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CLIR Annual Report: 1999 – 2000


International Developments

This year, as in previous years, CLIR’s international projects emphasized building preservation awareness and capacity by supporting the translation of preservation texts and training in preservation management. Although these projects are linked implicitly with some of the themes in CLIR’s evolving agenda, in the future more CLIR initiatives will be designed with an explicit international component.

Preservation Awareness in Brazil

In November 1999, CLIR published Building Preservation 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, supported by CLIR with funds from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, trained more than 3,600 staff members from libraries, archives, and museums throughout that country in basic preservation procedures.

Capacity Building in South Africa

Under contract with CLIR, the Northeast Document Conservation Center conducted preservation-management training in Cape Town, South Africa. The workshop, held in March 2000, included site visits to major libraries and archives in the Cape Town area to conduct preservation assessments. A local coordinating committee headed by Lesley Hart, archivist at the University of Cape Town Library, organized the workshop, which was intended to provide practical training in how to assess collections for preservation treatment and to establish a structure for effective, sustained efforts led by South Africans. Twenty people representing diverse institutions from throughout the country, from the Fort Hare Library to the Ulundi Archives in Kwazulu–Natal, attended the workshop.

Survey of Preservation Science Research

An increased awareness of the vulnerability of much of the world’s cultural heritage has led to a proliferation of research on preservation science. Researchers and research institutes are making significant efforts to supply conservators and restorers with properly tested means to treat individual artifacts as well as means for mass conservation. Although such research is reported regularly, it has not been compiled in an easily accessible overview.

Under contract with CLIR, the Royal Library of the Netherlands agreed to produce a survey of recent significant research in preservation science. The survey’s principal investigators are Henk Porck, preservation scientist at the Royal Library, and consultant René Teygeler. The survey, to include extensive references and contact information, will be copublished by CLIR and the European Commission on Preservation and Access in autumn 2000.

Access to Manuscripts and Archives

CLIR is sponsoring a group of American archivists and librarians, working in collaboration with German counterparts, to explore the adaptation of encoded archival description (EAD) for international exchange. This project, expected to extend over one year, is also receiving funding from the German research consortium, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. If successful, the result will be not only a pilot for German-American exchange of records but also a template that can be used for further development of EAD in non-U.S. collections.

Translation of EAD Standards into Spanish

CLIR awarded funds to the University of California at Berkeley (UC-Berkeley) to oversee the translation of EAD standards into Spanish and the production and distribution of 1,000 copies of the standards. The Spanish translation will be finished in time to be distributed gratis at the XIV International Congress of Archivists in Seville in September 2000. UC-Berkeley is working with the Fundación Historica Tavera, in Madrid, which is hiring and supervising the translators and is providing matching funds.

The texts to be translated are Encoded Archival Description Tag Library, Version 1.0, and Encoded Archival Description Application Guidelines, Version 1.0, both published by the Society of American Archivists; and The Encoded Archival Description Retrospective Conversion Guidelines: A Supplement to the EAD Tag Library and EAD Guidelines, published by UC-Berkeley.

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