University of Pennsylvania Libraries
September 1991

Commission Preface

Early last year, the Commission contracted with the University of Pennsylvania and the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) to generate guidelines and collect data applicable to other institutions as part of a larger preservation project being undertaken at the university. The larger project, funded partly by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, had two major goals. The first was the formulation of a plan for the preservation of the university’s collections using a broad, strategic approach that considers not only local needs, but also regional and national programs. The second goal was the development of a management strategy to enable a small internal staff to work in concert with regional preservation service organizations, which would supply the resources needed by the university to operate its preservation program. This final report, assembled by Peter G. Sparks who served as the project’s consultant, is being distributed on a complimentary basis to the Commission’s mailing list. Additional copies are available at no charge while supplies last.

The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Science-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials ANSI Z39.48-1984.


I. Introductory Remarks

This report reviews both the accomplishments and the setbacks of the University of Pennsylvania Library’s Preservation Planning Project, believing that other institutions can best learn from a report that is explicit about what worked and what needed improvement.

In the fall of 199 Robert J. Strauss (Director of the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts), Paul H. Mosher (Vice Provost and Director of Libraries at the University of Pennsylvania), and Peter G. Sparks (former Director for Preservation at the Library of Congress) met to discuss a project that would explore new ideas for planning and operating a preservation program for the Penn Library. A proposal for support of this project was funded in January 1990 by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Commission on Preservation and Access, and the Penn Library. The project was scheduled to start in June of 1990 and to be completed in twelve months.

The Commission was interested in publishing a report on the two new management ideas to be explored in the project; it was less interested in documenting the development of the information that would allow the Penn Library actually to begin their long-awaited formal preservation program. This was understandable, since the elements of the planning process itself were not necessarily new to the library field. However, in practice, several aspects of the planning process did generate approaches and products new enough to be worth reporting, so that other institutions might be able to adapt them for their own programs.

II. The Initial Project Concept

A standard approach to starting a new preservation program in a large research library has been to mount an internally-managed, institution-wide preservation planning effort for a period of about one year, followed by a longer-term build-up of full-time internal staff with its own space and equipment. This approach has led to doing most of the preservation work in-house, while contracting out for library binding and, in some cases, reformatting. However, in many libraries today, developing an internally-staffed preservation program is not possible, because such an extensive program cannot be financed when the library’s budget is tight and can be expected to remain tight. Moreover, many libraries have found that the establishment of new preservation programs–other than ad hoc binding or reformatting projects–must compete with other capital-intensive priorities such as automation efforts, improved physical facilities, and improved delivery mechanisms. Furthermore, many preservation processes, which at one time were only available if provided locally, are now available from commercial or other volume providers.

It is apparent that interest in library preservation has reached a stage at many institutions where some alternative approaches to planning and program organization could be tried. The Penn Library Preservation Planning Project explored the possibilities of a flexible management strategy to minimize in-house staffing, optimize capacity to use fluctuating library resources, concentrate costs on work products rather than internal overhead, and otherwise et more preservation work done with the limited funds in hand. This project also took a broader approach to planning, utilizing the kind of strategic approach that considers relevant options and trade-offs as different decisions are considered.

The first goal was the feasibility of an organizational plan that would put the preservation effort at the Penn Library under the direction of a small, well-qualified internal staff of one or two persons and would contract out most hands-on preservation work, some program planning, and some mid-level management tasks to qualified regional preservation service organizations. In this way, the need for long-term commitments to internal preservation staff, space and equipment would be minimized; funds could then be optimized by reducing paying for treatment services instead of overhead expenses. Levels of contracted work would fluctuate somewhat with the yearly budget and fundraising success, more getting done in some years than in others, but the overall preservation effort would move steadily forward year after year on many fronts. This approach has been used successfully in limited ways by institutions that contract out for binding and reformatting, but it has not been developed in a more comprehensive way for all of a library’s preservation needs.

The time seemed right for this kind of contract-based project, since the outside regional service organizations have never been as fully developed as they are at the present time. In addition, the regional service organizations need to develop new business opportunities in order to survive in the l990’s.

