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Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Case Studies
Office of Library & Archival Materials Preservation, Connecticut
Los Angeles Preservation Network (LAPNET)
Nebraska Documents Preservation Advisory Council (NDPAC)
Preservation of Acetate-Based Audio Visual Materials, New York
Oklahoma Preservation Initiative
Pittsburgh Regional Library Center (PRLC) Preservation Service
III. Newly Organized Cooperatives
IV. Cooperative Preservation Conferences and Meetings
V. Cooperative Preservation Service Providers
VI. Models of Cooperation
VII. Statewide Preservation Activity
VIII. Selective Bibliography on Cooperative Preservation

I. Introduction

…Let us begin with ancient Hellas, approximately 800 B.C. The golden age is quickly developing – the first monumental temples are being erected in celebration of gods and goddesses and the oral epics of Homer are being inscribed for the first time. In a few centuries Euripides, Aeschylus, and Aristophanes will be debuting their comic and dramatic masterpieces; Plato, Sophocles, Pythagoras, and Aristotle will be pushing the boundaries of known truths and forging ahead into the great philosophical realm. Modern civilization will inherit original manuscripts, theories, and entreaties, and from those it will build new visions, machines and philosophies. Through the centuries humankind has diligently recorded its efforts to perpetuate the inquisitive spirit, fortify history and culture, and illuminate the paths of future generations. But those of us in the late 20th century have not only inherited the knowledge and records of those before us, we have also inherited a self-destructing disaster…

In the mid 1800s, the industrial age, much like the golden age, was gaining rapid momentum. The increasing number of scientific, industrial and intellectual developments elevated the need for imparting new discoveries and ideas in the form of the printed word. The papermaking industry expanded with the times and responded to the rapidly increasing consumption of its product by developing new processes involving groundwood pulp and alum rosin sizing. This is the paper that took the thoughts and creations of Henry David Thoreau, Eugene O’Neill, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Niels Bohr, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein. This is the medium that recorded the Civil War, World War I, the Russian Revolution, the Treaty of Versailles, the Great Depression and World War II. This is the paper that marked our passage over land by train, our flight in planes, and eventually our entry into space. This is also the paper that is quietly and quickly self-destructing on the shelves of our homes, libraries, archives and schools.

New technologies do not merely bring solutions; they often walk hand-in-hand with new questions, problems and challenges. The 19th- and 20th-century papermaking processes have produced a chemically unstable product. Therefore, “the record of humanity’s most recent history–its rush into complexity and into new fields of specialized enquiry–is particularly in danger of disintegration.”1 The alum rosin sizing is naturally acidic, and it weakens the paper by literally burning the fibers. The first stage of decomposition is marked by a yellowing of the paper. It then progresses into a highly fragile brittle stage, and eventually turns into dust. The average life span of materials printed on acidic paper is a mere 30 to 50 years; the ramifications are staggering.

The decomposition of acidic materials is pervasive, non-discriminatory, and determined. Over 25 percent of the world’s printed knowledge base is already brittle and is rapidly decomposing into irrecoverable dust. Estimates of the Brittle Books program demonstrate that of the 320 million volumes in the United States research libraries’ collection, at least 12 million volumes are unique and endangered. Preservation is a challenge that we must meet. Any ambivalence or apathy will result in a great and tragic loss of our printed cultural, historical and intellectual heritage.

We have traditionally viewed librarians and archivists as the guardians or gatekeepers to knowledge. In order to fulfill this mission, these information professionals must expand their duties beyond that of the caretaker, bibliographer and guide to assume the roles of preservationist and conservationist. Librarians, archivists, historians, genealogists, scholars, museologists, conservationists, law makers, politicians and other citizens must work together to develop a broad base for technical, financial and intellectual support for preservation. We have reached a state of crisis that calls for action and awareness on many levels. Therefore, we must organize ourselves to heighten awareness, garner support and gather resources for the intensive and expensive battle ahead.

However, as with any battle, there will be losses; we cannot possibly save or recover everything. For many items it is too late, and there are simply too many others left to recover. The expenses of treatment, repair, and reformatting are extremely limiting. The restricted number of financial and technical resources and qualified professionals are also crippling factors. However, by working together on national, state, regional and local levels, there is hope. “Through permitting maximum utilization of the limited knowledge and skills available, through economies of scale where such are possible, and through the reduction of duplication of effort, cooperative action can help to gain maximum benefit from the limited resources that we have to preserve our nation’s collective memory.”2 Uncoordinated efforts will simply guarantee costly reduplication and permanent loss of many materials.

Coordinated preservation can evolve on a variety of levels and in a number of patterns and models. Some international, national, state, regional, consortium and institutional programs are in place, and many more are developing. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary defines cooperative as “a joint effort toward a common cause… given to or marked by a willingness and ability to work with others in a common effort.” For all intents and purposes, cooperation appears to be a simplistic and attainable scheme, but, in reality, we are prone to developing proprietary policies and institutional self-interests that can block effective collaboration. Patricia Battin has remarked that it is a “pervasive myth… that libraries, as separate entities in our society or our universities, can successfully address and resolve in isolation the technical and financial issues necessary to continuing provision of their traditional services to the citizenry.”3 This myth is entirely relevant to the preservation situation at hand. The problem is too complex, the dimensions are too great, and the financial burden is too heavy for comprehensive success on an institutional level.

Reaching out to share assistance and resources is a powerful move toward a successful preservation agenda. The knowledge, expertise and abilities for effective preservation initiatives are readily available for institutions willing to extend their cooperative boundaries and collaborate in meeting their preservation objectives. James H. Billington voiced a disturbing concern at the 111th meeting of the Association of Research Libraries: “A second, deeper question that haunts me as a citizen is whether we really have the will as a people to preserve our memory, the determination to make a massive effort, and the intelligence to make a coordinated one.”4 That is the question and challenge the library community must answer. The ultimate success of the preservation movement relies upon the response of society at large. However, every movement needs educated leaders to ensure careful and effective actions. It is the responsibility of the preservation conscious–the librarians, archivists, historians and museologists–to assume leadership and put the foundations in place for strong and coordinated preservation programs.

