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A new resource at
Caring for Personal Collections

Harvard has a new online preservation resource for students, faculty, and other library users. The webography "Caring for Personal Collections" can be accessed at, a collaborative web site developed and maintained by the University Library's Weissman Preservation Center and the College Library's Preservation & Imaging Services. The site is intended to provide preservation information to general readers and covers seven major areas:

  • All Collection Types
  • Books and Paper
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Scrapbooks
  • Audio and Video
  • Working with a Conservator

For each area, the preservation staff has suggested a variety of links that may be useful to individuals interested in the care of valued personal collections.

According to Jan Merrill-Oldham, Malloy-Rabinowitz Preservation Librarian in the University Library and the College Library, "Members of the Harvard community depend upon books, manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings, and other sources to inform and inspire their work and to enrich their lives. Many build personal collections that may or may not relate to their studies, scholarship, or professional activities.

"In creating this new site, we recognize the importance of personal collections. We have tried to provide a beginning point for collectors interested in learning about long-term preservation challenges and solutions or who must address short-term problems, such as water damage. The site points to introductory online information that addresses issues about which we've been queried over the years. A large body of popular and introductory literature on preservation topics has been published, and we wanted to help readers find their way to sources that are accurate and helpful."

Jane Hedberg, preservation program officer in the Weissman Center and compiler of "Caring for Personal Collections," noted, "Although our primary responsibility is to protect the Library's collections, we value all intellectual resources and construe our preservation mission broadly whenever possible."

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Last modified on Wednesday, May 14, 2003.