The second goal in this project was to see if a strategic planning approach could be used to assist in designing a preservation plan for the Penn Library’s collection. Such a plan would consider not only collection condition and the single institution’s needs, but also local, regional, and national preservation programs and needs as well as newly available technologies, in order to choose in a strategic way the best long-term treatment options for various types of collections

III. Project Objectives

At the outset the planning team envisioned three objectives, and by the end of the project it was apparent to us that there was a fourth.

  1. Determine the feasibility of using various external service contractors to carry out specific program activities including program planning, collection preservation activities, and treatment of collection materials.
  2. Determine where and how strategic planning could be used in organizing preservation program activities.
  3. Develop the level of information and organization required to start up a preservation program at the Penn Library.
  4. Evaluate a consultant-managed planning project.

IV. Project Organization

We divided the proposed planning project into nine specific tasks, which are explained briefly below in their order of execution. The proposed full-time equivalent staffing was about one and one-half “man-years,” and the time for completion of the entire project was one year. Project organization and a timeline are given in figures 1 and 2.

Task 1. Heighten Staff and User Awareness.
We started this task first because the support and understanding of many library staff members would be needed to insure the success of the project. We developed a plan to inform various groups of staff and library users about the project and the project timeline. This plan was implemented throughout the entire project.
Task 2. Define the Collections.
Assemble a body of information about the collections that could be used in program planning, evaluating collection needs and preserving each specific collection. We wanted to gather information on the location, size of collection, format, type of material (i.e., paper, leather, microform, etc.), age, growth rate, physical condition, uniqueness, importance, and use patterns of the library’s major groups of materials.

FIG: Penn Library Preservation Planning Project
FIG: Project Schedule

Task 3. Assess Environment, Storage, & Security.
Measure and observe the following for each collection location: temperature; relative humidity; pollution and particulate filtration; ultraviolet light intensity, both natural and artificial; housekeeping; evidence of pests and mold; storage furniture and materials; and building integrity. Evaluate the internal and external security systems, the fire detection and suppression systems, and the disaster-preparedness and recovery plans.
Task 4. Assess Collection Condition.
We used two approaches to assess the condition of the major paper-based collections. First, the book collections in the main library and three departmental libraries were statistically sampled at the 95 % confidence level. Laboratory tests and visual observation were used to determine the imprint date, binding condition, paper Ph, paper strength, and groundwood content. These data were analyzed to yield statistically valid condition information about these collections. Secondly, the condition of the rare collections was evaluated by a team of trained conservators. Condition examinations were done on a group of materials carefully selected to be representative of the collection under study. These data were analyzed to estimate the condition of four rare collections.
Task 5. Analyze User Survey Data.
Most research library preservation programs are organized around use. Typically, programs are established to respond to needs that arise in the course of circulation, in-house access, inter-library loan, and exhibitions. The work to be done in this task was to analyze existing data from a user survey and summarize it in a form suitable for use in planning.
Task 6. Analyze Resources and Costs.
Sum up the internal support currently available at the University for the preservation program in the last fiscal year, and document the costs of the preservation services used by the Library to date.
Task 7. Define Treatment Options and Costs.
With information in hand about the condition of the collections, lay out all possible treatment alternatives and their trade-offs and determine the unit costs for preserving different parts of the collections.
Task 8. Define Preservation Selection Criteria.
Develop a set of preservation classes and norms which, when completed, would allow systematic preservation selection decisions to be made about the various formats in the collection. Take into consideration the following factors: the collection development policy, the physical condition of the collection, the artifactual value, the level of use, and the intellectual content. Review the relationship between the collection development policy and the decision to replace an original with another format. Create decision trees to facilitate the choice of treatment options according to the condition of the item. Integrate regional and national preservation efforts into the Penn preservation model to minimize duplication of effort.
Task 9. Develop a Program Management Model.
Use all the information generated in the preceding sections to:

  1. Organize a Preservation Office
  2. Analyze the collection condition data
  3. Determine the best approach to preserving the collections
  4. Improve the housing and storage of the collections
  5. Explore external service programs
  6. Determine space needs for internal operations
  7. Create guidelines for internal operations
  8. Clarify budgetary needs and projections.

