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

  • New addition to the Book Model Collection

    Christine Manwiller, former UI Center for the Book (UICB) student, created a facsimile of a Burmese binding for a historical binding class she took as part of her MFA degree. The original Burmese book was from Fritz James, the retired CEO of Library Binding Service, Inc. He acquired the manuscript…

  • Linda Lundy receives UI Staff Council Longevity Award

    "We are so lucky to have Linda in the Conservation Lab," said Conservator Giselle Simón, Linda's supervisor. "She not only makes our custom boxes, but thank goodness she's a great sewer! If you happen to call a book in any of our special collection reading rooms (Art, Hardin, Special…

  • In-house binding for quick access to course reserves

    As part of the Preservation Department’s customer service focus, books that are placed on rush are processed faster so that patrons can have access to these materials sooner. Not long before this spring semester started, two unbound loose leaf textbooks needed to be placed on course reserves…

  • Not just paper and books: Conservation staff create custom enclosures for unique artifacts

    As part of his work in the conservation lab, Bill Voss constructs enclosures to house delicate artifacts. He recently completed a large custom enclosure for one item from Andrei Codrescu’s Art Installation Piece. Codrescu is a Romanian-American writer and artist. His artwork and poetry was…

  • Dong Dong wins Graduate Student Employee Academic Enrichment Award

    As the University of Iowa community, especially the student population, returns to work, after the holidays we are reminded of the pivotal role students are in fulfilling the University’s mission. We here at the University of Iowa Libraries’ Preservation and Conservation Department are…

  • Contrasting commercial library binding options

    Blog post by Abigail Evans, student employee, and Nancy Kraft, head of Preservation & Conservation This fall we took some time to review our two commercial bindery practices for monographs: DigiCovers and standard solid-color library bindings. DigiCovers are created by color-copying and…

  • Katelyn Foster wins Bentz Scholarship

    With winter break around the bend, campus wide student employee supervisors contemplate how to cope with the dramatic drop off of help to be had over the holidays. This poses unique challenges, but most of all it makes us appreciate student employees that much more. Here in…

  • Deborah Howe visits as part of the William Anthony Endowment

    Last week the University of Iowa Library’s Preservation and Conservation Department were please to host Dartmouth College’s Collections Conservator Deborah Howe as part of the William Anthony Endowment lecture series. On Thursday, October 4th Howe gave a lecture at the Main Library…

  • Conservation Staff Install Works From the Iowa Women’s Archive at Dubuque Museum of Art

    Recently a group of staff from the University of Iowa Library’s Conservation Lab journeyed up to Dubuque to install some pieces lent from the Iowa Women’s Archive (IWA) to the Dubuque Museum of Art. The materials and artwork are from the Josephine Pletscher Papers collection, donated to…

  • Nancy Kraft reflects on disaster response in new book chapter

    Congratulations to our very own “Queen of Disaster,” Nancy Kraft, on the recent publication of her new book chapter. Nancy’s chapter, “Bridging the Rivers,” appears in Flood in Florence, 1966: a Fifty-Year Retrospective, out now from Michigan Publishing. Find out how…