II. Case Studies

The possibilities for cooperative preservation are tremendous, and the case studies chosen for this review outline a few of the structures and types of programs currently in operation. Programs vary in their degree of formality and size. Several of the programs are statewide initiatives operating through central preservation offices or assigned task forces and steering committees of qualified professionals. Other programs work through cooperative regional networks; some of these networks are dedicated to preservation programs, and others include preservation in their larger agendas. Still other programs exist in small consortiums convened for the explicit purpose of completing specific preservation projects. The case studies that follow are just a sampling of the wide variety of forms and programming available to information professionals interested in cooperative preservation.

One of the most encouraging aspects of cooperative preservation programs is the variety of services and activities that can be developed. The foundations of many programs rest on awareness, education and training campaigns. Legislative action and support on either municipal or state levels, which often provide financial provisions, are also frequently ranked among the priority goals. Many cooperative initiatives provide local and practical services, such as resource sharing, cost sharing, fund raising and systematic preservation projects. Cooperative programs can also be an ideal resource for professional assistance in collection and building evaluations, disaster preparedness and disaster recovery.

The information for this review was acquired through literature searches, conversations with staff of cooperative preservation programs and services, extensive telephone interviews with key contact people at each case study site, and reviewing mission statements, grant proposals, formal program recommendations, press releases, and speeches made available by the individual program coordinators and directors. The case studies present a synopsis of the key structural and program elements of each cooperative preservation initiative.

Office of Library & Archival Materials Preservation, Connecticut

In 1987, the state librarian, the director of the University of Connecticut Library and the director of the Yale University Libraries convened the Connecticut Preservation Task Force to assess the preservation needs in the state of Connecticut. The Task Force was also directed by a Connecticut General Assembly joint resolution to research alkaline paper use.

In response to the preliminary findings of the Task Force, the State Librarian was able to direct Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) funds towards the creation of the Office of Library and Archival Materials Preservation in 1990. The Office of Library and Archival Materials Preservation has been assigned the mission of designing and implementing a statewide preservation program, supporting alkaline paper use legislation and directing the preservation of the Connecticut State Library’s collections.


To carry out the final recommendations of the Connecticut Preservation Task Force
Lynne Newell
Office of Preservation
Connecticut State Library
231 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106Director of the Office of Library & Archival Materials
Preservation: Lynne Newell
Legislative Efforts:
  • Legislation passed in 1989 requiring alkaline paper meeting ANSI standards for all permanent records of the state and municipal governments.
  • Legislation passed in 1991 requiring alkaline paper use for all state publications, forms, reports and stationery of the executive branch; all publications of the General Assembly and all publications of the Judicial Department.
  • “Report and Recommendations to the General Assembly from the Committee on Alkaline Paper of the Connecticut Preservation Task Force”
  • “Final Report and Recommendations of the Connecticut Preservation Task Force”
Other Preservation Efforts:
  • Preservation consulting by the Office of Library and Archival Materials Preservation
  • Implementation of the Connecticut Task Force Recommendations
  • Direction of the Connecticut Newspaper Preservation Project
  • Direction of the preservation of the Connecticut State Library Collection
Parent Institution:
Connecticut State Library
The Task Force met quarterly; the Preservation Advisory Council also meets quarterly or as needs dictate.
  • LSCA funds for the creation of the preservation office
  • State library providing operating costs
  • Will seek support for special projects in private business and industry Participation: All libraries, archives, and other repositories are invited and encouraged to participate in the developing program.
Outside resources:
The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) is being utilized.
Miscellaneous Quotes:

“Physically, we are a small state… and our geographical closeness may offer us an advantage in coordinating cooperative efforts…

Another factor which we feel is essential to the success of a state level program is having a body of expertise in the field of preservation which can be readily drawn upon…

Another important factor in our preservation effort is having the support and enthusiasm of a few key legislators…

We believe that, to be successful, a cooperative program must involve the commitment of local resources, skills and knowledge by each institution.”

Lynne Newell, “Preservation Issues at the State Level” (National Education Association-Providence, Oct. 27,1990)

Connecticut Preservation Task Force Recommendations

Recommendation I:
Create an Office of Library and Archival Materials Preservation in the State Library whose charge will be to develop and implement a statewide program to preserve the state’s documentary resources. The program will include:

  1. A campaign to raise public awareness of, and garner public support for, the preservation effort.
  2. Creation and sharing of resource files on preservation issues, resources and technologies.
  3. Technical assistance and guidance for agencies throughout the state.
  4. Identification of funding sources for preservation efforts.
  5. Creation of an advisory group for ongoing advice and consultation.
  6. Stimulation and coordination of cooperative preservation projects undertaken by governments and agencies within the state.
  7. Development of a methodology for conducting institutional needs assessments, compilation of results for a statewide profile of the preservation problem and use of results to develop ongoing programs to meet identified needs.
  8. Development of educational and training materials and programs on preservation topics for staff of repositories throughout the state.
Recommendation II:
Provide proper environmental controls, security and fire suppression systems in facilities housing research materials throughout the state.

  1. Through the Office of Library and Archival Materials Preservation, distribute standards and guidelines for establishing proper environmental control, security and fire suppression systems in libraries and archives.
  2. Through a statewide grants program, provide matching funds for surveying environmental conditions in repositories, and for upgrading facilities.
  3. Encourage the inclusion of environmental standards in existing guidelines for awarding library building grants within the state, including requiring full environmental controls for all new construction, and awarding grants for overall upgrading of environmental systems and to provide environmental control in rooms containing historical records.
Recommendation III:
Plan and implement a statewide disaster avoidance and recovery program.

  1. Through the Office of Library and Archival Materials Preservation, develop a statewide disaster plan and conduct disaster preparedness workshops.
  2. Prepare a directory of disaster recovery services, including freezing, freeze-drying, sterilization, and environmental stabilization and rehabilitation, and assess the need to establish additional facilities and stimulate their development as necessary.
Recommendation IV:
Conserve library and archival materials having artifactual value.