V. The Status of Preservation at Penn in 1989

An understanding of where preservation activity at the Penn Library stood before the project started is important to judging how a similar project might work in another institution.

There was no formally organized preservation program at the Penn Library at the beginning of this project. The University Library consists of a central humanities and social sciences library (Van Pelt/Dietrich Library Center), eleven smaller departmental libraries, and a substantial special collections library. For many decades the Penn Library made a concerted effort to improve the physical quality of its collections by rebinding. The level of expenditure for rebinding for thirteen recent years is shown below. An NEH grant for rebinding shows in the years 1979 through 1981.

Figure 1
U of P BINDING EXPENDITURES FROM 1975 THRU 1987

The preservation program at the Penn Library in the last decade can be characterized by significant efforts in rebinding and small technically sound efforts in filming, phase-boxing, photocopying, and conservation of rare books as resources allowed. For the last ten years all preservation activity was done on an ad-hoc basis by two or three dedicated individuals with the assistance of a small processing group for the binding of books. It was apparent from the beginning of this project that key members of the senior library management wanted to have a formally organized preservation program and felt it was time for the Penn Library to move ahead in this area. The Library Director was willing to commit resources to the planning project, and a number of departmental librarians and staff members showed interest in the preservation program and attended the monthly seminars.

The operating budget for preservation activities in FY 1989 was about $390,000 and was heavily weighted toward the binding of library materials, with only modest support for other activities. Overall, the budget situation at the university remains very tight, and day-to day preservation funds need to gain their base through a restructuring of the binding budget, with annual increments that take into account a broader range of preservation activities. Funding for all major projects has had to be obtained from outside sources. Nevertheless, the preservation financial situation is a positive one because of the gradual build-up of a substantial budget base over the last ten years. Moreover, the potential is there for good support in incremental funding through a combination of endowment and incremental general funds. Penn has already broadened its book fund endowment efforts to include the purchase and preservation of library materials.

The ability to add staff positions at Penn is very limited, and although the Library does have a new budget line for a Preservation Administrator, additional positions will be very difficult to obtain in the future. It is unrealistic to plan for any substantial internal preservation operations that involve incremental in-house staff.

Space for new operations is also a major problem, and it would be difficult to find new facility space for preservation operations other than a departmental office and a modest sized staging area, though existing binding and finishing space is generous and will allow for some expansion.

VI. Special Aspects Of The Planning Process

A. The Consultant-Driven Planning Model

A quick review of the project organization chart (Figure 1 following page 4) shows that preservation consultants played key roles, along with top library staff, in managing the project on a daily basis. The directors of both regional service centers and key project staff members from these centers had responsibility for several of the principal collection tasks. In addition, the day-to-day project coordination was the full-time responsibility of a senior preservation consultant, the Project Director, who reported to a very busy Director of Technical Services. The Project Director relieved the Director of Technical Services of the details of the project but kept him informed of its progress, so that he could assist and take part where needed. The Project Director also gave considerable back-up support to other Penn Library managers who had primary planning task responsibilities. This relieved them of organizational details and made it possible for them to focus their limited project time on finishing their key task. Given the heavy workloads on the Penn Library management staff, this sharing of duties with the preservation consultant, whose only internal responsibility was to watch over the project, turned out to be critical in completing the various tasks. The presence of many other expert consultants on the project allowed for the input of technical information and helped the planning process along, since this expertise was not available internally.

The participation of the two local regional centers, The Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) and MAPS The MicrogrAphic Preservation Service, was invaluable in evaluating collection condition and housing and storage conditions.

B. Preservation selection

We used Ross W. Atkinson’s paper “Selection for Preservation: A Materialistic Approach” (Library Resources & Technical Services, October/December, 1986, pp. 341-353.) as a point of departure for discussion. The framework provided by this paper allowed the planning team, headed by the Director of Collection Development, to create a document that, with some revision, would provide a basis for selection decisions in the preservation program.

