University of Hawaii at Manoa Library
pics of old books


Preservation Department
Hamilton Library
University of Hawai´i
2550 McCarthy Mall
Honolulu, Hawai´i 96822
Phone:(808) 956-6623

Preservation Department

Core Functions

Bindery (Monographs)

Binding is a cost-effective conservation procedure that effectively extends the length of available use of books by Library users. The Preservation Department monitors commercial bindery contract to insure the Library´s books are bound to an established national preservation standard. Prior to sending books to the bindery, professional conservation assessment procedures determine treatment including appropriate binding. This supports the Library´s collections and circulating books.

Conservation (Book Treatment Lab)

book lab

Conservation treatment of the Library book collection requires expertise in structure of Asian and Western binding.

The Book Treatment Lab is responsible for treatment that protects materials on the shelf and enhances their usability (e.g. bookplates, pamphlet binding, hinge tightening etc.). The neglect of the UHM Library Collections requires conservation expertise and skills to treat unique, valuable Asian and Western materials that have been improperly bound, have damage to text block from pest infestation, and require custom boxes to protect them on the shelf. The Book Treatment Lab conducts condition surveys of Library collections as an important preventative conservation procedure to provide information for planning collection treatment.

Community Resource for Conservation and Preservation

There is no other comprehensive Preservation Lab for Books and Archival Collections in the State of Hawai´i. The Preservation Department is an asset that is a State-wide resource. By providing specialized training, and offering courses through the University´s Library and Information program the Department develops professionalism throughout the State. The Departmental web page provides information to assist the community in caring for family collections.

Conservation (Paper Treatment Lab)

paper treatment
To share the Library´s diverse and often unique resources, it is essential to support state-of-the-art conservation resources. The Paper Treatment Lab provides treatment for a broad range of unique materials in the Library collections including architectural renderings (archives), art on paper (Charlot), maps, posters etc. This material has never received proper treatment in the Library. The Paper Treatment Lab completes assessment of materials and depending on the paper structure and the media they determine treatment options including flattening, washing, dry cleaning, and leaf casting. Since 2005 the Lab has been working on maps and other materials damaged by water and mud in the October 2004 flood.

Digital Lab/ Microfilming

Preservation provides leadership in creating facsimiles of Library materials (microfilm, photography, photocopy and digital). By developing conservation standards for production, the Reformatting / Digital Lab prepares and Pacific newspapers for preservation microfilming, and create digital documents of fragile materials including rare books, maps and art. The Brittle Book project insures that information is available in digital format to serve the Library´s users. As the Library develops an infrastructure for digital materials, the Lab will continue to microfilm, scan, and digitize materials to provide access. To serve the Library´s users the Department generates high quality digital images of fragile and unique items that are made available through the External Services Program.

Disaster Planning

Disaster planning and training insures stewardship of the Library´s resources. All of the Preservation Department staff have an on-going role in maintaining a current Collection Disaster Recovery Plan, and provide training for Library staff. Pre-Qualification of a disaster recovery company will provide resources necessary in case of a significant disaster similar to the flash flood in October 2004.

For more information see the Disaster Planning page.

Environmental Monitoring/ Pest Management

water leak

Prevention is the most cost effective investment to care for Library resources in a tropical environment. Environmental monitoring provides baseline information and alerts the department to potential biological problems including mold and insects. An integrated Pest Management program treats all incoming gifts to the library by freeze extermination. (for more information, please see the Pest Extermination Freezer Information (PEFI) form and Guidelines for Freeze Extermination).

Monitoring collections for mold or pest infestation is also an essential preventative strategy. Unfortunately the Department is often having to compensate for lack of building maintenance, and spends considerable time creating plastic ceilings to protect collections from water leaks.

Exhibition of Library Materials

Showing-off the Library´s exciting resources engages the community. Library materials for exhibition both in the Library and for loan to other collections require examination, conservation treatment, and exhibition mounts to showcase the resources professionally. The Department is collaborating on developing an exhibition policy for Library collections.

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University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Library  |  2550 McCarthy Mall  |  Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
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