  1. Through a statewide grants program, fund the professional conservation of worn and damaged materials having high artifactual value, by contracting with conservators in private practice, and with regional conservation centers.
  2. Provide access to a fully-equipped conservation facility at the state library for the at-cost treatment of rare and valuable materials owned by Connecticut repositories.
Recommendation V:
Provide treatment of worn, damaged and acidic materials.

  1. Through the Office of Library and Archival Preservation, provide information and guidance regarding use of appropriate repair procedures and supplies.
  2. Through a statewide grants program, provide matching funds for the purchase of equipment required for the development of in-house repair capabilities.
  3. Provide staff support that would enable an existing conservation facility in Connecticut to train staff throughout the state to perform various repair and routine conservation treatment procedures.
  4. Provide access to a facility for mass deacidification of library and archival materials.
Recommendation VI:
Provide for the reformatting of brittle materials.

  1. Through a statewide grants program, provide funding for the reformatting of endangered collections throughout the state.
  2. Through the Office of Library and Archival Preservation, train staff throughout Connecticut to prepare library and archival materials for microfilming, to write microfilming contracts, and to evaluate the quality of microfilm copies.
  3. Provide a reformatting facility and services at the state library for in-house reformatting of unique or fragile materials in the state library and archives, and for reformatting of unique or fragile materials from other repositories.
Recommendation VII:
Encourage and support the implementation of institutional programs of appropriate scope, focusing on stabilizing research materials or slowing their deterioration, and on reformatting embrittled materials.

  1. Through the Office of Library and Archival Preservation, convene a working group of representatives from appropriate institutions to discuss existing models for preservation programs development; and to seek ways of establishing additional programs within those repositories in the state that have research holdings, and that do not have preservation programs in place.
  2. Through publicity and consulting assistance, encourage all repositories to develop institutional preservation programs.
  3. Require institutional programs and resource commitment as part of the criteria for preservation grants.
Recommendation VIII:
Promote and encourage additional initiatives for preserving the record of Connecticut’s past.

  1. Encourage the passage of legislation mandating the use of alkaline paper for creating state documents and archival records of enduring value.
  2. Enhance existing programs to provide state advice, assistance, financial support and regulations regarding the collection, storage and preservation of local government records.
  3. Upgrade and enlarge the facilities for the state archives.
  4. Provide adequate staffing for the state archives so that it can fulfill its legislative mandate.

Los Angeles Preservation Network (LAPNET)

LAPNet was established in January 1987 by a group of library, archival and museum professionals in an effort to meet some of the preservation needs of librarians, archivists, conservators and records managers working in Los Angeles (city and county). It is a non-profit, cooperative program that involves a wide range of interested professionals by inviting them to serve on subcommittees and to participate in workshops and programs. Beginning as an informal information exchange, LAPNet has now grown to an organization with a mailing list of approximately 350 people. Membership is automatically extended to all institutions and individuals with an interest in preservation. Programs and workshops for the next five years are currently being planned.


“Specific goals… include conducting workshops and seminars, preparing bibliographies and lists of resource suppliers and persons, acquiring supplies and equipment to support disaster preparedness and recovery, suggesting topics for research, participating in research projects and encouraging the establishment of other networks in California. In addition, LAPNet intends… to investigate and study identified problems and disseminate findings with Network members and other interested parties.”

Conservation and Administration News, #35, October 1988
Christopher Coleman
Preservation Officer
University of California at Los Angeles Library
405 Hilgard Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90024-1575
Who runs LAPNet?
Steering committee members represent the following institutions:University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Library
University of California at Los Angeles,
Graduate School of Library and Information Science Los Angeles Public Library
Getty Center of Art and the Humanities
Getty Conservation Institute
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Huntington Library
California State University Northridge Library
University of Southern California Library
Loyola Marymount University Library
Walt Disney Pictures, Animation Research Library
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech, NASA. Planetary Data Systems
Occidental College Library Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum
Christopher Coleman, Chair Preservation Officer, UCLA
Gretchen Karl, Treasurer
Collection Maintenance Librarian, Getty Center
Susan Malkoff Moon, Secretary Librarian, Getty Conservation Institute
Workshops Organized:
  • Disaster planning and collection salvage of water damaged materials
  • Earthquake preparedness
  • Mass treatment options for water damaged materials
  • Preservation of photographic materials
  • Library binding
  • Simple book repair and treatment
Workshops Being Planned:
  • Reformatting technologies and options (Nov. 14, 1991)
  • Science of preservation (six separate, but related programs)
  • Binding and repair for special collections
  • Preservation of music and sound recordings
  • Library binding (repeat)
  • Simple book repair and treatment
  • Higher level repair and treatment
  • Preservation of photographic material (two different workshops)
Preservation Projects:
  • Microfilming of the Lummis collections at the Southwest Museum, Huntington Library, UCLA and the Los Angeles Public Library.
  • Microfilming and conservation needs assessment of a number of manuscript collections and serials in the area of performing arts in Los Angeles currently held by UCLA, Los Angeles Public Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, California State University at Los Angeles, Huntington Library and Thousand Oaks Public Library (pending grant approval).
Other Projects:
  • “Library Emergency Vendor List”, prepared by the Los Angeles Public Library, has been made available.
  • A completely new List of Disaster Supplies and Suppliers, prepared by the Preservation Office of the UCLA Library, is now available through LAPNET. The list will be regularly updated by LAPNET.
The Steering Committee meets approximately every other month to coordinate programming. The various sub-committees meet individually as needs dictate.

  • Cooperative microfilming projects receive LSCA, Title III, funding.
Institutional Support:

  • To this date programs and workshops have received varying levels of support from the Huntington Library, Occidental College Library, UCLA Library and various operating programs of the J. Paul Getty Trust.
  • Operating costs are shared among the LAPNet institutions in the form of donated mailing costs, photocopying, printing and clerical staff time.
Miscellaneous Fees:

  • Modest workshop fees to cover information packets, supplies for hands-on sessions, lunch, etc., keep costs very low (usually under $35.00).
  • Small charge for List of Disaster Supplies and Suppliers to cover printing costs.

