Jan Merrill-Oldham, the Malloy-Rabinowitz Preservation Librarian, Harvard University Library and Harvard CollegeLibrary, has been named the recipient of the 2004 Paul Banks & Carolyn Harris Preservation Award, given by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS). The award, consisting of $1,500 and a citation in recognition of her work, and sponsored by Preservation Technologies, LP, recognizes the contribution of a professional preservation specialist who has been active in the field of preservation and/or conservation of library and/or archival materials.
"From her early years as a young Turk, Jan has been a person of consequence in the profession, identifying, defining, and advancing preservation on both the local and the national level. Her vision, drive, and unrelenting energy have worked to advance the place of preservation. Hers is an unmatched contribution of lasting worth," said Susan Lee, associate librarian of Harvard College for planning and administration.
Merrill-Oldham has been active in the field of preservation and conservation for more than 20 years. She was a preservation intern at Yale University from 1979 to 1980. After completing her internship, she undertook a year survey to assess the preservation needs of the University of Connecticut Libraries. In 1981, she became the first preservation officer at the University of Connecticut Libraries, where she developed and managed a comprehensive preservation program. In 1995, she moved to her present position at Harvard.
Merrill-Oldham is a recognized leader in the field of preservation. She has presented at numerous conferences and workshops and has authored or served as editor of more than 40 publications. She has been an active participant in the American Library Association (ALA), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the American Institute for Conservation, the Rare Book School, the Council on Library Resources, the Commission on Preservation and Access, the Society of American Archivists, the Library of Congress National Preservation Program, and the Library Binding Institute. She has worked tirelessly serving on committees and task forces, developing standards, and helping to shape the preservation agenda.
Merrill-Oldham's major contribution has been through her role in improving library binding, improving preservation for libraries of every type. She provided leadership to the Library Binding Institute and in the development of the landmark 1986 LBI Standard for Library Binding. She has worked to educate librarians about quality binding through countless preservations and publications, especially the Guide to the LBI Standard in 1990, and she continues to work for improvements in repeated service with National Information Standards Organization (NISO) on standards for library binding and for hardcover binding for books (the standard for publishers' bindings).
The award will be presented on Sunday, June 27, 2004, at the ALCTS Awards Ceremony and Membership Meeting during the 2004 American Library Association meeting in Orlando, Florida. It honors the memories of Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris, early leaders in library preservation, teachers, and mentors for many in the field of preservation.