Preservation at CRL involves action taken to prevent or slow deterioration of physical materials through correct housing and environment and, as necessary, to reformat materials to preserve their intellectual content.
CRL has consistently invested in measures designed to prolong the existence of, and accessibility to, its collections for current and future scholars. As Interlibrary Loan is a key service of CRL, materials lent must be in a condition to be handled and to be transported to and from user libraries.
Throughout its history, CRL’s preservation efforts have been primarily focused on retaining materials in their original format, or, as necessary, to the retention of intellectual content through reformatting.
CRL takes measures to prevent or slow the naturally occurring deterioration of paper-based collections and to protect microform collections. Such measures include:
- providing an ideal storage environment, with stack areas consistently maintained at 60° F and 45-percent relative humidity
- reduction of ultraviolet radiation through modernization of stack lighting
- a rigorous stack-management program, with appropriate shelving practices and housekeeping routines. Materials are well-supported in an upright position or shelved flat; stacks are neat and clean; many unbound materials are wrapped for storage, protection, and support.
- rehousing collections of archival quality
Preservation reformatting has been a vital part of CRL preservation efforts throughout its history. A long history of microfilming programs such as the Area Microform Projects (AMPs), collaborative projects such as the International Coalition on Newspapers (ICON), and many grant-funded projects have been augmented in recent years to convert original materials to microform and digital formats. On-demand digitization and strategic digitization projects, both in-house and collaborative, enable CRL to deliver a growing percentage of its collections to researchers electronically. CRL is dedicated to the preservation of these digital resources and is actively incorporating programs to assure enduring access to full content and the metadata that makes the content discoverable and usable.