There are no membership dues. LAPNet hopes to develop a voluntary supporting member scheme for larger institutions.

LAPNet was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1990, and will now be able to apply for grants as a group rather than designating a lead institution.

Miscellaneous Quotes Concerning Workshops:

“A beautiful example of what expertise can give to a waiting public. Fifty of us are now infinitely wiser than we were yesterday.”

response to workshop #1

“They [i.e., workshop participants] liked the idea of a formal network, because it is valuable especially if we use it to explore greater cooperative possibilities.”

Christopher Coleman

Nebraska Documents Preservation Advisory Council (NDPAC)

In 1988, the Nebraska Library Commission and the University of Nebraska Libraries began to organize key agencies in the state of Nebraska to help with the growing need for preservation awareness and literacy. Initial efforts were geared toward an efficient and effective preservation information exchange. The successful interaction of the group developed into an education and awareness campaign, the advocation of the use of alkaline paper and the development of a statewide preservation action agenda.


“The goals are to improve housing and care of collections, to preserve key collections in Nebraska, to raise public awareness, and to provide a coordinated preservation program for state repositories.”

Katherine L. Walter “Preservation Literacy: Needs and Solutions in Nebraska”
Katherine L. Walter
Nebraska Documents Preservation Advisory Council
209 North Love Library
University of Nebraska Libraries City Campus Lincoln, NE 68588-0410
Who makes up NDPAC?
Representatives are from the following institutions:Nebraska Library Commission
University of Nebraska Libraries
Nebraska Records Management Division
Nebraska State Historical Society
Nebraska Museums Association
NEBASE (Nebraska’s OCLC network)
Nebraska Literary Heritage Association
Nebraska Humanities Council
Nebraska Conservation Committee
Nebraska Library Association
Nebraska Library Systems
PICKLE (Private Independent College Key Library Executives)
Project Director:
Katherine L. Walter, chair of the Serials Department at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln
Legislative Efforts:
  • Location of a sponsor for alkaline paper legislation, Sen. LaVon K. Crosby
  • Introduction of alkaline paper bill LB291 (still in committee)
  • Unanimous passing of Legislative Resolution 45 calling for alkaline paper use
  • Cooperative efforts with Governor E. Benjamin Nelson and state agencies resulted in Executive Order 91-5, which requires state agencies to use permanent paper
Education/Awareness Efforts:
  • Preservation workshops offered at Nebraska Library Association conferences
  • NDPAC collecting and distributing informational preservation materials such as leaflets and brochures
  • Nebraska Library Commission is publishing preservation articles in their newsletter, Overtones
  • Nebraska Library Commission’s audio-visual loan program has expanded to include materials concerning preservation and conservation
  • Public television station aired “Slow Fires,” a film presentation on the preservation of the human record Publications:
  • Nebraska Preservation Newsletter
  • Statewide Preservation Action Agenda (to be released in the summer of 1991)
  • NEH Grant Proposal for Statewide Cooperative Preservation Planning
  • Legislative packets
  • Updated 1980 survey on Disaster Preparedness Other Efforts:
  • University of Nebraska Libraries has agreed to start a cooperative buying program for preservationally sound supplies
  • NDPAC distributes pH pens when campaigning for supportive legislation
Parent Institution:
Nebraska Library Commission (trying to seek funding for a permanent coordinator dedicated to the statewide cooperative preservation program)
  • Nebraska Library Commission providing basic operating budget
  • NEH grant for developing a statewide action plan
NDPAC meets monthly or more frequently as needs and projects demand.
Outside Resources:
  • SOLINET (Southeastern Library Network): contracted to help with the statewide action plan
  • NEBASE: a local OCLC bibliographic utility that is an important aid for ensuring access to preserved materials
Miscellaneous Quotes:

“We are sadly lacking in a disaster plan, what to do and how. The intentions… are good, but we need some leadership to get us started.”


“Delegates [to the First Nebraska Statewide Preservation Planning Conference, October 3-5, 1990] felt strongly that a centralized planning program serving all types of records repositories was the single most important need.”

“The state preservation action agenda lays a foundation upon which preservation literacy in Nebraska can be built. Opportunities to learn will be abundant as the strategies in the document are implemented, but we must learn to apply our knowledge. We must recognize the gravity of the situation and consciously choose to make preservation an integral part of our library programs.”

Katherine L. Walter “Preservation Literacy: Needs and Solutions in Nebraska”

“NDPAC plans to follow up on these ideas over the next few years. From our experience to date, we realize that is doesn’t hurt to ask for state legislation. State senators will tell you what they are willing to do as sponsors, and most of them are willing to accept whatever assistance you can provide in the way of information.”

Katherine L. Walter, “Legislative Efforts in Nebraska” Presented at the Cooperative Preservation Administrators Meeting, December 6, 1990, NARA, Washington, D.C.
Possible Legislation Initiatives in Nebraska
  • Seek state appropriations to fund a state preservation coordinator’s position.
  • Expand the statutory authority of Nebraska Records Management Division to do preservation microfilming for municipalities.
  • Develop building code specifications for state-funded construction of facilities for agencies with records keeping responsibilities.
  • Authorize county records offices to levy a fee for services to be used for the preservation of county records, including preservation microfilming, environmental controls and improved storage.
  • Last, but not least, promote alkaline paper legislation.

(Suggested at the Statewide Preservation Planning Conference, held in Lincoln, Nebraska, October 1990)

Preservation of Acetate-Based Audio Visual Materials, New York

In 1986, the recording laboratories of Syracuse University, Cornell University, the New York Public Library and the University of Rochester received the first of five consecutive grants from the New York State Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials for the Preservation of Acetate-Based Audio Visual Materials Project. This cooperative project is undertaking, on behalf of the 11 designated comprehensive libraries of New York State, the transfer of deteriorating archival sound recordings presently stored on delicate acetate-based discs and tapes to a stable recording medium.

