Preservation Services

The Harvard Library holds the largest academic library collection in the world, and the age and vulnerability of its vast holdings vary widely. The Harvard Library Preservation Program comprises state-of-the-art facilities and expert staff committed to ensuring that library materials remain secure and usable for contemporary and future scholars by employing a variety of strategies for conserving materials, digitizing physical collections, preserving library content in digital formats, and providing robust education and outreach programs.

Upcoming Events

October 31, 2018, 12:30 – 1:30 PM: Unexpected Fame: Conservation Approaches to the Preparatory Object conference review. This conference (2nd Icon Book & Paper Group Conference in Oxford, England) aims to explore the conservator’s approach to treating objects such as artists’ sketchbooks or authors’ manuscripts: paper-based items which were not necessarily created with posterity in mind. Their creators may not have anticipated a lifespan encompassing display, digitization or heavy consultation. Catherine Badot-Costello will give her talk that was presented at the conference; “Capturing the Marks of the Maestro; Conservation, Digitization and Preservation of Material Evidence in the Sir Georg Solti Archive.” Afterwards she and Debora Mayer will share an overview of other presentations. 90 Mt Auburn St, Room 021.

November 7th 12:30-1:30 PM: iPress Conference Review.   iPRES is the premier and longest-running conference series on digital preservation.  The 15th annual conference was co-hosted by Harvard and MIT Libraries in September 2018.  The theme was “where art and science meet: the art in science and the science in art”. A broad array of practitioners, researchers, educators, providers, students, and others shared stories about bridging knowledge gaps in teams, implementing technologies, and overcoming barriers towards proper digital stewarding of digital items, assets, works and collections. Several attendees will share key takeaways at this brown-bag presentation. Cabot Library Instruction Room (lower level)

November 20th 12:30PM-1:30PM: ICC 2018 Turin Congress conference review. Attendee Lauren Telepak will provide highlights from the 27th Biennial Congress of the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC) held in Turin, Italy in September.  The congress program, which was entitled “Preventative Conservation: State of the Art”, included presentations and posters on innovative practices in preventive conservation in cultural institutions. 90 Mt Auburn Room 021

November 29th 12:30-1:30 PM: Facing Catastrophe--IIC Nordic Group conference review. During the last few years, many countries have experienced disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, building explosions and fires, which have had a serious impact on their cultural heritage. The International Institute for Conservation-Nordic Group presented its XXI International NKF Congress on “Cultural heritage facing catastrophe: Prevention and recoveries” from September 26 – 28, 2018 in Reykjavík, Iceland.  The theme of the congress was the impact of natural and man-made catastrophes on cultural heritage.  Conservators, curators, and professionals working with the preservation of cultural heritage gathered to share knowledge and experiences to improve the protection of the cultural heritage. Topics included preventive measures, risk assessments and technical solutions, case studies of catastrophes and emergency responses, and long term recovery. Attendee Priscilla Anderson will share key takeaways from the conference at this brown bag event. 90 Mt. Auburn Room 021

December 5th 12:00-1:30 PM: Preserving Artifacts of Free Speech: Caring for Political Memorabilia webinar reprise. Connecting to Collections Care presented a recent webinar on caring for political memorabilia, such as broadsides, posters, banners, buttons, pins, bumper stickers, decals, and plaques. Many political materials are ephemeral, made out of poor-quality materials and not meant to last more than a few months. Whitney Baker discussed real-life examples of political memorabilia and solutions for their preservation. Suggested materials and supplies focused on a cost-effective and simple collections care approach. 90 Mt. Auburn Room 021