The information developed by the Selection Task Planning Team followed a logical path that was easily understood by everyone involved (some team members had had no previous experience with the issue). This path is worth reproducing for other institutions to consider.

  1. The collections were divided into three broad categories or classes, and guidelines were developed by which an item could be assigned to a specific class.CLASS 1 materials need to be preserved primarily because of their high monetary and artifactual value and their rarity; this class consists largely of special or unique items, frequently rare books and manuscripts.Collection development personnel determine preservation priorities for these materials on the basis of a combination of the monetary and artifactual value and rarity of individual items, treatment options, and the cost of treatment.

    Preservation of Class 1 materials is a local, that is, an institution-based decision, but may involve coordination and cooperation with other institutions as appropriate.

    CLASS 2 contains high-use materials in demonstrable demand for teaching and research purposes; these materials must be preserved locally in order to support the university’s current and anticipated academic programs. Intensity of use is an important criterion for placing materials in this class, but the bibliographer’s knowledge of curricular needs, user activity, and trends in the subject field will also be required. The overall goal is to ensure that the core materials needed by the Penn students and faculty in all fields are here and ready for in-house use.

    Collections with the Conspectus level of 5 also fall into Class 2 (when not in Class 1). These materials viewed item by item, often lack the high value and rarity of Class 1 materials. However, because they have been carefully selected, and are often unique or rare, they form sharply focused collections, have great value for research, and constitute major strengths of the Penn Library; their importance exceeds their value as individual items. Collection Development staff must identify and define Conspectus level 5 collections.

    Preservation of Class 2 materials is determined largely by local needs and priorities but can involve coordination and cooperation with other institutions.

    CLASS 3 consists of materials with low or medium use levels (or with no discernible use level) which may be of interest to future generations of students and scholars. The distinction between Classes 2 and 3 will frequently be unclear, but in general Class 3 materials will lack an immediate local clientele and may not need to be preserved locally at all. The goal ot Class 3 preservation is to hand on representative collections of documentation for those who will come after us.

    Class 3 materials lend themselves well to cooperative and coordinated preservation efforts with other institutions.

  2. The preservation norms for each class were defined in terms of currently known approaches and technologies, while the need to keep abreast of developing technologies in the future was recognized.These norms are based on generally accepted preservation options and will be adjusted in the future as new approaches emerge. For example, high-resolution filming and mass deacidification will be incorporated into the current program when appropriate.Meanwhile Collection Development and Preservation staff will be following developments in the optical storage of text, image, and audio information, the mass strengthening of paper, and the reformatting of colored documents as potential technologies to be used in the future.

    CLASS 1 PRESERVATION NORMS – Preservation of the original by single item conservation will be the goal for materials in this class needing treatment. Reformatting of Class 1 materials may be done either as part of a cooperative national microfilming project, or to protect the originals by providing working copies, or in response to user demand. Mass treatment techniques may be considered for specific collections.

    CLASS 2 PRESERVATION NORMS – Since most materials in this class are heavily used locally, minor repair, binding, rebinding, mass deacidification, replacement, and reformatting will be the normal means of preservation. The production or procurement of a bound permanent paper copy is standard procedure for printed materials. A microform master may occasionally be needed, but microfilming alone, possibly excepting some serial titles, will not usually be adequate.

    With Conspectus level 5 collections, the normal methods will be intermediate level conservation, phased conservation, rebinding, in-house repair, replacement, and photocopying, but microfilming will occasionally be required. Microfilming of Conspectus level 5 collections can be done as part of a cooperative national project, provided that a permanent bound hard copy remain in the collection.

    CLASS 3 PRESERVATION NORMS – Rebinding, repair, replacement. mass deacidification, and reformatting will be the preferred means of preserving Class 3 items. Since this class of materials lends itself to cooperative efforts with other institutions reformatting to microform may prove to be especially useful.