Grant Proposal
To transfer as many sound recordings as possible within the time and budget constraints of each grant calendar.
Basis for Project Focus:
Acetate is a fragile storage medium prone to dehydration, cracking, bubbling, attack by fungus and delamination. Acetate recordings, in both disc and tape form, literally self-destruct regardless of storage conditions.
William D. Storm
Belfer Audio Lab
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, New York 13244-2010
Who is involved?
Syracuse University
Cornell University
New York Public Library (NYPL)
University of Rochester
Project Director:
William D. Storm, Syracuse University
Parent Institution:
Syracuse University
The New York State Audio Archives Consortium, which meets on a quarterly basis, has been formed to facilitate interaction and discussion among the project members.
Material Evaluation:
Each participating institution is responsible for evaluating its collection for preservation candidates.
Bibliographic Utilities:
Items selected for preservation are cataloged as appropriate for entry into the RLIN and OCLC databases to facilitate access and use.
Institutional Contributions:
  • Facilities and Equipment: Participating institutions maintain well-equipped, nationally recognized laboratories that perform the transfer of selected audio materials onto an archivally sound medium.
  • Personnel: Identified personnel will provide an average of 30% of his or her time to the project.
  • Operating costs: Each institution contributes their entire normal negotiated overhead charges and one-third of the equipment usage and maintenance costs.
Series of one-year state grants through the New York State Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials. The Preservation of Acetate-Based Audio Materials Project has received five continuous grants to this date.

  • Approximate amount received to date: $840,785
Project Achievements:
  • The successful preservation and recording of identified preservation candidates.
  • The formation of the New York State Audio Archives consortium, which is promoting research on preservation standards for recorded sound in New York State and across the nation.
Miscellaneous Quotes:

“At present the paramount concern is to foster interest and research in the preservation and restoration of acetate-based sound recordings.”

Grant Proposal

Oklahoma Preservation Initiative

The Oklahoma Preservation Initiative began with the creation of the Preservation Advisory Committee in 1990. In response to a mandate from the governing board of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL), the Preservation Advisory Committee was assigned the responsibility of providing leadership in the preservation of the state’s documentary resources and to develop and establish a cooperative statewide preservation program. The Oklahoma Preservation Initiative is in the early stages of development, and is planning for a strong future program by creating solid foundations from which it can build.


“The goal of the state’s preservation initiative is to establish an on-going coordinated, cooperative statewide program in Oklahoma that builds upon existing strengths and develops complementary strengths to facilitate the preservation of humanities resources throughout the state.”

Statewide Planning Grant Proposal
  • Determine function areas in which the program can operate effectively.
  • Identify needs of libraries, archives and other repositories relative to preserving documentary resources, especially those that can be met by a statewide preservation program and fall within the established function areas.
  • Prioritize needs and determine how they can be met.
  • Develop an organizational structure within which the program can operate effectively.
  • Identify staffing and budgetary requirements that will enable the preservation program to carry out its functions.
  • Identify and establish preliminary contact with possible sources of assistance and funding, both public and private.
  • Prepare an action plan which outlines cooperative activities that Oklahoma’s governmental agencies, organizations, libraries and repositories can begin to implement in 1992.
  • Establish a system that will provide for regular evaluation, review and revision of statewide preservation needs and of the program’s organization, function areas, goals, activities and achievements.
Gary Harrington or Thomas Kremm
Archives Division, Oklahoma Department of Libraries
200 Northeast 18th Street Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Preservation Task Force represents the following organizations:
Oklahoma Department of Libraries
University of Oklahoma, Library and Information Studies
Oklahoma State University
University of Oklahoma, Libraries
University of Tulsa
Oklahoma Historical Society
Oklahoma Conservation Congress
Oklahoma Museums Association
Sac and Fox Tribal Headquarters
Oklahoma Library Association
Northeastern State University
Office of the Chancellor of Higher Education
Friends of the Libraries in Oklahoma
Oklahoma Genealogical Society
The Chickasaw Nation
Oklahoma Chapter of the Special Libraries Association
Langston University
Oklahoma Municipal League
Central Oklahoma Law Librarians Association
State Arts Council Oklahoma Historic Film Repository
Parent Institution/Primary Agent:
Office of Archives and Records
Project Coordinators:
  • Thomas W. Kremm, Administrator of the Office of Archives and Records, ODL
  • Gary Harrington, Head of the State Archives Division, ODL
  • Institutions represented by the Preservation Task Force and ODL are pooling their resources to carry out the statewide preservation planning project.
  • Outside funding is being sought to help defray mailing costs.
  • Outside funding will be sought to support a series of public hearings in the fall of 1991 concerning the proposed statewide preservation action plan.
Actions of the Preservation Task Force:
  • Writing of a statewide planning grant proposal
  • Distribution of a preservation assessment survey to 1400 repositories in the state
  • Drafting of a position paper based on the findings of the preservation assessment survey
Other Preservation Activities Beneficial to Oklahoma:
  • Conservation Administration News (CAN) – published at the University of Tulsa
  • Field advisory services through the Oklahoma Museums Association and the Oklahoma Historical Society
  • Workshops run by the Oklahoma Conservation Congress, ODL, and the University of Tulsa
  • Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Assistance Team (ODRAT)
Preservation Advisory Committee and sub-committees meet as needs dictate
Hierarchy of the Oklahoma Preservation Initiative
  • Preservation Advisory Committee–responsible for drafting the NEH grant proposal
  • Preservation Task Force–aids Advisory Committee objectives through the following sub-committees:
  • Outreach Committee
  • Preservation Assessment Survey Committee
  • Position Paper Committee
Outside Resources:
  • AMIGOS Bibliographic Council Regional Preservation Service
Miscellaneous Quotes:

“Cooperative efforts needed to develop a successful statewide preservation program are becoming a way of life in Oklahoma.”

“To implement a successful program, a plan is needed that will build on existing strengths, shore up weaknesses, and move forward in new directions.”

Statewide Planning Grant Proposal

Pittsburgh Regional Library Center (PRLC) Preservation Service

Incorporated in 1967 for the purpose of resource sharing among libraries, the Pittsburgh Regional Library Center (PRLC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, developing and implementing cooperative activities that improve the capabilities of members to identify, acquire, preserve and disseminate information and knowledge in its various forms. In response to the interests of its members, the support of the Preservation Special Interest Group, and the commitment to library leadership by the Board of Trustees, the Preservation Service of PRLC was instituted in the spring of 1990.

