The preservation challenges posed by the Library's diverse collections have often been of interest outside the Library. For more information, please consult the following three areas.
Conservation Highlights. In 2010, the Preservation Directorate devoted part of its website to demonstrating the techniques used by the Conservation Division. This page not only addresses treatments but also created housings. This pages is updated periodically as projects are completed.
Conservation Corner. The Information Bulletin of The Library of Congress has often highlighted the work of Conservation Division in periodic series called "Conservation Corner." This link will provide you with a list of all the articles that have appeared in this series.
Bach to Baseball Cards. As part of the Library's Bicentennial celebration in 2000, the Conservation Division highlighted many of their past treatments of the Library's rich and diverse collections. This page provides before and after photographs and brief description of the challenges in preserving the item.
Paper Strengthening Pilot Program
The most effective technique to increase the physical strength of paper, and significantly slow down the chemical degradation, is the mechanized version of a process called “paper splitting.” In 2005, the Preservation Directorate of the Library of Congress concluded an investigatation of this process.
Stabilizing Special Collections for High-density Storage
In 2005, the Library of Congress opened a state-of-the-art, high-density storage facility thirty miles from Capitol Hill at Fort Meade in Maryland. Modules 3 and 4 were designed to house 22 million special-format collection items. The Conservation Division Move Project team was charged with preparing especially challenging special format collections for off-site transport and storage.
The collections included a variety of formats such as globes, rolled architectural drawings, ephemera, large works of art on paper, photographs, negatives, maps, manuscripts, newspapers, rare folios and a variety of three-dimensional objects.
Collections Recovery Room
First opened in October 2009, the Collections Recovery Room is a secure space in the Library of Congress Madison Building dedicated to enhancing the Library's capabilities to safeguard its collections in the event of emergencies. Meeting both educational and practical functions, the room's efficient organization provides a model setup for Preservation training and drills in collections salvage and recovery work related to the Library's Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP), Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP), and similar initiatives.
Working closely with the scientists in Preservation Research and Testing, the Conservation Division specifies research to be conducted needed on many rare and valuable collection items. This research takes many forms, ranging from scientific and forensic characterization studies to treatment developments.