Campus News

Library Receives Conservation Bookshelf Award

Story posted August 07, 2008

Treasured objects and artifacts held by Bowdoin College will be preserved for future generations with help from the the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Connecting to Collections Bookshelf Award, a core set of conservation books, DVDs and online resources donated by IMLS, the primary source of federal funding of the nation's museums and libraries. IMLS and its cooperator, the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), will award a total of 3,000 free sets of the IMLS Bookshelf by the end of 2009.

Sherrie Bergman100.jpg
Sherrie Bergman

"This set of publications will prove useful to the Library as we prepare a comprehensive plan for the preservation and conservation of library materials," said Bowdoin College Librarian Sherrie Bergman.

"The Library's collections number more than one million volumes, some of which date back to the establishment of the college in 1794. Portions of these distinguished book collections and the tens of thousands of photographs, video and sound recordings, maps and digital files held by the Library are at risk due to the inherently fragile nature of brittle paper, short-lived media, obsolete technologies and such damaging influences as seasonal fluctuations in climate and crowded storage.

"The books received through the Connecting to Collections Bookshelf award will provide information on preservation and conservation that will help librarians assess the physical condition of our collections and to institute best practices for the optimum preservation of these valuable scholarly resources for use by today's and future generations of scholars."

H-L exterior.jpg

"We are very pleased to announce the recipients of the IMLS Bookshelf in the second round of competition," said IMLS Director Anne-Imelda Radice. "These libraries, museums and archives are in the forefront of our call to action on behalf of America's collections.

"According to a recent national survey, our important collections are at great risk, and without them, the American story simply cannot be told to future generations."

Bowdoin is being awarded this essential set of resources based on an application describing the needs and plans for care of its collections. The IMLS Bookshelf focuses on collections typically found in history or art museums and in libraries' special collections, with an added selection of texts for zoos, aquaria, public gardens, and nature centers. It addresses such topics as the philosophy and ethics of collecting, collections management and planning, emergency preparedness, and culturally specific conservation issues.

The IMLS Bookshelf is a crucial component of Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action, a conservation initiative that the Institute launched in 2006. IMLS began the initiative in response to a 2005 study by Heritage Preservation documenting the dire state of the nation's collections. The multi-faceted, multi-year initiative shines a nationwide spotlight on the needs of America's collections, especially those held by smaller institutions, which often lack the human and financial resources necessary to adequately care for their collections.

Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development.

« Back | Campus News | Academic Spotlight | | Subscribe to Bowdoin News by Email