The Commission on Preservation and Access
Newsletter May 1989 Number 12
Libraries Explore Role in National Preservation Program The nine-member Mid-Sized Research Libraries Committee has met three times since its formation in October 1988. with its most recent meeting held on April 17, 1989. At its initial November 21, 1988, get-together, this group of 7 library directors, a preservation officer, and a representative of a preservation service looked at national program plans and then developed a series of options for possible mid-sized research library involvement. One of the options identified in November was coordination of the preservation of mid-sized research library collections, which, when taken together, form an important intellectual resource. To gather more background on alternatives, the committee arranged a meeting with George Farr, director of the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Preservation, on February 14, 1989. At that meeting, Farr briefed the committee on NEH plans and directions, stressing that the broadly based national program is open to all types and sizes of libraries. At its meeting last month, the committee began developing a theoretical model of a “Mid-Sized Research Library Preservation Service” which would enable mid-sized libraries to do their part to support national preservation efforts. A strength of mid-sized libraries, the committee agreed, is their ability to select prime candidates for preservation filming economically and quickly, because often their collections are centralized and their records are in machine-readable form. In addition, their selection process is dynamic, involving scholars, faculty, and librarians. However, most mid-sized libraries do not have the resources to prepare materials for filming or care for them after filming. Thus. a preservation service is seen as a set of pre- and post-filming activities–in addition to filming itself–to deal with the materials that are identified. For example, contractors might conduct detailed bibliographic searching, locate duplicate copies, online queuing, bibliographic control, preparation of target information and physical preparation for microfilming, the filming itself, and quality-control checking. The committee is investigating alternative operational models, including issues of membership, funding, governance, and workflow. When the committee meets in September 1989, it also will be exploring mid-sized library preservation education and training needs, options for helping to institutionalize preservation programs in mid-sized libraries, and their role in providing archival materials, special collections, and manuscripts to the national preservation program. Members of the Mid-Sized Research Libraries Committee are: Dale Canelas,University of Florida; Sheila Creth, University of Iowa; Joan Gotwals, Emory University; C. Lee Jones, Mid-Atlantic Preservation Service; Paula T. Kaufman (chair), University of Tennessee; Jan Merrill-Oldham, Preservation Department, University of Connecticut; Thomas J. Michalak, Carnegie-Mellon University; Manlyn J. Sharrow, University of California-Davis and David Stam, Syracuse University.
Society for Scholarly
Publishing Exhibit on Preservation The 11th Annual Meeting of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) will include an exhibit on the national preservation program organized by the Commission and the New York Public Library. Three hundred of SSP’s 1300 members are expected to attend the May 31–June 2, 1989, meeting at the Washington (DC) Hilton Hotel. SSP was founded in 1978 to enhance the general level of professionalism in scholarly publishing and to find solutions to common problems. Its members include scholars, editors, publishers, librarians, printers, and booksellers.
More On Slow
Fires As first reported in the March 1989 Newsletter, the film Slow Fires, which tells the story of the deterioration of our world’s intellectual heritage due to acid-based paper, was one of 29 films selected from more than 150 nominations to be shown at the Council on Foundation’s ninth annual Film and Video Festival April 9-12 in Toronto. The half-hour version was aired twice on closed-circuit television and at a public screening area where more than 1,700 grantmakers gathered during the 40th annual conference of the Council. The festival was designed to encourage and recognize grantmakers’ use of film and video to communicate messages important to their priorities and programs. Information on how to obtain the film and video is available from the Commission.
Preserving the millions of already embrittled books and preventing further loss of our accumulated heritage are not problems amenable to a quick fix; years of research. effort and special funding will be required. from Library Issues: Briefings for Faculty and Administrators, V9 n4, March 1989. Ann Arbor, Ml: Mountainside Publishing Co.
The Ethics of Preservation
to be Addressed in Spring 1989 Educational Record The American Council on Education’s quarterly publication, Educational Record, will feature a series of discussions on ethics in higher education in its Spring 1989 issue. One of the articles scheduled to appear, co-authored by Patricia Battin and Maxine Sitts, presents a case for the preservation of library materials as a national ethical imperative. “As a key to preserving an atmosphere for learning, institutions of higher education have a moral responsibility to preserve the great book collections in their libraries,” the article contends. At first glance, the book preservation problem may seem similar to that of building maintenance. Book collections at a university are no doubt its largest capital asset so it makes good financial sense to maintain them. The replacement costs of books–if indeed they can be replaced at all–only will become greater as time goes on. But even more important is the ethical imperative to act now. A university can survive without a building; it cannot survive without books. The American Council on Education, founded in 1918. is the nation’s major coordinating body for postsecondary education. Through voluntary and cooperative actions, the Council provides comprehensive leadership for improving education standards, policies, procedures, and services.
