The Vassar College Libraries Preservation Department provides conservation and preservation services for the Vassar College libraries.
The Department offers a broad range of preservation options for both newly acquired and existing materials to ensure the most effective treatments for standard collections formats as well as sound creative solutions for non-standard formats. Keeping in mind the key treatment goals of usability, readability, permanence (through use of chemically stable conservation materials), sturdiness, and adherence to national standards, the Department provides state-of-the-art conservation treatments on worn, damaged, or deteriorating materials, thereby enhancing user access to the Libraries’ collections.
In addition, the Department establishes, monitors, and maintains environmental standards for library collections; prepares disaster response strategies and implements them when necessary; and develops and maintains relationships with commercial preservation services (e.g. commercial library binding, microfilming, cleaning, mass de-acidification).
It also communicates with library staff regarding preservation matters; responds to staff and patron queries; applies the latest technologies to track workflows, process materials, and gather statistical data; and coordinates with and provides support to other libraries in the Vassar College Libraries system, including the Archives & Special Collections Library, the Digital Library, and the George Sherman Dickinson Music Library.
The Department is persistent in its examination of preservation practices and assumptions and initiates change when it becomes clear that methods, products, or services can be improved, as well as being rigorous in its encouragement of product development within the industries that serve the preservation community and contributing to such efforts as opportunities arise.