The Economics of Library Conservation

Preservation Staff Photo

Exhibition curated by Jeffrey Abt, Special Collections Research Center Exhibits Coordinator and Conservator.

Preservation, and its cost, is a fact of library collections. This exhibit focuses not on the necessity of conservation, but on its cost. This is not a small issue. At issue are the overwhelming dimensions of the library conservation problem anchored in the physical requirements of particular volumes that must be individually handled several times between the moment they are identified as wanting repair and their return to the shelves refreshed. The exhibit demonstrates the need for conservation through an examination of some of the materials at stake, displayed alongside discussions of preservation concerns and the costs of particular forms of care for the collection.