Preservation Library

Resources about preservation are located in two departmental libraries, one in Collections Care and the other in the Weissman Preservation Center. Both libraries are open to members of the Harvard University community from 9 am to 5 pm on Mondays-Fridays.

Collections Care Library

This collection includes a comprehensive and specialized set of reference materials on collections conservation – available for use in the Preservation Conference Room, Widener Library D-level, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please call or email to arrange access.

Phone: 617-495-2433


Titles in the Collections Care Library are identified in HOLLIS as belonging to the "HCL Conservation Services" collection, which is categorized under Widener Library.

The Collections Care Library is a non-circulating collection, available to the Harvard University community by appointment. Items from the collection may be used in the conference room on D-Level in Widener Library or by special permission in the Phillips Reading Room.

The items in this collection do not circulate outside Widener Library, except that Collections Care staff members may borrow items from the library overnight. The circulation procedure in the case of Collections Care staff is as follows:

  • The title of the item, call number, name of the borrower, and date are entered on the Circulation Record form (kept on a clip board in the D-Level conference room).
  • The staff member enters the date and call number on a blue "Permission to Borrow" flag. The flag must be signed by a Collections Care manager. The flag is then placed in the item to be borrowed and should remain with the item until it is returned the following day.
  • Upon return, the date of return is entered on the Circulation Record form, the flag is removed, and the book is returned to the shelf in call number order

Weissman Preservation Center Library

This collection includes monographs, journals, videos, and vertical files about all preservation topics (including collections conservation and digital imaging) – available for use at 90 Mt. Auburn Street, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Please call 617-495-8596 or email to arrange access.The items in this collection do not circulate outside the Weissman Preservation Center.

The HOLLIS Catalog contains records of the monographs (books) in the WPC Library. Search tip: In the "Locations" portion of the HOLLIS Expanded Search form, scroll to and select "Weissman Preservation Center" to restrict your search to the holdings of this library.



These bibliographies and resource lists have been created primarily for members of the Harvard community interested in the theory and practice of the preservation of library and archival materials. Consult our Preservation Library for additional resources. Please contact the Weissman Preservation Center's Senior Preservation Librarian if you would like us to prepare new resource lists.

Publications and Reports

Preservation programs and projects occasionally produce information that is best made available by publication in a structured format. The titles listed below report research done during such projects.


A Directory to Photographs at Harvard. An online guide to over 7.5 million photographs held in the libraries, museums, archives, and research institutes at Harvard University.

A Curious and Ingenious Art: Reflections on Daguerreotypes at Harvard. By Melissa Banta, Weissman Preservation Center, with contributions by M. Susan Barger, Deborah Martin Kao, and Robin McElheny, and a foreword by Sidney Verba. Published for the Harvard University Library by the University of Iowa Press, ©2000.


"Acetate Film Deterioration: Diagnosis and Storage," Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard University Library, 2007. PDF

"Bookish fires: the legacy of fire in the Harvard libraries," Sarah K. Burke '05, Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard University Library, 2010. PDF

"Chronology of Events in Library Preservation at Harvard," Sarah K. Burke '05, Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard University Library, 2010. PDF

"Harvard Daguerreotypes, NHPRC-Sponsored Project: Brief Summary Report," Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard University Library, 2003. PDF

"Measuring Search Retrieval Accuracy of Uncorrected OCR: Findings from the Harvard-Radcliffe Online Historical Reference Shelf Digitization Project," Library Digital Initiative Project Team, Harvard University Library, 2001. PDF

"NEH-Funded Brittle Books Microfilming: Cumulative Statistics of Harvard's Contributions," Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard University Library, 2006. PDF

"Page Image Compression for Mass Digitization," Harvard University Library, California Digital Library, Internet Archive, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 2007.

"Postcards: Navigating the Preservation Options," Jan Merrill-Oldham, 1995.PDF

"Preliminary Report of Investigation to Optimize Microfilm for Digitization," Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard University Library, September, 2000. PDF