The Commission on Preservation and Access
Newsletter July 1988 Number 2
Commission is Incorporated
as Independent Nonprofit Organization On July 1, the Commission was created as a separate nonprofit corporation in the District of Columbia. The move, foreseen in the Brittle Books document that resulted in the creation of the Commission in 1986, followed approval by the Board of Directors of the Council on Library Resources, Inc. The Commission will remain in its present offices under a lease agreement with CLR. The Board of Directors of the new organization includes the present ten Commission members and President Patricia Battin. The members are: Billy Frye, Chairman; Millicent Abell, Herbert Bailey, James Govan, Vartan Gregorian, Kenneth Gros Louis, Warren J. Haas, Carole Huxley, Sidney Verba, and William Welsh. The Commission is funded by grants and pledges from several universities and foundations; under its charter, the Commission will continue to solicit funding for research and development projects to support its general goal of preservation of the human record in all formats, and its current specific goal of fostering a nation-wide, collaborative preservation microfilming program to save a significant portion of deteriorating materials in research and university libraries.
Funding Increase for N.E.H.
Office of Preservation? As of early July, Congressional action to increase funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Office of Preservation was still pending. The increase as passed by the full House of Representatives in June would lift the Office’s budget by $8 million, to $12.5 million for the coming fiscal year. A House-Senate Conference Committee was to be named by mid-July. If approved, the increase would launch a large-scale nation-wide preservation microfilming program administered by the Endowment.
Research Libraries Group
Endorses National Program The Board of Governors of the Research Libraries Group (RLG), at its June 17 meeting, formally endorsed the national, collaborative preservation microfilming program as proposed to Congress in support of increased funding for N.E.H. The Board also approved RLG participation in implementing such a program should Congress approve the new funds. RLG has had extensive experience in cooperative microfilming programs, many of which have been funded by the Endowment with matching funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. RLG also reported that its RLIN network is sharing master microfilm records with OCLC, and that with the inclusion of 75,000 OCLC records, there are now 150,000 master microform records in the both the RLIN and OCLC databases, thus providing complete capability in either database for filming institutions to learn whether an item has been filmed.
Contract to Explore
Copyright Implications in Microfilming The Commission has commissioned Robert Oakley, Law Librarian of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., to explore the statutory and legal aspects of the rights to microfilm deteriorating library materials that may be out of print, beyond the period of copyright, or within copyright but with unclear or unknown copyright provenance. Oakley will also provide an analysis of the constraints and opportunities for subsequent use of microfilm copies by scholars through sale, loan or transmission, and suggest mechanisms by which royalties might be paid to rightful owners of copyright without the necessity of negotiating a separate agreement for each item filmed.
Use of Acid-Free Paper in
Trade Publications At its June 21 meeting, the Commission endorsed a letter from member Herbert Bailey to Association of American Publishers President Nicholas Veliotes, encouraging the use of acid-free paper in trade publications and suggesting the establishment of an AAP working committee to consider appropriate responses. At a meeting with Bailey and Commission President Battin, Veliotes agreed to pursue the issue.
Brittle Books: An Asset
“A key part of understanding what is at stake in the brittle book issue is to recognize the enormous contribution both public and private universities have made over the decades to our nation’s well-being by developing and supporting distinctive research collections. That contribution has not been to scholarship alone, but to the American people at large. Brittle books and the papers and manuscripts decaying in our archives represent a major social problem of concern to all of us. The brittle paper problem is indeed a problem of societal, and not just library-world, dimensions. Therefore, the brittle book problem represents a serious threat to a fundamental national asset–an asset that undergirds our common knowledge, our symbolic code, perhaps as no other does. For within this national asset are the parts of our common knowledge that cannot be related to us except through books and documents in our libraries and archives–because the narrators and speakers and players are long dead.”From Congressional testimony on behalf of increased funding
for preservation microfilming by N.E.H. by Patricia Battin, March 17, 1988. Note to readers: As stated in the first issue, the Newsletter is being sent to library directors and provosts of Association of Research Library member institutions and allied organizations. Recipients are encouraged to copy and distribute the contents to their staffs; the Commission regrets it cannot, for economic reasons, respond to multiple requests for subscriptions from the same institution.
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
Peter Winterble–Program Officer Pamela D. Block–Administrative Assistant Return to CLIR Home Page >>