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...continuedfrom page 1
able to address these problems with com-
prehensive preservation programs.
The University of Michigan Library is
one of the leaders in the preservation of
library materials. Since 1981, skilled
staff in the Preservation Division have
worked to protect, repair and preserve the
collections, so that they will be available
to future generations of students and
other researchers. The Preservation staff
now numbers thirty, and includes
librarians, conservators, book binders,
technical assistants, microfilmers and
student assistants. The staff is organized
into four units: the Brittle Books Re-
placement Office and the Microfilming
Unit attack the problems caused by acidic
paper, while staff in Book Repair
Conservation and Bindery Preparation
deal with actual and potential problems
caused by use. Most of the work at
present is with printed materials (books,
magazines and newspaper); however,
Preservation is also concered with the
longevity and care of non-print resources
(films, tapes, photographs, and electronic
Many preservation activities are de-
signed to protect the collection. Envi-
ronmental monitoring measures
temperature, humidity, light and air
pollution, which can prolong the life of
library materials if controlled properly.
Binding books protects them with sturdy
coverings. Fragile items or those in
several pieces can be housed in protec-
tive enclosures. Staff education pro-
grams train library staff to shelve books
carefully, make simple repairs and spot
problems which need expert attention.
Displays, bookmarks, and plastic book
bags are part of our ongoing user
education efforts to sensitize library
users to the vulnerability of library
materials and to promote the careful
handling of books both inside and outside
the library. Stacks cleaning projects
remove dust and debris which abrade
books and attract insect pests. Disaster
plans enable the staff to respond quickly
and effectively to emergencies which
threaten the collections.
REPAIR & CONSERVATION
Other activities focus on repairing
damaged books, whether that damage
was a result of normal use, carelessness,
willful destruction, or disaster. Books
with strong, flexible (i.e. not brittle)
paper can be rebound or repaired in a
variety of ways. Rehinding replaces
wora or damaged book covers with new
ones made either by UM bookbinders or
at a commercial library bindery.
Repairing paper tears, broken sewing,
texts detached from their covers, and
worn covers makes books usable again.
Wet, moldy or insect-infested books can
usually be reclaimed by one of several
disaster and salvage recovery tech-
niques. Some especially important or
valuable items undergo specialized con-
servation treatments to clean, stabilize
and protect them from future damage.
Many books, however, are already too
brittle and crumbling to repair. When
possible, these books are replaced by a
reprint on permanent durable paper.
Occasionally, a preservation photocopy
of the original is made. Yet other brittle
volumes are microfilmed, and an
archival copy of the film stored in a
secure, environmentally controlled vault.
The originals of most of the brittle
volumes filmed are transferred to the
Buhr remote shelving facility.
The UM Library also cooperates with
other research libraries in preservation
related endeavors. Our participation in
cooperative microfilming projects pre-
serves thousands of brittle volumes
annually in our strongest subject collec-
tions. Along with other libraries we
encourage publishers to use permanent
durable paper which will remain strong
and supple for hundreds of years. We
look forward to the development of a
mass deacidification process to neutral-
ize the paper in books published from
1850 to the present, before they become
brittle. New technologies, like electronic
scanning and digitization of text, should
offer viable alternatives to microfilming
in the future.
YOU CAN HELP
Unfortunately, all of these preservation
activities will not guarantee that every
book (or periodical or film or audiotape)
you need will be in perfect condition.
Because there are so many items which
need treatment, use drives most of our
preservation activities. That is, we repair
(or rebind or replace or microfilm or
Continued on page 3
The University Library was a pioneer in
the tradition of protecting rare and valu-
able.books. The segregation of these
books at UM began in the early 1900s,
when the Department of Rare Books and
Special Collections started building col-
lections of international distinction. It now
houses a variety of materials, some of
purely intrinsic value, others which
support research in the University, ranging
from rare printed books of great intrinsic
value to the working manuscripts of
The Department is a microcosm of the
Library asa whole. It collects materials
on virtually every subject taught in the
University,'hwithe emphasis primarily on
source materials - manuscripts, first
editions, eyewitness accounts, key texts in
the history of civilization, and contempo-
rary pamphlets and other ephemera.
