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LIS 220 Amante, Kriz Mae Capil, Shane Bl Eco, Kristan Keith Evangelista, Dia Marie Perez, Martin

Julius Issues and Problems on Preservation Preservation

June 21, 2013

Preservation is a term referring to the passive protection of archival materials in which no physical or chemical treatment to the item occurs. From an archival perspective, preservation may be viewed as the totality of processes and operations involved in the protection of records and archives against damage or deterioration. According to Garvey in The United States Participation in International Preservation Programs, Conservation is not a luxury, but a necessity in order to maintain a sense of personal and national identity. Issues and Problems A. Environmental Issues According to Forde (2007), planning a building, either a new one or one repurposed to house archival materials, requires extensive forethought and is considered the first level of archival protection. One of the environmental issues to be considered is the location of the building (which should not be near water, hazardous materials, military installations, and pollutants), site construction, storage areas, public access spaces, and staff work areas. It needs to be sure that the contents are maintained at controlled levels of temperature, light, relative humidity, and pollution. Maintenance of environmental conditions at proper levels is the most cost-effective measure to preserve library materials since every single item is affected by temperature and relative humidity. Temperature and relative Humidity It is a general rule that the higher a temperature, the more quickly archival materials will deteriorate because higher temperatures speed up the chemical processes that cause deterioration. Changes in relative humidity can have a negative effect on records and archives. Relative humidity define as the ratio of the amount of water vapor in the air to the amount that would be present at the same temperature where the atmosphere to be fully saturated. High relative humidity, particularly when coupled with high temperatures, accelerates the chemical deterioration of materials. High relative humidity can also cause some inks to feather: that is, to spread, sometimes well across the page, damaging the material. If relative humidity is too low, and therefore the air is too dry, materials will become brittle and may crack or split. If the relative humidity is too high, materials can absorb the moisture and so swell and warp. High relative humidity can also promote mould growth, which is highly dangerous to records and archives.

Light Light speeds up the oxidation of paper, causing materials to deteriorate faster. Light also has a bleaching action, causing coloured papers and inks to whiten or fade. At the same time, light can increase the chemical activity in paper, causing changes in colour; consider the effect of sunlight on a newspaper. Light also generates heat and, as discussed above, heat can speed up the process of degradation of materials. Ultraviolet light is the most harmful light, because the particular wavelength of ultraviolet light is very active, generating more radiation. High levels of radiation can increase chemical deterioration. Ultraviolet light is found in sunlight and fluorescent light. Dust and Pollution Dirt, dust and other particles are also pollutants, and they can absorb gaseous pollutants, which then penetrate materials and promote chemical and physical deterioration. Gases, exhaust, dirt, dust and other pollutants come in the form of particles that float in the air. They are acidic and abrasive, and when they come in contact with materials they can eat through the item causing it to deteriorate. Pollutants can cause metals to rust or wood products to chip and break. With paperbased materials, films or tapes, or other items found in archives, the particles become imbedded in the surface of the materials; since they are abrasive and acidic they weaken the materials through physical and chemical action. If particles settle on an item and then become moist through high relative humidity or water damage, they can leave permanent stains. Biological Agents Biological Agents such as insects, rodents, and fungus or mould are considered to be major issues. High relative humidity, high temperatures, a complete absence of light and the availability of nutrients are the factors that breeds and encouraged their presence in the preservation area.

B. Knowledge and Handling of Preservation Collection and Materials Proper education in handling preservation materials is one of the issues in preservation because people who are not knowledgeable in preservation pose the most serious hazard to archival materials through abuse and mishandling of the preservation collection. Intentional and accidental abuse can damage records and archives and lead to the loss of valuable information. Damaging activities include rough handling of paper, excessive pressure on bindings or folders, poor photocopying practices, placing materials on permanent exhibit, perhaps exposing them to extreme conditions, poor retrieval and filing practices, causing materials to be torn, misfolded or damaged, inappropriate storage of oversized materials, faulty or inappropriate equipment for transporting materials from place to place, excessive use of materials, writing on documents, particularly archival materials, spilling food or drink on records and archives, spilling ashes on materials, inappropriate mending or repair work, tearing or folding papers, handling fingers with dirty hands, licking or wetting fingers before turning pages, poor cleaning or housekeeping, deliberate acts of vandalism, theft of materials, inappropriate stacking or boxing of records, inadequate security.

Ngulube (2005) is of the view that the real impediment to having viable preservation programmes is not entirely resources-based, but lack of preservation knowledge.

C. Disaster Plan Disaster such as floods, fires, earthquakes, hurricane and typhoon, other chemical hazards, even pest infestation, and other natural disasters. Thus the need in Disaster plan in every preservation area is necessary.

D. Funding While some institutions does not have any problems in their funds and budgets in preservation, it is still imposes a major issue for some since maintaining a preservation conservation area requires a continuous maintenance and budget support for equipment, supplies, and personnel. With the trend of digital format, many institution has a little attention over brittle books. According to Marcum, Preservation funding is imperiled for a number of reasons. One of which is that private funding tends to follow trends, and currently there is keen interest in digitization as a means of making materials accessible to new and broader audiences. Consequently access projects are far more likely than preservation projects to succeed in the competitive review process. According to the book, Guide to Preservation in Acquisition Processing, if funds are limited or not currently available for reformatting, the library may store items in poor conditions. Storage should not contribute to further deterioration because this may lead to environmental issues in preservation.

E. Technological Issues Changes in technology poses a major challenge in digitizing information and obsolescence as the greatest threat to digital preservation. According to Feeney (1999), Unlike the situation that applies to books, digital archiving requires relatively frequent investments to overcome rapid obsolescence introduced by galloping technological change. Another technological issue is the longevity of the physical media on which the data or information is stored and the volume or quantity of digital collections. Digital media can be fragile and have limited shelf life even under well-maintained storage. Lastly, digital or electronic information faces the issue regarding the how electronic archives retain their authenticity and integrity over time, for both historical as well as for accountability and evidentiary reasons. Digital collections also need to be kept safe from unauthorized access, alteration or deletion. Data

security, data integrity and audit requirements are all required components of maintaining accountability and integrity which relates to the legal issues involving preservation and conservation.

F. Legal Issues Because of rapid change in technology and digital world involving different innovation that could either help or destroy the information and how it is store and preserve, electronic or digital preservation relates to the fact that it is also easily copied and redistributed. Copyright protection applies to all physical formats, print, and nonprint. It is important to be aware of the differences in copyright legislation formats such as audio- and videotapes, films, and electronic media. According to Hamilton (1993), Copyright applies whether an item is to be transferred to paper or is to be preserved in a different format such as microfilm or in an electronic file. It is the intellectual content, not the physical format, which is protected by copyright.


1. Feeney, M. (ed). (1999). Digital Culture: Maximising the Nation's Investment. London: The National Preservation Office. p.41. 2. Forde, Helen. Preserving Archives. Retrieved June 15, 2013 from 3. Hamilton, Marsha J. Guide to Preservation in Acquisition Processing. c 1993 4. Managing Public Sector Records: A Study Programme Preserving Records. Retrieved June 16, 2013 from 5. Marcum, Deanna B. Securing Preservation Funds National and Institutional Requirements. Retrieved June 16, 2013 from 6. Turpening, Patricia K. Survey of Preservation Efforts in Law Libraries. Retrieved June 15, 2013 from