  3. A careful analysis was done to determine which types of formats were present in each preservation class, and a matrix-style table was constructed to show the results.Each black dot in Table 1 indicates a need to consider a preservation decision path for materials in the particular combination of class and format. This information was reviewed again as decision trees were considered. It became apparent very quickly that the decision process was similar for many bound and single sheet formats, so they were grouped together for simplicity. These grouped formats are shown on the bottom of the table on the following page.
    Table 1
    Library Format / Preservation Class Matrix
    MATERIAL FORMAT CLASS 1 CLASS 2 CLASS 3
    BOUND VOLUMES(1)
    SINGLE SHEET ITEMS(2)
    PAMPHLETS
    MICROFORMS
    PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL(3)
    MOVIE FILM
    AUDIO TAPES
    AUDIO RECORDS*
    AUDIO CD’S
    VIDEO TAPES*
  4. Initial preservation selection activities describing how materials enter the decision chain were written down.General collection materials from Circulation that appear to be damaged will be put on a designated shelf in Circulation for review by Preservation staff. All materials needing attention will be taken to the Preservation Departments’ staging area for further review; the others will be returned to the shelf.Once the damaged materials reach the Preservation staging area, designated bibliographers will review them weekly to make class designations. Then designated selectors will review each item using the Class 2 and Class 3 preservation decision trees. Preservation staff will assist in the decision and implement any preservation procedure that is called for.

    Items in special Collections are kept there for review by Curatorial and Preservation staff prior to transfer to Preservation for treatment.

    Materials in need of preservation are identified in a variety of ways listed below:

    1. Circulation returns: Materials that are too damaged or to fragile to survive shelving or further circulation
    2. Referrals from shelvers and fragments of books: Materials that are too damaged or too fragile to survive shelving, and loose pages or covers found on the sorting shelves
    3. Referrals from Technical Services: Both new and gift materials in need of preservation attention before being cataloged
    4. Retrieval for reader use in Special Collections:
    5. Retrieval for exhibition purposes in Special Collections:
    6. Systematic review of the collections: The intensity of this activity will depend on the availability of outside funds for specific projects; however, some level of activity can be sustained at modest levels each year with local funding.
  5. Decision trees were developed for each format group in a specific Class.An example is given below for Class I single sheet items. Notice that the decision path is designed to guide the selection of items for expensive conservation treatments in a limited budget environment. An item must have a high conservation priority and fit within the yearly budget to be sent for treatment. Correct housing is required for all items returning to the shelf.
    PRESERVATION DECISION TREE
    
    FORMAT : SINGLE SHEET ITEM (1)
    
        CLASS : 1
    
                        IS THE ITEM
    
                         IN DAMAGED
    
                         OR BRITTLE
    
                         CONDITION
    
                             |
    
                   IF NO     |    IF YES
    
                 -----------    -----------
    
                |                          |
    
                |                          |
    
            REHOUSE IF                  DOES THE
    
             NEEDED &                 ITEM WARRANT
    
            RETURN TO                 CONSERVATION
    
             SHELF                         (2)
    
                                            |
    
                                  IF YES    |    IF NO
    
                                -----------    -----------
    
                               |                          |
    
                               |                          |
    
                               |
    
                               |                      REHOUSE IF
    
                               |                       NEEDED &
    
                               |                      RETURN TO
    
                               |                        SHELF
    
                               |
    
                               |
    
                             ASSIGN        [Curatorial]
    
                          CONSERVATION
    
                            PRIORITY
    
                             OBTAIN        [Preservation]
    
                           TREATMENT
    
                           PROPOSAL &
    
                              COST
    
                             REVIEW        [Curatorial]
    
                           BUDGET AND
    
                             DECIDE
    
                           WHETHER TO
    
                             TREAT
    
                               |
    
                     IF YES    |    IF NO (3)
    
                   -----------    -----------
    
                  |                          |
    
                  |                          |
    
               TRANSFER                  REHOUSE IF
    
               ITEM TO                    NEEDED &
    
             CONSERVATION                RETURN TO
    
                 FOR                       SHELF
    
            IMPLEMENTATION
    
      (1) INCLUDES POSTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, GRAPHICS, BROADSIDES, AND MAPS
    
      (2) AS MEASURED BY ITS RARITY, VALUE, SUBJECT, USAGE
    
      (3) CODE FOR FUTURE CONSERVATION
    
    

C. Evaluation of the planning effort

The planning project at the Penn Library attempted to gather enough information to allow the Library to begin a formal program.