Commission on Preservation
Herbert S. Bailey, Jr., Retires
Herbert S. Bailey, Jr., director emeritus of the Princeton University Press and a founding member of the Commission, will retire from the Commission effective July 27, 1989. As a member of the university press community, Bailey made an effective contribution to the work of the Commission and to the cause of preservation generally. He has long understood the close ties between libraries and publishing and has served as an effective spokesperson for articulating the concerns of librarians and publishers to each other. Work on the ACLS Committee on Scholarly Communication amplified his voice in both camps, and his subsequent work as Chairman of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity did much to stimulate the current and flourishing preservation movement. At their May meeting, Commission members acknowledged Bailey’s contributions for preservation efforts and his service to the Commission.
Donald S. Lamm Appointed
Donald S. Lamm, Chairman and President of W.W. Norton £. Company, has accepted the Commission’s invitation to serve as a member and representative of the publishing industry. Lamm joined W.W. Norton £ Company in 1956 as a college representative. In 1960, he became (and remains) an editor, and from ]968 to 1976 he served as vice president. He was appointed president in 1976, and was named chairman in 1984. He also serves as director of W.W. Norton &, Company, Ltd., London, Liveright Publishing Corporation, and the National Book Company, Scranton, PA. Lamm is president of the Board of Governors of the Yale University Press and is on the Board of Directors of Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. He was a guest fellow at Yale University, his alma mater, in 1980 and 1985, and was the Ida Beam distinguished visiting professor at the University of Iowa in 1987-88. Lamm will join the Commission at its July 27, 1989, meeting
Advisory Committee Fully Constituted; Holds First Meeting An initial meeting of the Technology Assessment Advisory Committee (TAAP) was held May 11 to set an agenda for exploring technologies with potential for preservation activities. As constituted by Chair Rowland C. W. Brown, the committee includes the following representatives of business and higher education: Douglas van Houweling, Vice Provost for Information Technologies, University of Michigan; Michael Lesk, Division Manager, Computer Sciences Research, Bellcore: M. Stuart Lynn, Vice President for Computing and Information Systems, Cornell University; Dr. Robert Spinrad, Director of Corporate Technology, Xerox Corporation; and Dr. Robert L. Street, Vice President for Information Resources, Stanford University. See the March 1989 Newsletter (No. 10) for more information on this committee. Personnel Note: Rowland C. W. Brown, Chair of the Technology Assessment Advisory Committee, has been named Technical Person of the Year by the Columbus Technical Council, an organization of 8,000 engineers, scientists, and technicians. Brown served for nine years as president and CEO of OCLC Online Computer Library Center in Dublin, Ohio, before retiring in January 1989. The Technical Person of the Year award has been given since 1957 on the basis of character, competence, service to the profession, and community service.
Philosophy Scholars Take
Preliminary Look at Preservation Needs Broad categories of materials considered prime candidates for preservation microfilming were identified by the Scholarly Advisory Committee on Philosophy during its initial meeting April 25. All seven members representing various philosophy specialties were in attendance (see below). The small number of philosophy scholars, as compared to many other disciplines, may somewhat simplify the process of developing selection criteria, the group noted. In a first look at preservation needs, journals received top-priority status, with agreement that complete runs of U.S. journals published between 1850 and 1920 are of prime importance. Outside the U.S., the group suggested high priority for Western Europe and acknowledged the need for future evaluation of non-U.S. materials. The committee also identified relatively low-priority categories such as newspapers, ephemera, and government documents. The selection of monographs might well be carried out with the cooperation of the many specialized societies within the American Philosophical Association (APA), according to the committee. A number of individuals, universities, and philosophy centers were suggested for future consultation. The Commission was urged to sponsor an information booth at the APA conference scheduled for December 28-30, 1989, in Atlanta. Initial meetings of the Scholarly Advisory Committees involve very preliminary discussions over a wide range of subjects. No formal minutes are kept and no conclusions are reached. Over the next several months, participants will be consulting with colleagues as they develop suggestions for selecting materials for preservation. Committee Members: Jo Ann Boydston, Southern Illinois University; Edwin Curley, University of Illinois, Chicago; John McDermott, Texas A£.M University; Charles Young, Claremont Graduate School; Richard Burian, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Norman Kretzmann, Cornell University; Jerome Schneewind, Johns Hopkins University (Chair).
