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

  • If Objects Could Talk History Harvest at the African American Museum of Iowa

    In higher education, we often equate student life and campus life. Last year, I found myself questioning this notion on my frequent shortcuts through the student center on campus. Absent from most of the archival photos hung in the student center’s hallway chronicling milestones in the…

  • Flood Recovery: Linn County Recorder’s Office

    As Project Conservator at the UI Libraries, I am tasked with several workflows that are slightly outside of the regular Libraries Lab flow. One being conservation of the Keith Albee Vaudeville Theater Scrapbooks (see more here and here), another being treatment of Linn County Recorder’s…

  • Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group 2016

    As a new librarian, I appreciate the privilege that my residency at the University of Iowa’s Preservation and Conservation department affords me; aside from the professional expectations of any other position, I’m encouraged to explore gaps in my LIS education and professional…

  • Before & After Treatment: Keith’s New Theatre clipping book

    Before treatment: Crumbling edges, misshapen spine, detached pages, overfilled pages, board detachment front and back. After treatment: Foldered and housed detached pages in a 4-flap wrapper, sewed new endsheets front and back, lined spine and created new flange with extended liner and new…

  • Keith/Albee Vaudeville Collection in DIY History!

    The University of Iowa Libraries presents a wonderful and exciting opportunity for one and for all: The Keith/Albee Vaudeville Theater Collection in glorious DIY History! Now you too can step right up and take part in transcribing these exciting behind-the-scenes reports! The first 24 books in the…

  • Visiting NYC – Digital Transitions Cultural Heritage Round Table

    Last week, I flew to New York City for the very first time to attend the Digital Transitions Division of Cultural Heritage Round Table, a day-long event which brought together digital imaging professionals from a variety of institutions including the New York Public Library, Smithsonian…

  • 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, they were wrapped so not even staff could take a peek. Here some of the books are sitting in front of their…

  • 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 model boot camp for digital project leaders” and we were not sure what to expect.…

  • 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 work was being overseen by Candida Pagan, Project Conservator. The goal for our treatment is to stabilize…

  • 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 often were cut from scraps of paper, sometimes unused pages from books already produced by the…