We found that it was feasible to do much of the original plan of work within the twelve-month period, and these accomplishments are listed below.

  1. Completed statistical condition surveys of four complete library collections.
  2. Completed condition surveys on nine major special collections.
  3. Raised preservation awareness among the library staff and users.
  4. Formulated preservation selection procedures and decision trees for nine material formats.
  5. Reviewed housing and storage conditions for the collections.
  6. Developed first level preservation plans for four regular library collections and estimated plans for two others.
  7. Defined an organizational structure for a Preservation Department.
  8. Defined external service needs.
  9. Developed preservation cost estimates for six library collections.
  10. Developed four-year budget projections for the program.

D. What did we learn?

  1. While it was feasible to look at preservation needs and plans for some of the libraries and the special collections, it was clearly not feasible to put together an integrated preservation plan for all of the Penn Library’s collections in a twelve-month time period.
  2. The project budget should have included funds for paying student help for various repetitive tasks associated with estimating the condition of collections and the transcription of data.
  3. More funds should have been budgeted for outside technical consultants for short term assistance with preservation decision trees for specialized non-print formats. The range of expertise needed here was more than the consulting team could muster from its own ranks.
  4. A real issue was the need for released time for key library staff members with major project responsibilities. This should have been discussed before the project began and arrangements should have been made to free these persons to devote more time to the project.

VII. Building the External Service Support Structure

The functional organization of the Penn Library’s new Preservation Department is shown on the next page. The Post-Cataloguing section is currently in place and staffed with a supervisor and three and one/half FTE support positions to handle the reparation of books and journals for binding. The only new internal staff to be added will be the Preservation Administrator and several part-time assistants. Penn intends to work out contracted service arrangements for the staff, equipment, and space required to carry out the following preservation activities: rare item conservation, minor repair, reformatting, binding, and mass deacidification.

In the following sections the activities associated with the first attempts to work out service arrangements with The Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) and MAPS The MicrogrAphic Preservation Service are presented in considerable detail, in order to document the give-and-take of the discussions and to indicate the good ideas that we generated. The level of detail reported on discussions with the other service contractors is lower because the arrangements discussed were more conventional in nature.

                 PENN LIBRARIES PRESERVATION DEPARTMENT

                     FUNCTIONAL ORGANIZATION CHART

                              PRESERVATION

                                   |

                                   |

                                   |

            MATERIAL &             |

              SUPPLY               |

           COORDINATION            |

                                   |

                                   |

                                   |

       ----------------------------------------------------------

      |                      |                 |                 |

      |                      |                 |                 |

 -------------------  --------------    --------------   ----------------

| POST CATALOGUING  || CONSERVATION  || REFORMATTING  || MASS TREATMENT   |

|--MINOR REPAIR     ||--RARE BOOK    ||--COPYING      ||--DEACIDIFICATION |

|--BOOK PREPARATION ||  CONSERVATION ||--MICROFILMING |  -----------------

|   |--MARKING      ||--SINGLE SHEET ||--OPTICAL      |

|   |--BINDING      ||  PAPER        ||  SCANNING     |

 ------------------- |  CONSERVATION | --------------

                     |--PHASED       |

                     |  CONSERVATION |

                      ---------------

A. Conservation and Minor Repair Services

The Penn Library sent CCAHA a list of services that it wanted to buy. Each item on the list was discussed at a meeting with CCAHA, and they later responded. Notice that at this point the Penn Library wanted to consider the possibility of doing minor repairs on site with CCAHA technicians (see items 5, 6, &, 7). The list of needs is given below with supporting information in italics as needed.

