The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) proposes a coordinated project for the preservation of library materials, to be conducted over a two-year period. The libraries of nine of the thirteen members of CIC will be participants, including the University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Indiana University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Pennsylvania State University, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The goal of the project is to ensure continued access to endangered titles through appropriate preservation methodologies, both reformatting and conservation treatment, and through the creation and dissemination of bibliographic records. The materials targeted for preservation are representative of exceptionally strong subject collections and are of significant value to future humanities research. Each library will assume responsibility for the preservation of a pre-established number of volumes contained in one or more of its strongest humanities collections. The preservation methodologies used will include the reformatting into archival-quality microfilm of brittle materials and the conservation of non-brittle items needing treatment to maintain them in usable condition. Not all libraries will employ the full range of options available to project participants. A total of approximately 8,768 monographic and serial volumes will be filmed in the course of the project; an additional 175 volumes, approximately, will receive conservation treatment.
In each of the nine libraries, subject specialists will work closely with preservation staff to identify materials on lasting significance for research in the humanities. The nine participating libraries plan to preserve parts of collections in the language, literature and history--broadly conceived-in three areas: the United States, Europe, and portions of the developing world. Four libraries, Chicago, Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, Michigan State, and Wisconsin, will focus on European materials: Chicago on European local history, Michigan State on Italy during the Risigimento Period, Illinois-Urbana-Champaign on German classicists, and Wisconsin on German literature. Northwestern will preserve newspapers from its strong collections of Africana, while two others, Penn State and Indiana, will work with materials from Latin America. Minnesota will film materials in a subject area from its unparalleled South Asian collection. Finally, University of Michigan will film newspapers from its Joseph A. Labadie Collection of social protest literature. Whether the collections have a literary or historical bent, all of the materials proposed for filming represent carefully selected and broadly based records of the essential ideas and expressions of their subject.
This proposal builds upon the success and experience gained in five previous NEH preservation microfilming grants awarded to the CIC and is part of a long-range cooperative preservation program for the CIC libraries that ultimately will include cooperative efforts in all areas of preservation. Currently, that program includes participation by nine libraries in a microfilming and conservation project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH-PA-23 198), a project that will microfilm 7,264 volumes and be completed at the end of September 2000 on schedule. With the end of the current NBH-supported CIC Coordinated Preservation Microfilming Project (1998-2000), the CIC libraries cooperatively will have preserved 81,890 volumes on film and conserved another 12,144 items in their original forms.