In response to the Association of Research Libraries' Special Collections Task Force's interest in "hidden" special collection materials, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Conservation Unit undertook a conservation needs survey of the Rare Book and Special Collections Library's backlog of uncataloged rare book materials. The survey evaluated the binding structure; physical, biological, and chemical damage; and unique features of more than 4,000 randomly sampled pieces from the collection. The information gathered would aid in planning for the integration of immediate preservation actions with future cataloging projects and to better direct future conservation efforts. This paper details the development of the survey, interprets the results, and suggests methodologies for assessing other rare collections as well as approaches to integrating the identified immediate preservation needs with cataloging and processing projects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Information Systems
- Library and Information Sciences