  1. Major single-item conservation treatment of rare materials at CCAHA. (This service had already been done for the last five years)
  2. Minor repair of regular books and documents at Penn or at CCAHA.
  3. Intermediate binding of reference works at CCAHA.
  4. Design and construction of custom boxes at CCAHA.
  5. Training of technicians to do minor repairs on books and documents either at CCAHA or at Penn.
  6. Design and equipping of mobile repair carts and list of materials needed.
  7. Technical review of minor review of minor repair unit operation after a period of one year.
  8. Liaison conservator assigned to Penn to be on site weekly by the day or half-day. (For direct assistance with administration of the new Conservation Section)
  9. Secure transport of rare materials to and from Penn. (Penn staff have had to hand carry objects to the center and back.)
  10. Preparation of rare materials for exhibition.
  11. Evaluation of exhibition spaces and cases for environmental conditions.
  12. Condition surveys of special collections as needed.
  13. Preliminary estimates of treatment costs at Penn. (to support selection process of rare materials for treatment)

CCAHA responded to the Penn Library’s list of needs by a letter which is reproduced below. (See Appendix 1) In addition to discussing the above list, it suggested only a single approach to what Penn Libraries wanted to do with minor repairs. Notice in the second paragraph of the letter mention of potential services to be offered and a commitment to start them in the fall of 1991. These are new ventures for the regional center.

CCAHA did not see the Penn Library’s needs 5, 6, & 7 as viable economic alternatives for them and chose to support the idea of minor repair at their location with pickup and delivery of all materials from the library. The reaction at the Penn Library was positive, and after thinking about the difficulties of locating space for this operation in-house, we decided to try out the minor repair operation that the center was proposing. At this point, it appeared that the Penn Library’s single-item conservation needs could be met by contracting with CCAHA and that the Center was willing to consider expanding the scope of their services to meet those needs.

Several other meetings were held with CCAHA to talk about contracting concerns and how the liaison conservator1s time would be charged. These sessions generated some interesting ideas about the best contracting approach for the Center and how it might structure its charges for liaison conservator assistance on-site.

For example, when Penn suggested that paying for an on-site conservator by the day at a rate of about $400 per day might inhibit the use of this person, the Center suggested that it would consider developing an hourly rate that could be used to charge conservator time to on-site projects. They also suggested that it would be very helpful to them if the Penn Library would allocate funds to standing purchase orders at the beginning of Penn’s fiscal year for each major project, i.e., conservation of special collections, minor repairs, and program administration. Staff time for single-item treatment, minor repairs, and preservation program administration could then be billed to these purchase orders as the work was done. Penn Library management thought that the purchase order idea was possible and that the hourly charge for on-site administration was a better approach. Although none of these ideas have been reduced to actual practice, they do represent a good start in building an expanded and mutually beneficial working relationship between the Penn Libraries and CCAHA.

What did we learn from this interaction between the Penn Library and CCAHA? First and foremost, we learned that building business relationships takes a lot of work, understanding, and a willingness on the part of both organizations to be flexible and take some risks for the promise of the future. We also learned that economics will play a very important role in the relationship. Even though CCAHA and MAPS are not-for-profit organizations, they are still businesses that need to sell a product of value to their customer in order to recover costs to pay for their operations. For example, we saw that CCAHA would much rather tool-up to do minor repair of Penn Library books than train Penn staff to do it internally, because the former will generate income for the Center not only from the Penn Library but also from other libraries in the region. The Penn Library would get the benefit of the repaired book picked up from and delivered to its doorstep and would avoid the cost of people, space, and equipment to do the job in-house–a fair trade by most measures at the cost quoted, but something that would have been difficult to make happen if the Penn Library had stuck fast to its original plan of an in-house repair operation or if CCAHA had not been willing to work out the details of delivery. A little flexibility and understanding went a long way in this instance.

