The Preservation Department preserves the library's current and historic research materials, regardless of format, to ensure future availability for as long as those materials are deemed appropriate for retention in the library's collections. To this end, providing continued access to the intellectual content of the collections is the primary goal by slowing deterioration, providing physical and/or chemical treatment for stabilization of the artifact, or when necessary transferring the content to a more stable medium or converting to an alternate format to improve preservation and access. Full conservation treatment is reserved for materials with artifact value.
The Conservation Lab, as part of the Preservation Department, maintains and improves the physical condition and usability of ISU library collections. Principal activities include in-house repair of general (circulating) collections materials and conservation treatment of special collections materials. Additionally, the Conservation staff takes a leading role in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery of library collections materials.
The Digital Initiatives unit, as part of the Preservation Department, assists in the development of digital collections that document and support the research, teaching and outreach activities of our students and faculty, and scholars world-wide; to preserve this digital content; and to preserve the artifacts from which the digital surrogates are derived by working closely with Conservation. Through a digital presence, the library improves and enhances access to its collections. Digital Initiatives priorities and goals reflect and support those of the library and the university.
The Preservation Department also supports the land grant mission of Iowa State University through preservation education and outreach to the ISU community, the citizens of Iowa, and the larger library and archives community. The principal activities of this outreach work include:
Organized preservation efforts at the Iowa State University (ISU) Library began in the early 1980s with the appointment of the Conservation Task Force to assess the overall conservation needs of the Library. With recommendations made by the Task Force, a small treatment facility was assembled and a Conservation Specialist was appointed. Since those formative days, preservation has developed into a dynamic and vital aspect of the ISU Library. In 1991 the Preservation Department was established and has since grown to include two professional librarians, eight full-time staff, and 3 FTE student workers.
Send questions or comments about this page
Contents last modified: ;
2010-04-01 Copyright © 2000-2010, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.