Special collections preservation is an extremely important aspect of the UC libraries’ stewardship mission, ensuring ongoing access to rare and unique materials for future scholars.

Contemporary library preservation includes both analog and digital preservation. Each member of the special collections division works together to ensure the life-cycle management of both our digital and physical content. This is accomplished through thoughtful material selection, conservation and preservation, reformatting, digitization, digital curation, and digital preservation.

Many factors play a role in the deterioration of physical collections including light, air pollution, improper temperature and humidity, natural disasters, pests, and the inherent physical tendency of library materials to degrade over time. The Preservation Lab, working in concert with facilities, librarians, and archivist, employs its expertise in item level conservation, exhibition, housing, storage, handling and environmental monitoring to stave off these deleterious elements.