Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

The Reproduction of Library Materials in 1990

Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

The Reproduction of Library Materials in 1990

Article excerpt

The Reproduction of Library Materials in 1990

Last year's review article on the reproduction of library materials aptly pointed out that establishing the boundaries for a survey relevant to the reproduction of library materials has become an increasingly difficult task. [1] Traditional practices for the reproduction of library materials, such as photocopying and preservation microfilming, are unchallenged anew by those who advocate the necessity of original documents for scholarly research. [2] Preservation microfilming is being carried on to a greater extent than ever before but receiving more criticism from those who favor electronic imaging. [3] In addition, preservation photocopying and deacidification are increasingly being touted as alternatives to preservation microfilming and perhaps even to electronic imaging. Differences of opinion surround not just technical issues but also criteria for selection of library materials for preservation microfilming, preservation photocopying, electronic imaging, and physical conservation Some controversy has arisen concerning guidelines from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) that stipulate that NEH funds used only for single-copy preservation microfilming. Support is growing for a comprehensive approach to preservation programs. This would mean that preservation programs. This would mean that preservation measures such as repair, deacidification, rebinding, replacement, and preservation photocopying also should be funded as alternatives and complements to preservation microfilming. This controversy is sometimes couched in terms of a national approach and a local approach. The national approach favors using preservation microfilming, whereby an item is "republished" and made widely available upon demand either on interlibrary loan or by generating an additional service copy from either the camera or printing master negative. The local approach favors physical restoration and retention, whereby originals are preserved in local repositories. This might yield an original more suitable for interlibrary loan, but it does not create a reproduction made directly from the original that might be used to generate additional copies without rehandling the original.

The debate continues to rage over selection criteria for preservation microfilming. Strategies advocated include the clean sweep of all items in a subject collection, condition at the shelf based on the degree of embrittlement, and condition and based on embrittlement and actual or anticipated use. This latter strategy of selection, advocated most strongly by Barclay Ogden, University of California, Berkeley, aims at making immediate maximum use of available funds for preserving material in imminent danger of irreparable loss while awaiting the arrival of affordable and practical newer technologies, such as mass deacidification and electronic storage.

An article appearing in late 1989, shortly after the release of the new American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards for silver, vesicular, and diazo film, summarized technical issues such as comparative image stability, technical compatibility of micrographic and electronic factors surrounding both preservation microfilming and electronic imaging. [4] Many of the issues raised in this article were discussed in the literature of 1990.

Reproduction of Library

Materials Section (RLMS)

Activities

The chair prepared the 1989-90 annual report of the Reproduction of Library Materials Section (Borck). RLMS and the Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS) cosponsored a preconference, "Bibliographic Control of Microforms," at the 1990 annual conference of the American Library Association (ALA), held in Chicago. RLMS %wso participated in planning for the 1990 Association for

Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) president's program, entitled "Preservation, the Common Ground. …

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