The preservation program should  be based on the collection  needs of a specific library or cultural institution. There are  many preservation principles that can be applied to all types of cultural institutions  and the emphasis and the direction for the program will  be determined by the collections, organizational culture, history and environmental factors. The preservation goals will be determined by many factors such as:  how large is the  collection; is the collection new or historical materials or a mix of  both; do library materials circulate outside of the building; is it a research collection, instructional, or recreational or a mixture of all; who are the library users.  The library building itself and  the  environment (externally and internally) will have the greatest impact  on the physical condition of the collection.  This tutorial will guide and help  you in fulfilling these responsibilities.

We recommend that first time users begin with the self-assessment.

This tutorial covers management and planning, preservation, building capacity, and supporting the effort.


Support for this tutorial comes from the Henry Luce Foundation.  No part of this tutorial may be reproduced or transcribed in any form  without prior written permission of Cornell University Library/Department of Preservation.  Requests for reproduction should be directed to  conservation at All URLs and internal links valid as of May  2014.

Development Team

Department of Preservation

Cornell University Library

May 2014