NEH grant application

“The immediate goal is to educate librarians and archivists in the PRLC region about preservation, to assist them in assessing preservation needs, in acquiring practical training to meet those needs, and in implementing appropriate preservation activities locally. Longer range goals should include providing a setting for the development of informal networks that should prove beneficial to mutual preservation activities like disaster planning and grantsmanship; heightening community awareness about preservation; educating constituents who can bring pressure to bear on state legislators and libraries for statewide preservation funding and support; and, determining the need for PRLC to establish a permanent preservation program.”

PRLC Strategic Plan, 1987-1992
H.E. Broadbent III
Executive Director
Pittsburgh Regional Library Center
103 Yost Boulevard Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Regions Served:
Western Maryland
Western Pennsylvania West Virginia
Preservation Service Project Director:
H.E. Broadbent III, Executive Director of PRLC
Preservation Administrator:
Sally A. Buchanan, Associate Professor at the School of Library and Information Science, Pittsburgh University
  • Disaster Preparedness for Libraries: An Initial Step Towards Statewide Planning
  • Preservation Challenges: Resources for the Future
  • Building Environments and Basic Care
Preservation Articles in PRLC’s Technical Bulletin:
  • OCLC’s Preservation Program
  • Preservation Supplies/Suppliers
  • Disaster-related Tips for Preparedness
  • New titles in the PRLC Preservation Collection
PRLC Spring Conference:
Included a two-hour presentation of “Binding Dilemmas: Quality, Contracts and Preservation” on the conference agenda.
Preservation Collection:
Extensive preservation collection, including audio-visual, materials is available for inter-library loan.
Assistance Services:
  • Telephone reference services
  • Disaster assistance in assessing damage and recommending recovery actions
  • One-day on-site consulting services
Outside Resources:
  • CCAHA (Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts) – presenting workshops
  • SOLINET and NEDCC – utilizing expert knowledge and veteran information
Miscellaneous Quotes:

“We want to be more effective in creating a sense of preservation responsibility.”

Sally A. Buchanan

III. Newly Organized Cooperatives

The following newly organized cooperative programs came to light in this research project:

North Carolina Preservation Consortium (NCPC)

The NCPC was initiated as a non-profit organization in 1990. Its mission is the preservation of North Carolina’s documentary heritage through education, publications, workshops, cooperation, standards and leadership. Membership is open to all individuals and institutions concerned or involved with the care, preservation, and access of record material. The NCPC’s initiatives and programs are supported by public and private contributions.

North Carolina Preservation Consortium
c/o North Carolina Division of Archives and History
109 East Jones Street, Room 303 Raleigh, NC 27601-2807

Associated Library Emergency Response Team (ALERT)

The ALERT program was organized by the Western New York Library Resources Council in 1991. ALERT is a cooperative disaster assistance program to which members can subscribe annually at minimal costs. Developed with New York State grant funds, the program provides 24-hour response volunteer disaster recovery teams, disaster supply-filled trailers, a 24-hour computer aided calling system, a disaster preparedness and recovery manual, workshops and a newsletter.

John L. Shaloiko, Administrator of Special Projects
Western New York Library Resources Council
180 Oak Street Buffalo, NY 14203-1610

AMIGOS Preservation Service

The AMIGOS Preservation Service (APS) is a program of the AMIGOS Bibliographic Council, Inc., which serves libraries and archives in Arizona, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. APS, initiated in 1990 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is dedicated to increasing preservation awareness and promoting cooperative preservation initiatives in the Southwestern states. APS is providing information, education, training and consultation services to support the program’s preservation objectives. APS is also conducting a regional needs assessment upon which future actions at the local, state, regional and national levels may be based.

Tom Clareson, Preservation Service Manager
AMIGOS Bibliographic Council, Inc.
12200 Park Central Drive, Suite 500 Dallas, TX 75251

IV. Cooperative Preservation Conferences and Meetings

National Conference on the Development of Statewide Preservation Programs

The National Conference on the Development of Statewide Preservation Programs was held on March 1-3, 1989, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The conference attendants were state archivists, state librarians, heads of state historical agencies and university librarians. The conference program described the preservation challenge at hand, reviewed the types of materials at risk and addressed the various opportunities that are available through coordinated preservation programs. The 36 speakers presented a range of information from descriptions of ongoing cooperative efforts and model preservation initiatives to the identification of specific strategies including successful legislative plans and the utilization of available expertise and resources. A comprehensive report on the conference has been printed and is available through the Commission on Preservation and Access.

Sponsoring organizations and representatives of the Conference include:

  • American Association for State and Local History
  • Chief Officers of State Library Agencies
  • The Commission on Preservation and Access
  • Library of Congress
  • National Archives and Records Administration
  • National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators
  • National Commission on Libraries and Information Science
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • National Historical Publications and Records Commission
  • New York State Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials
  • Society of American Archivists

Observers of the conference include:

  • American Association of Law Libraries
  • American Historical Association
  • American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
  • American Library Association, Washington Office
  • Association of Research Libraries
  • Council of State Governments
  • International Institute of Municipal Clerks
  • National Association of Counties
  • National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers
  • National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History
  • National Federation of State Humanities Councils
  • National Humanities Alliance
  • National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property
  • National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places
  • National Preservation for the Biomedical Literature
  • Organization of American Historians
  • President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities
  • Smithsonian Institution

A list of state participants is included in the report.

Cooperative Preservation Programs Group

An informal cooperative preservation programs group meets every December to discuss cooperative preservation issues and concerns of mutual interest. Attendees are preservation professionals involved in cooperative presentation programs on the national, state and regional levels. The group first convened in 1984 as an informal information exchange and has since decided to include presentations and panels.

