally and regionally, and steady support and contact to assure these regional coordinators that their efforts contribute to a national, and even international, effort.”

The report includes a section entitled “Lessons Learned and Recommendations,” as well as appendixes that provide a list of translated titles, the database questionnaire used to survey more than 16,000 institutions, and a listing of collaborative institutions and work group members.

Building Preservation Knowledge in Brazil is available from the Council on Library and Information Resources for $15 prepaid, including postage and handling. Checks should be made payable to CLIR and mailed to CLIR Publication Orders, 1755 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 500, Washington, D.C., 20036-2124. Credit card orders may be placed by calling CLIR at 202-939-4750, sending a fax to 202-939-4765, or sending e-mail to A complete list of publications appears on CLIR’s Web site,

The Council on Library and Information Resources works in partnership with libraries, archives, and other information providers to advocate collaborative approaches to preserving the nation’s intellectual heritage and strengthening the many components of its information system. It works to support institutions as they integrate audiovisual and digital resources and services into their well-established print-based environments.