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Associations and InstitutionsAnnual 

64th IFLA Conference Logo

   64th IFLA General Conference
   August 16 - August 21, 1998


Code Number: 116-64-E
Division Number: 0
Professional Group: Open Forums of Core Programmes
Joint Meeting with: -
Meeting Number: 64.
Simultaneous Interpretation:   Yes

PAC Core Programme Preservation and Conservation

Marie-Thrèse Varlamoff
Director, IFLA/PAC
Paris, France



The PAC Programme (Preservation and Conservation) is twelve years old. Unlike IFLA's other core programmes, PAC has been conceived in a decentralized way with a focal point, name the International Centre, and Regional Centres disseminated throughout the world.

The International Centre, hosted by the BibliothÀque nationale de France in Paris, sets up the overall policy, manages and coordinates activities, and promotes preservation issues among other bodies also concerned by preservation. Today, there are six existing Regional Centres respectively located in:

Each one of those Regional Centres is responsible for implanting specific actions in its region with one major goal: to ensure that library materials, published and unpublished, in all formats, will be preserved in accessible form for as long as possible: A task all the more difficult than preservation and conservation have long been the concern of specialists and have focused mainly on restoration. But times have changed: the emergence of new formats, combined with constantly evolving technologies, the variety of documents to be safeguarded and the problems raised throughout the world by the acidity of paper and the publications in digital form, have led us to concentrate mainly on preventive preservation. We are conscious that nothing efficient can be done unless we raise awareness on preservation issues among the profession and governments. Preservation is one major issue of librarianship, and as important as collecting, cataloguing or access. It should be a concern for all of us and linked to any activity of the library. In order to reach this goal we need to develop training, to publish and translate professional literature, to disseminate information, to encourage research and standardization and to work in co-operation with all other concerned bodies, so as to avoid duplication of efforts and to reduce costs.


Since the last IFLA conference in Copenhagen PAC has been very active. Don't be afraid: I am not going to read the annual report. I just want to present two examples and would very much like those who have been the main actors in charge of specific projects to join me and present the results of their efforts:

As you can see our scope is large. To close this rapid presentation, I'd like to give you some brief information on the Blue Shield and the International Committee ICBS created in 1996 by ICA, ICOM, ICOMOS and IFLA. The mission of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS), which has taken up the emblem of the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, is to collect and disseminate information, and to co-ordinate action in emergency situations.

The four non-governmental organisations within ICBS are joining together to provide authorities and professionals with expertise and networks in the case of armed conflict or natural disasters that could affect cultural heritage. The four organisations are also working together to organise risk preparedness at an international level and to encourage it at a local level.

And I wish all those present here to get involved either by creating national Blue Shield Committees in their own country and/or getting up rescue programme in their library. PAC will succeed in its various tasks only if you help us. For more details I invite you all to come to the Poster Session on Tuesday and Wednesday (12-14 PM).

Thank you for your attention.