To date, the structure of the group has been very informal. All organizations wishing to send representatives have been welcome. Participation is voluntary, and attendees are responsible for all expenses. Individuals must make their own arrangements for accommodations and travel. Organizations that were invited to the December 6-7, 1990, meeting include:

  • American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
  • AMIGOS Bibliographic Council, Inc.
  • Arizona State University
  • Association of Research Libraries
  • Bibliographical Center for Research
  • British Library
  • Campbell Center
  • Margaret Child, consultant
  • Colorado State Library
  • Commission on Preservation and Access
  • Connecticut State Library
  • Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts
  • Florida Needs Assessment Project
  • Illinois State Historical Library
  • Illinois State Library
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Kansas Library Network
  • Library of Congress
  • The Library of Michigan
  • Maine State Library
  • Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
  • MicrogrAphic Preservation Service
  • Minnesota Historical Society
  • National Archives and Records Administration
  • NAGARA Preservation Planning Project
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation
  • National Institute for Conservation of Cultural Property
  • Nebraska Documents Preservation Advisory Council
  • New Jersey State Library
  • New York State Library
  • North Carolina Preservation Consortium
  • Northeast Document Conservation Center
  • OCLC (Online Computer Library Center)
  • Ohio State Library
  • Oklahoma Field Advisory Service
  • Pacific Regional Conservation Center
  • PALMCOP (Palmetto Archives, Libraries, and Museums Council on Preservation)
  • Pittsburgh Regional Library Center
  • Research Libraries Group
  • Society of American Archivists
  • SOLINET Preservation Program
  • State Library of Florida
  • Texas Preservation Task Force
  • University of California Preservation Program
  • Utah Preservation Consortium
  • Virginia State Library and Archives
  • Wisconsin Plan for Preservation

V. Cooperative Preservation Service Providers

The following organizations provide assistance to cooperative preservation efforts. This list was compiled in conjunction with the research project and should not be considered complete or exhaustive.

AMIGOS Bibliographic Council, Inc.
AMIGOS Preservation Service (APS)
12200 Park Central Drive, Suite 500
Dallas, TX 75251

Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA)
264 South 23rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

MicrogrAphic Preservation Service (MAPS)
9 South Commerce Way
Bethlehem, PA 18017

Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)
100 Brickstone Square
Andover, MA 01810-1428

OCLC (Online Computer Library Center)
6565 Frantz Road
Dublin, OH 43017-0702

Pacific Regional Conservation Center
P.O. Box 19000-A
1525 Bernice Street
Honolulu, HI 96817

Research Libraries Group (RLG)
1200 Villa Street
Mountain View, CA 94041-1100

SOLINET (Southeastern Library Network) Preservation Program
400 Colony Square, Plaza Level
Atlanta, GA 30361-6301

VI. Models of Cooperation

Preservation cooperation can present itself in many different forms and structures. The following are a few cooperative schemes that are being utilized in current cooperative preservation initiatives.

[Figure omitted from this electronic version]

VII. Statewide Preservation Activity

States that have received NEH Planning Grants (as of 8/91)

Nebraska Massachusetts
North Carolina Rhode Island

States that are initiating or implementing cooperative preservation initiatives.

Arizona Ohio
California Oklahoma
Colorado South Carolina
Connecticut Texas
Florida Utah
Illinois Virginia
Minnesota Wisconsin
New Jersey
New York

VII. Selective Bibliography on Cooperative Preservation

Background Information

Battin, Patricia. “Cooperative Preservation in the United States.” Alexandria 1, no.2 (1989): 7-16.

Battin, Patricia. “Preservation: The Forgotten Problem. “In Priorities for Academic Libraries. Thomas J. Galvin and Beverly P. Lynch, editors. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass, Inc., 1982.

Bello, Susan E. Cooperative Preservation Efforts of Academic Libraries. Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 1986.

Boomgaarden, Wesley. Preservation Planning Program: Resource Notebook. Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries, Office of Management Studies, 1987.

Gwinn, Nancy E. “The Rise and Fall and Rise of Cooperative Projects.” Library Resources and Technical Services 29 (January/March 1985): 80-86.

The Library Preservation Program: Models, Priorities, Possibilities. Jan Merrill-Oldham and Merrily Smith, editors. Chicago, Illinois: American Library Association, 1985.

Cooperative Preservation Perspectives

Banks, Paul N. “Cooperative Approaches to Conservation.” Library Journal 101, no. 20 (15 November 1976): 399-402.

Clareson, Tom. “Cooperative Preservation Programs Group Tackles Issues at Washington Meeting.” OCLC Newsletter no. 189 (January/February 1991): 5-7.

Darling, Pamela. Preservation Planning Program: an Assisted Self-Study Manual for Libraries. Expanded 1987 edition. Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries, Office of Management Studies, 1987.

National Conference on the Development of Statewide Preservation Programs. Carolyn Clark Morrow, editor. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University, 1991. Available from the Commission on Preservation and Access, $15.00.

Cooperative Programs and Projects

Brittle Books: Reports of the Committee on Preservation and Access. Washington, D.C.: Council on Library Resources, 1986.

Brooks, Connie, and Joseph F. Shubert. “The New York State Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials.” Bookmark 45, no.3: 1-8.

Field, Jeffrey. “The NEH Office of Preservation: 1986-1988.” Microform Review 17 (October 1988): 187-89.

Fox, Lisa L. “The SOLINET Preservation Program: Building a Preservation Network in the Southeast.” The New Library Scene 7, no. 4 (August 1988): 1, 5-9.

Fox, Lisa L., and Sandra Nyberg. “The SOLINET Preservation Program: Past and

Future.” The Bookmark 45, no. 3 (Spring 1987): 175-78.

Kaebnick, Gregory. “Slow Fires: A National, NEH-Funded Microfilming Program Seeks to Rescue Civilization.” INFORM 3, no. 11/12 (November/December 1989): 12-14.

McCoy, Richard W. “Cooperative Preservation Activities of the Research Libraries Group (RLG).” In Preservation of Library Materials. Merrily A. Smith, editor. New York: K.G. Saur, 1987.

Morris, Patricia A. “PALMCOP (Palmetto Archives, Libraries and Museum Council on Preservation): a Statewide Preservation Effort in South Carolina.” Conservation Administration News, no. 40 (January 1988): 10-11.

