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

  • The Preservation Student Staff Remote Work Experience Spring/Summer 2020

    As part time interim Preservation Processing Coordinator in the UI Libraries Preservation Department, one of my main duties is to supervise the student staff who do the day to day marking work for new acquisitions and items that need to be reprocessed for one reason or another. From January to […]

  • Kraft Retires as Head of Preservation & Conservation

    Nancy E. Kraft, Head of Preservation and Conservation, has retired after serving 18 years at the University of Iowa Libraries.

  • IMALERT members assist in disaster recovery

    On Monday, April 22, Iowa Museums, Archives, Libraries Emergency Response Team (IMALERT) members assisted with the retrieval and salvage of collection items in the flood-damaged Pacific Junction Railroad Museum (PJRM). We could not have had a more “perfect” flood recovery experience. The Mills […]

  • A student’s perspective on working in the library

    The Preservation and Conservation department employs 19 students in positions ranging from digitization to book repair to conservation. Within the Marking unit, student employees mark new books to prepare them for patron use. We start by property stamping them, then we insert a security device, and […]

  • Preservation Week 2019

    This week is Preservation Week, which is sponsored by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), a branch of the American Library Association (ALA). Preservation Week is an opportunity to learn about and take action to preserve collections. The theme for this year’s […]

  • Mystery of the mismatched covers

    About a month ago the conservation department received a book for repair from the John Martin Rare Book Room in the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences. Beth Stone, assistant conservator, noticed that the front cover of the book did not match the back cover. It was taller and wider than the text […]

  • Making A/V collections more accessible

    Brad Ferrier, digital projects librarian, coordinates transcription and caption for Audio/Video (A/V) materials in the library’s collection. “Transcription is converting the speech in an audio file into a written plain text document. Caption is converting the speech in a video file into text […]

  • Part Two: A Librarian’s Disaster Response Gear

    By Nancy E Kraft: My Trunk Kit has expanded from a flashlight and a screw driver to include pliers, wrenches, screw drivers, a hammer, mallet, crowbar, string, twine, utility knives, caution tape, duct tape, gloves, scissors, flash Lights, a “head” light, and hiking boots. The crowbar is handy […]

  • Part One: A Librarian’s Disaster Response Gear

    By Nancy E Kraft: With the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association Fall meeting in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the fact that I assisted in responding to the flood of 2008, I thought it would be interesting to highlight the personal gear I use to respond to disasters to libraries and museums. The gear can […]

  • Pagan heads to Puerto Rico for cultural heritage conservation project

    Candida Pagan, project conservator, traveled to Puerto Rico in early February to participate in the Helping Puerto Rican Heritage Project (HPRH). Puerto Rico faces specific preservation challenges due to the tropical climate. Salt and humidity, along with more catastrophic weather like […]