IFLANET home - International Federation of Library Associations and InstitutionsAnnual ConferenceSearchContacts

61st IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 20-25, 1995

Section on Conservation

Annual Report 1994

Beatrix Kastaly
Department of Newspapers Preservation
National Széchényi Library
Budavári Palota F-Epulet
1827 Budapest
Fax: (36-1) 2020804
is Chair of the Section on Conservation.

Ralph W. Manning

National Library of Canada
Acquisitions and Bibliographic Services Branch
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A ON4
Fax (1-819) 9530291
e-mail: rwm@abs.nlc-bnc.ca
is Secretary.

Standing Committee and Membership

During the report period there were 107 members of the Section on Conservation. The Standing Committee has eight members who were elected in 1991, and seven members who were elected in 1993, plus two corresponding members. The current officers elected in Barcelona 1993 experienced considerable difficulty in getting things started or continued because of lack of information from the previous Chai r. It was therefore necessary to make a new start. Emphasis was placed on a thorough preparation of the meetings of the Section and the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee was revitalized by e xcellent attendance and participation at the events sponsored by the Section. More than 30 persons from 15 countries attended the Committee's meetings, thus enabling the officers to pave the way for progress of the workplan.


With the revision of the Medium-Term Programme, the following items were retained as priorities for the workplan for 1995: 1) leaflet on permanent paper; 2) leaflet on disaster planning; 3) Section b rochure; 4) Section newsletter; 5) preparation of future conference programmes and 6) preparation of a satellite meeting to be held in Budapest 1995.

Leaflet on the Section

The first leaflet to be produced is a general leaflet introducing the Section on Conservation with a view to attracting new members; it will outline the aims and goals for the next few years.

Leaflet on Permanent Paper

The SC agreed that in the development of the leaflet several items could be included: a report on permanent paper research in Sweden; a European survey of publishers' use of permanent paper; a report from the European Commission on Preservation and Access; and a survey of US and Canadian papers that meet the ANSI standard which includes information on recycled paper. The importance of working th rough the national affiliates of the IPA and the European Commission was emphasized. Although the situation differs in each country, the national libraries would be the focal point, and CDNL was sugg ested as a partner in this work. Robert Frase (USA) will work on the permanent paper leaflet and will seek assistance from colleagues in Europe.

Leaflet on Disaster Planning

Maria Skepastianu (Greece) will coordinate the work on the disaster planning leaflet with the assistance of Beatrix Kastaly and Jean Whiffin (Canada). The leaflet will be printed by the National Sz&e acute;chényi Library in 1995 and it will be ready before the Conference in Istanbul.

Satellite Meeting in Budapest 1995

In conjunction with PAC, the Regional Centre in Leipzig will participate actively in the preparation of this meeting, scheduled for 15-17 August 1995. Topics to be included are: permanent paper, trai ning of conservators, problems of new technologies, mass deacidification, collection conservation, permanent paper, preventive conservation, disaster preparedness, and training.

Connections with ISO and the IFLA PAC Core Programme

Following the decision made during the Havana Conference, a formal liaison has been established with ISO/TC46/SC 10 through three members of the Standing Committee of the Section, who have been activ ely involved in the work of ISO. Connections will be renewed with the PAC Core Programme since a new PAC Director was appointed at the Bibliothèque national de France as of 1 September. A liai son has been established and a meeting with the new Director scheduled for January 1995.



The SC agreed that the Section should publish an irregular newsletter working in cooperation with the PAC International Centre and its International Preservation News. It could be an insert in IPN, b ut if the timing does not coincide, the Section newsletter should be distributed separately. It is intended to act as a summary of the work of the SC as well as a vehicle for providing information to the members of the Section. The first issue of the newsletter will be published in December 1995, edited by Ralph Manning.

Future Conferences

Istanbul 1995

The Section will sponsor a session on "The Future of Collections in Library Buildings" in Istanbul.

Beijing 1996

The topic for the session in Beijing is: "The Role of National Libraries in the Preservation of the National Heritage". This could be a joint session with the Section of National Libraries. It was no ted that 1996 marks the 10th anniversary of the Vienna Conference on Preservation.

