Welcome to the Preservation & Conservation Department!

Mission: “Preserving Iowa’s past to enrich Iowa’s Future”

Vision: A trusted provider of services, expertise, and training, an active collaborator in the community, and a leader in long-term collections access and preservation efforts.

The Preservation & Conservation Department is responsible for activities that relate to the care and handling of library materials, both circulating and non-circulating and is an integral part of digital initiative planning, production and preservation. Services include commercial and in-house binding, repair, marking, attaching security tapes and in-house and vended reformatting. Specialized treatments are provided by the Conservation lab. The department provides services aimed at improving the storage condition of the collections including environmental monitoring, emergency planning and preparedness and staff and user education.

The Conservation Department was established in 1984. The Preservation department was established in 1987, drawing together various preservation activities previously carried out in other departments. In the mid 90’s Preservation and Conservation were merged into a single department.

Feel free to contact us with preservation questions or request for a tour of our facilities.

The Preservation & Conservation Department is a member of the Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium.

Preservation Beat: News

  • Shakespeare At Iowa Items Under Wraps

    Friday, August 26, 2016 We’re keeping everything under wraps for the opening day of the Shakespeare First Folio and Shakespeare At Iowa Exhibit. As items were prepared for the exhibit, […]

  • Sustaining Digital Resources Boot Camp

    Daniel Johnson, Digital Preservation Librarian, and I participated in the Sustaining Digital Resources Boot Camp at Northwestern University last week, August 8-10. The boot camp was billed as “the business […]

  • Treating A Keith-Albee Scrapbook

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Submitted by Katarzyna Bator and Bailey Kinsky Our second project this summer is assisting with the treatment of several scrapbooks from the Keith Albee collection. Our […]

  • Finding a Hidden Gem

    Wednesday, August 3, 2016 Finding a hidden gem makes Book Repair Supervisor Susan’s day fun. While repairing a book spine, Susan discovered this stiffener (liner) inside the spine; spine liners […]

  • Van Allen Explorer Tapes in DPN

    In May of this year, the University of Iowa Libraries became the first institution to deposit material into the Digital Preservation Network. You can read more about this on the DPN […]

  • Documenting and Treating Scrolls: Part 3 Final

    Wednesday, July 27, 2016 Submitted by Katarzyna Bator and Bailey Kinsky The Buddhist scrolls from the Ficke collection had experienced pretty significant insect damage which greatly increased the risk of […]

  • Documenting and Treating Scrolls: Part 2

    Friday, July 15, 2016 Submitted by Katarzyna Bator and Bailey Kinsky Dry cleaning is the first step in most, if not all conservation treatments. Loose dirt and soil buildup collects […]

  • Documenting and Treating Scrolls: Part 1

    Thursday July 7, 2016 Submitted by Katarzyna Bator and Bailey Kinsky We are both graduate students at Buffalo State College Art Conservation Department. We are spending the summer at the […]

  • IMALERT Disaster Hotline for Cultural Collections Live July 1, 2016

    Friday, July 1, 2016 During a disaster, time is critical but help is a phone call away. IMALERT Hotline: 319-384-3673. As of today the Iowa Museums, Archives, and Libraries Emergency […]

  • Box Making Day

    Friday, June 10, 2016 It was all hands on deck yesterday, as staff made boxes for the many items awaiting protective enclosures in the conservation lab. The boxes ranged from […]