Related product Collections Management

Beyond the Book: Preserving your Non-Book Collections

5 photo highlights from articles below

Project Overview

Most libraries contain collections that consist primarily of bound volumes and archival papers. The steps for preserving these items are fairly well documented, and we all try to the best of our abilities to care for our collections. Those of us who are new to the field can readily find information about preserving these materials. And those of us who are veterans try to keep up with new techniques and findings. It’s a fairly well-worn path. But what do you do when you encounter something off of this beaten path? What do you do about the unusual things in your collections? We all have them. They might be statues or medals, costumes or hats, ceramics, board games, or even food items. They might also be large collections of glass plate negatives or scrapbooks. What environmental conditions do these items require? Do they need special handling or housing? In short, how do you care for the non-book items in your collection?

Throughout the 2018-2019 academic year the CARLI Preservation Committee wrote a series of preservation tips that culminated in this website of beyond the book resources. Each newsletter tip focused on an unusual item or group of similar items that you might encounter in your collection. Each author recounted their own story about an unusual item they have encountered in their collection, the challenges these items presented, and how they ultimately decided to best preserve that item or items. Where it is relevant, they will also provide places to find more information or best practices. The more we know about how to preserve non-book items, the better our decision making can be. 

-- Ann Lindsey, Head of Conservation, The University of Chicago Library  

Board Games and Materials with Multiple Parts 

Maps and Blueprints



Photographs - General Overview

Photographs - Glass Plate Images