Havana Meetings

Although the Section did not hold an open session, it held a very successful workshop in Havana in collaboration with the Division of Regional Activities: Latin America and the Caribbean, with more t han 50 participants from 20 countries on the theme: "Preservation in Tropical Climates". Luis Frades, the first speaker, gave a presentation on the conservation policy of the National Archives of Cub a which has under its supervision more than 25 kilometers of original documents dating from the 16th century. Neglect, effects of natural aging and the harsh climatic conditions have resulted in a co nsiderable degree of deterioration to the collections. Microfilming, fumigation and disinfection have been used to combat problems of deterioration. Remarks on the conservation of photographic recor ds were made by Rodolfo Gomez Delgado who works with the Conservation Department of the Biblioteca Nacional "José Martí" in Havana. Ramón Sanchez Chapellin, Head of the Print Wor ks Conservation Division of the National Library of Venezuela, gave a report on the preventive conservation of library and archive holdings. He emphasized the implementation of an ongoing preservatio n programme, including procedures for cleaning and inspecting of materials. His paper was followed by a practical demonstration of drycleaning methods on books. Flossie A. Matenje, Senior Assistant L ibrarian at the University of Malawi Libraries in Zomba spoke on preservation and conservation of library and archival materials in Africa. Finally, Wendy Smith, Lecturer in Paper Conservation at the National Centre for Cultural Heritage Science Studies at the University of Canberra, Australia gave a report of the work she carried out as part of the IFLA Robert Vosper Fellowship Programme for 19 92/93. The follow-up of her project, development of distance learning training modules in preservation management primarily in developing countries, will be done in cooperation with the PAC Regional Centre at the National Library of Australia, particularly with the implementation of the training package. The following papers were presented:

La conservación de documentos en Cuba: política de conservación del Archivo Nacional

The National Archives of Cuba has in its safekeeping more than 25 kilometers of original documents dating from the 16th century to the present. The work of conserving these holdings requires a policy which encompasses their chemical, biological and entomological preservation, as well as the adoption and regulation of systems designed for the automation, microfilming and restoration of the docume nt collection. The present work sets out the results obtained by the National Archives of Cuba concerning the conservation of the documents and the strategy to be followed is sketched out.

Mantenimiento de colecciones en bibliotecas y archivos: una acción preventiva

The paper proposes the implementation of a programme of conservation of library and archive holdings, given how important conservation is in preserving them. To implement such a programme, it must be adapted to the collection's particular characteristics, a dry work area must be created for cleaning, the copies must be handled carefully, the stacks must be cleaned and inspected and possible sour ces of dampness and insects eliminated. It is extremely important that the staff who carry out the work receives proper training. To maintain periodical collections it is recommended that they be kep t unbound in polypropylene boxes. To provide indirect assistance in maintaining the collections, it is necessary to have a storage area with controlled temperature and relative humidity and where the periodic cleaning of the area is supervised.

Distance Learning for Library Preservation: A Robert Vosper Fellowship Project

The paper is a report of the work carried out by the author as recipient of the Robert Vosper IFLA Fellows Programme grant, sponsored by the Council on Library Resources, USA, in 1992/93. The author has developed a series of distance learning training modules in preservation management, which have first been used in countries in South East Asia and the South Pacific. Training was undertaken prim arily by correspondence, although use in a workshop or seminar environment is possible. Each module includes exercises for assessment and comment. There are two major components to the package: first ly to build up a clear picture of the target institution -its policies, current state of the collections and collection development priorities. The second component is to build up an understanding of the factors that affect the deterioration of library materials - the materials themselves, the physical and human environment. This project attempts to develop tools that will aid in the explanation and development of preservation management strategies for use in developing regions of the world. The chief emphasis of the package is to encourage participants to develop realistic and practical pr eservation policies and procedures, both strategic and operational, for use in their own institutions.

Plan de accion 1994-1995 del Centre Nacional de Conservation de Venezuela como Nucleo IFLA/PAC para Latinoamerica y el Caribe

The dual concept of preservation and access is the basis of cooperative efforts at the National Library of Venezuela. Based on this concept, there has been an integration of the sectors for technical processing, preservation and conservation activities, and constituent parts of the sector for bibliographic control. The paper also describes international cooperative action, particularly in the ar eas of education and training.

The Policy of Preservation in the National Library in Brazil: The Tropical Climate Case Studies

The National Library of Brazil has a collection of more than eight million documents, most of them printed on paper. Considering the size of the collection, the variety of format, and its value as bi bliographic heritage, the National Library adopted a massive preservation policy, mainly because paper is especially vulnerable in the tropical Brazilian climate. The paper describes preservation met hods and policy, which guarantee access, dissemination of the bibliographic information and guarantees the integrity of the collection.