One of the Department's most notable
holdings is the Labadie Collection. Estab-
lished in 1911 and originally centered on
anarchist materials, it now embraces social
protest literature, world-wide in scope,
from the political left and right. Its special
strengths are in civil liberties, socialism,
communism, colonialism, imperialism,
American labor history through the 1930s,
the I.W.W., the Spanish Civil War, sexual
freedom, women's liberation, and student
Other notable collections include the
Shakespeare Collection, the Hubbard
Collection of Imaginary Voyages, the
Worcester Philippine Collection, the
Myers Collection on German history of
the Weimar and Nazi periods, and archi-
val collections in librarianship and the
history of information science. The
distinguished papyri collection of the
Greco-Roman period contains more than
There are also strong holdings in early
science and mathematics, English History,
English and American drama, French and
Dutch political pamphlets, Elsevier
imprints, fine and private-press books, and
the works of Carlyle, Dickens, Dryden,
Frost, Swinburne, Trollope, and Mark
Twain, to name only a few.
The Department occupies the seventh
floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library. An
exhibit area immediately adjacent to the
elevator lobby offers a changing display of
Handled With Care! Rare and Special Materials at U-M
materials, made up mainly from the
Department's holdings. These exhibits are
open to all, as are the collections them-
selves, in general. Individual items must
be consulted in the nearby reading room,
which is staffed during all of the Depart-
ment's open hours, from 10:00 a.m. to
12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to
12:00 noon on Saturdays during the
regular school year. Visitors are advised
to call ahead during the spring and
summer terms and during holiday and in-
tersession periods (764-9377).
Catalogs of Departmental holdings,
including manuscripts and other non-book
materials, are located in the reading room.
There is also access to an online biblio-
graphic database of serials and pamphlets
in the Labadie Collection. An attendant
can assist in using these guides, including
the online bibliographic data base on
serials and pamphlets in the Labadie
Collection, to help identify sources for
research, to advise in requests for photo-
copying and filming, and to give general
research assistance and answer questions
about the collections.
...continuedfrom page 14
form. Divided into seven indexes, the
OED CD-ROM provides a complexity of
access otherwise impossible with the print
edition of the OED. Examples of searches
made possible by the OED CD-ROM
include finding what English words derive
from the Latin portare, what American-
isms are illustrated with quotations from
the (American) New Century Dictionary,
or what medical terms date from the first
20 years of the 17th century. The seminar
will cover basic system features and
Location: Room 205c, Graduate Library.
Date and Time:
Wed., Oct. 11, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Instructor: John Price-Wilkin.
Registration: Required, limited to 10
participants, call 764-1148, or send MTS
message to graduatejlibrary _reference.
Regents' Proceedings Database
The Regents' Proceedings Index Data-
base (RPI) contains the index to all
volumes of the Proetedings of the Board
of Regents from 1817 to present. Training
sessions are offered by the Office of the
Secretary of the University, which
maintains RPI, and covers basic SPIRES
commands to access the RPI on MTS.
Dates and Times: Contact Nancy Asin at
764-3883 or send MTS message.
MIRLYN -- The Basics
MIRLYN is the University Library's
online catalog. (see page 16) Users can
search the database to determine which
library owns a title. It is possible to search
MIRLYN from any terminal or microcom-
puter which connects to UMnet as well as
from MIRLYN terminals in the libraries.
Class participants will learn what is in the
database and how to search MIRLYN
effectively. Sessions include:
1). Hatcher Graduate Library.
Location: Room 205c.
Dates and Times:
Wed., Sept. 20,4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.;
Thurs., Sept. 21, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Registration: Required, call GL Refer-
ence at 764-1148, or send MTS message
to graduate_ibrary reference.
2). Taubman Medical Library.
Location: Learning Resource Center,
Dates and Times: Weekly in September,
Biweekly in October, once a month in
November and December, call 763-2037
for exact dates and times.
Registration: Required, send MTS
message to mediballibrary or call 763-
3). Public Health Library
Location: School of Public Health,
Building II, Room M-1123.
Dates and Times: Weekly in September,
Biweekly in October, and once a month in
November and December. Call 764-5473
for dates and times.
Registration: Required, send MTS
message to public.healthjlibrary @UB or
MIRLYN training is also offered at the
Undergraduate and branch and divisional
libraries. Contact the libraries directly or
look for MIRLYN flyers (available in all
libraries), which provide specifics for
these and other library classes.