for Preservation: A New APPA-Commission Task Force The Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA) and the Commission are establishing a joint Task Force on Environmental Conditions to develop a training course for facilities managers covering the preservation-related needs of college and university libraries. The curriculum will become a part of an active training program operated by the APPA for its members. The curriculum is expected to cover administrative issues such as asset management, as well as daily operational issues such as maintenance of temperature and humidity controls. In addition to conducting the training session itself, APPA also will be preparing an extensive resource notebook for participants. The three Commission representatives to the task force are Patti McClung, Research Libraries Group, Inc.; Don Kelsey, University of Minnesota; and Joel Clemmer, Macalester College. The APPA also plans to publish an article on the management of library buildings and preservation of their collections in an upcoming issue of its quarterly magazine, Facilities Manager. The Commission has asked Carolyn Harris, School of Library Services, Columbia University, to write the article, which will be the first on this topic to appear in the magazine. The APPA, based in Alexandria, Va., was founded in 1914. Its purpose is to develop professional standards in the administration, care, operation, planning, and development of physical plants used in colleges and universities.
On the Hill: Preservation
LSCA Support for Public Library Preservation
During his National Library Week speech, House Postsecondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Pat Williams (D-MT) referred to the April 11 LSCA reauthorization hearing where, he said, … we learned about some of the new challenges facing libraries that need to be addressed in the upcoming reauthorization.” He devoted the rest of his statement to the preservation problem caused by acid-based paper, and noted he had introduced H.J.Res. 226 to establish a national policy on the use of permanent papers. Rep. Williams concluded:
Public libraries are important to this preservation effort. In addition to their holdings of books and publications, many public libraries maintain historic materials for their local communities. I believe that the Library Services and Construction Act would be the appropriate vehicle to support our public libraries in this effort. Witnesses testifying at the joint hearing recommended that Title 111 of the LSCA be amended to include funding for preservation activities. This would allow State Library agencies to educate local libraries on basic preservation techniques as well as provide limited dollars for the preservation of certain materials. This recommendation should be given careful consideration by the Congress.(As reported by the American Library Association Washington Newsletter
April 25, 1989)
Permanent Paper Progress
Several Senators and Representatives agreed during National Library Week Legislative Day visits on April 11 to cosponsor SJ.Res. 57 and H.J.Res. 226–measures to establish a national policy to promote and encourage the printing of books and other publications of enduring value on alkaline, permanent paper. In the past month, the number of cosponsors of Pat Williams’ H.J.Res. 226 has grown from six to 16. Senator Claiborne Pell’s SJ.Res. 57 now has 32 cosponsors. Many more cosponsors are needed. The April 25, 1989, edition of the ALA Washington Newsletter carries a list of cosponsors as of April 26. If your Representatives and Senators are not included, please urge them to contact Williams and Pell.
Paper and Print Preservation Hearing
On May 4, the House Subcommittee on Science, Research and Technology chaired by Rep. Doug Walgren (D-PA), held a hearing on preservation of print. The first witness was Senator Pell, speaking in support of S.J.Res. 57 and the House companion measure. The standards for paper, especially for durability and strength, also were addressed. The hearing also considered EPA regulations that mandate federal agency use of recycled paper and the impact, if any, on the use of permanent paper for publications.
ARL Training to Assist
Libraries in Preservation Program Development As part of an ongoing effort to help libraries plan for and initiate coordinated long-term preservation programs, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has completed a Preservation Consultant Workshop for 16 preservation administrators, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Preservation. The workshop was an opportunity for the preservation specialists to develop skills in identifying and diagnosing library problems; study concepts of library training and consultation; and gain a better understanding of the Preservation Planning Program operated by the Office of Management Services (OMS). The 16 participants, who will be working with the OMS on several consulting assignments, are: Jennifer Banks, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Wesley Boomgaarden, Ohio State University; Connie Brooks, Stanford University; Sherry Byrne, University of Chicago; Margaret Child, Smithsonian Institution; Michele Cloonan, Brown University; Bonnie Rose Curtain, NAGARA Preservation Project; Robert DeCandido, New York Public Library; Richard Frieder, Northwestern University; Deborah McKern, Emory University; Barclay Ogden, University of California-Berkeley; Lorraine Olley, Indiana University; Richard Peek, Columbia University; Vanessa Piala, Smithsonian Institution; Merrily Smith, Library of Congress; and Karen Turko, University of Toronto. This effort is one of a number of programs developed by ARL to help institutionalize preservation as a vital component of library and archive operations on a continuing basis.
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
Maxine K. Sitts–Program Officer, EditorPatricia Battin–President
Maxine K. Sitts–Program Officer, Editor Pamela D. Block–Administrative Assistant Return to CLIR Home Page >>