Another economic issue highlights the advantages of flexible contracting procedures. CCAHA needs its customers to contract in advance for work to be done in any given fiscal year. This allows the Center to schedule staff to do the work, to better estimate their budget for that year, even out their cash flow and allow them to meet recurring expenses without having to borrow to make up for cash shortages. At the same time, this approach allows the library-customer to allocate its resources early in the fiscal year and maintain budgetary control over the entire project. The Preservation Administrator can then measure preservation progress by knowing what tasks or items are being worked on and scheduled for completion that year. Both organizations gain something they need from the arrangement.

B. Reformatting Services

The approach with MAPS was similar to that with CCAHA; The list of eleven reformatting needs sent to MAPS by Penn is shown below. Some of these explore new technologies that were discussed and incorporated into the preservation norms above.

  1. High-resolution 35 mm microfilming for all projects.
  2. Preservation microfilming for regular books and documents.
  3. Preservation microfilming of rare books and documents with proper handling and short turn-around times.
  4. Preservation photocopying of text that is also being microfilmed.
  5. Secure transportation of materials to and from the Penn Library.
  6. Quality control on finished films at a level to be determined.
  7. Storage of master films and duplication of specific films on demand.
  8. Preparation of materials for filming i.e. collation, targets, new bibliographic records.
  9. Preservation color microfilming.
  10. Dedicated camera time.
  11. Compact digital disc copy of text undergoing preservation filming.

MAPS’ response is reproduced below. (see Appendix 2) MAPS was responsive to Penn’s needs and was willing to consider doing more that just providing the filming of the brittle pages. In fact, other customers had already asked MAPS to consider the feasibility of doing collation and bibliographic preparation.

Several points in the MAPS proposal letter warrant discussion. The Penn Library wants to go to high-resolution cameras for all its future microfilming, and it appears possible for MAPS to offer this service if scheduling of projects can be worked out. MAPS was willing to give the Penn Library exclusive long-term use of a new high -resolution camera for a one-time payment of $48,000. This would be a very good arrangement for an institution interested in both upgrading its current camera capability and moving its internal filming operation to a regional center. Penn would also like to buy a photocopy and, in the future, an optical disk of volumes that are being filmed. MAPS indicated their intent to offer this service in the future but could not indicate a time when this would be available. Until such time as MAPS can do both tasks at the same location, the Penn Library would have to seek another vendor to do the preservation photocopying of volumes that warrant the retention of a hard copy in addition to the film version.

An important issue with the Penn Library is the collation and bibliographic preparation of materials that are going to be microfilmed, because of the lack of internal personnel to assign to this task. MAPS has indicated their willingness to consider doing a variety of tasks under contract which will make it possible for the Penn Library to seriously consider doing large filming projects.

C. Mass Treatment Services

Meetings with two mass deacidification vendors took place, and each made a presentation about their process. Subsequent discussions focused on trial treatment programs and materials-processing services offered. This technology is so new to the library field that no list of specific needs was generated; however, it was clear that the Penn Library might need some help with the handling, packing, and shipping of books in a real production situation. The vendors indicated that they would consider supplying personnel to assist with book handling.

D. Photocopying Services

A meeting took place with one vendor who offered high quality preservation photocopying of brittle material and a quality, bound copy of the new text pages. This vendor was located too far from Penn to pick up materials themselves. Therefore, Penn would have to send materials through conventional means. This vendor would expect that any collation, replacement of missing pages, as well as any bibliographic work, would be done by Penn Library staff prior to the volume being sent for copying.

E. Library Binding Services

It was not possible in the last two months of this project to schedule a meeting with the company that did the Penn Library’s binding. Since this service was already in place and internally staffed for material preparation and processing, it was decided to simply continue the service as it was being contracted for until the binding program could be reviewed during the coming year.

VIII. A Working Model

A working model for a service-contracted preservation program can be suggested for the Penn Library program. It may need some refinements or adjustments for other institutions in different locations. In practice, a contractor-based program will involve different relationships with a number of service providers. The nature of each relationship will depend on the type of service to be supplied to the library, the geographic location of the contractor, and the degree to which the library involves the professional staff of the contractor as part of the departmental preservation team. Three possible types of service relationships are described below with a consideration of how the Penn Library’s program might be stru