Trinkaus-Randall, Gregor. “Statewide Preservation Planning in Massachusetts.” Conservation and Administration News, no. 44 (January 1991): 8-9.

Action Plans and Recommendations

Hope for the Future: A Report on the Preservation of South Carolina’s Paper-Based Records. Columbia, South Carolina: Palmetto Archives, Libraries and Museums Council on Preservation (PALMCOP), 1989.

Lowell, Howard P. A Conservation Plan for New Jersey Libraries. Andover, Massachusetts: Northeast Document Conservation Center, 1985.

New York Document Conservation Advisory Council. Our Memory at Risk: Preserving New York’s Unique Research Resources. Albany, New York: New York State Education Department, 1988.

Cooperative Preservation Surveys

1991 OCLC Preservation Needs Assessment Study Detailed Report. RONDAC Ad Hoc Preservation Committee, 1991.

DePew, John N. An Investigation of Preservation Service Needs and Options for Florida Libraries: Final Report. Tallahassee, Florida: Florida State University School of Library and Information Science, 1990.

Trinkaus-Randall, Gregor. Preliminary Analysis of the Massachusetts Preservation Needs Assessment Survey. Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, 1990.

Fund Raising

Currents. Published by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the May 1990 issue contains a series of articles concerning planned-giving programs. Volume 16, no. 5 (1990): 22-38.

Fundraising for Non-profit Institutions. Sandy F. Dolnick, editor. Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press, 1987.

Ideas for Preservation Fund Raising: A Support Package for Libraries and Archives. Michael Miller, compiler. Washington, D.C.: Commission on Preservation and Access, 1990.

Library Fund-Raising: Vital Margin for Excellence. Sul H. Lee, editor. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Pierian Press, 1984.

Preservation periodicals that print articles on cooperative initiatives and projects:

  • Abbey Newsletter
  • Alkaline Paper Advocate
  • Commission on Preservation and Access Newsletter
  • Conservation and Administration News (CAN)
  • SOLINEWS (Newsletter of SOLINET)


“Through permitting maximum utilization of the limited knowledge and skills available, through economies of scale where such are possible, and through the reduction of duplication of effort, cooperative action can help to gain maximum benefit from the limited resources that we have to preserve our nation’s collective memory.” (pp.399-400)

“The problems of preservation are so complex and massive that it may only be through cooperation that we can hope to tackle them on a scale adequate to reverse the rapid deterioration of our collections.” (p. 400)

Paul N. Banks, “Cooperative Approaches to Conservation,” Library Journal, Nov. 16, 1976, pp. 399-402.

“The key to successful cooperative projects of the scope and complexity of preservation lies in the ability to communicate efficiently among potential partners about preservation activities and decisions.”

Richard W. McCoy, “Cooperative Preservation Activities of the Research Library Group (RLG)” In Preservation of Library Materials. Merrily A. Smith, editor. K.G.Saur, New York, 1987.

“Everyone must pool their resources to support strategically placed regional programs and facilities for such things as storage of microfilm masters, mass deacidification, and sophisticated conservation treatment.”

The Library Preservation Program: Models, Priorities, and Possibilities. Jan Merrill- Oldham and Merrily Smith, editors. Chicago, Illinois: American Library Association, 1985, p. 4.

“[The] Key to the success of the Arizona effort will be the participation of the NEH supported AMIGOS Preservation Service, a regional program designed to assist states in developing and implementing broad-based preservation action plans.”

ASU Library Administration Press Release – May 31, 1991, p.1.

“The second pervasive myth is the belief that libraries, as separate entities in our society or our universities, can successfully address and resolve in isolation the technical and financial issues necessary to continuing provision of their traditional services to the citizenry.” (p. 63)

“Because our universities and research libraries have developed historically within the tradition of autonomous institutional structures and because the governance of our library collections has been heavily influenced by proprietary institutional pride, we lack both the internal and the external organizational capacities for effective cooperative action.” (p. 63)

“The primary managerial challenge is to find a way, within our pluralistic society with a strong tradition of institutional individualism, to forge a coalition among the interested parties – scholars, librarians, university officers, publishers, and all those who use the records of civilization – with a common purpose strong enough to transcend the barriers of apathy, tradition, myth and institutional self-interest.” (p. 69)

Battin, Patricia. “Preservation: The Forgotten Problem” In Priorities for Academic Libraries. Thomas J. Galvin and Beverly P. Lynch, editors. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass, Inc., 1982.

“Ideally, the program to preserve brittle books should improve the methods and enhance the principles of effective collaboration among libraries and research institutions, for while they are individually distinctive, they have a common cause.” (pp.10-11)

“Knowing the dimensions of the problem leads to the conclusion that a collaborative effort is required.” (p.23)

“Institutions will benefit economically when they collaborate with others; each will serve its own ends at a reduced cost.” (p.23)

Brittle Books: Reports of the Committee on Preservation and Access. Washington, D.C.: Council on Library Resources, 1986.

“The record of humanity’s most recent history–its rush into complexity and into new fields of specialized enquiry–is particularly in danger of disintegration.” (p. 10)

“A second, deeper question that haunts me as a citizen is whether we really have the will as a people to preserve our memory, the determination to make a massive effort, and the intelligence to make a coordinated one.” (p. 11)

“We must remain at the forefront of the struggle to preserve memory lest we join the ranks of those who live off the laurels of the past rather than its cumulative wisdom.” (p. 12)

Billington, James H. “The Moral Imperative of Conservation.” In the Minutes of the 111th Meeting, Association of Research Libraries. Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries, 1988.


1 Billington, James H. “The Moral Imperative of Conservation.” In the Minutes of 111th Meeting, Association of Research Libraries, 10. Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries, 1988.

2 Banks, Paul N. “Cooperative Approaches to Conservation.” Library Journal 101, no. 20 (15 November 1976): 399-400.

3 Battin, Patricia. “Preservation: The Forgotten Problem.” In Priorities for Academic Libraries. Thomas J. Galvin and Beverly P. Lynch, editors. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass, Inc., 1982, p. 63.

4 Billington, p. 11

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