Preservation 101 is an online course that will help you learn about the basics of preservation in the context of small and moderately-sized library or archival collections. This course was produced as one component of a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded to the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC). The grant supported training and resources for library staff and others who do not have easy access to professional development in the field of preservation due to geographical or other barriers.
In 2004 and 2005, a live version of this course (in workshop format) was taught in the Pacific Northwest. In the first half of 2006, the Northeast Document Conservation Center and their Web production and e-learning consultant, WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston, Massachusetts, produced this online version of the course.
The content for Preservation 101 was written by Beth Patkus, Preservation Consultant, and reviewed and edited by Lori Foley, Director of Field Service at NEDCC. An earlier version of Preservation 101 (created for NEDCC by Karen E.K. Brown, with assistance from Beth Patkus and Julie Reilly in 2001) served as the starting point for this course. NEDCC would also like to acknowledge the important contributions of grant partners and current and former NEDCC staff to the content of this course.
Intended Goals and Audiences
Goals for Preservation 101
Audiences for Preservation 101
Taking the Course
Preservation 101 was designed with flexibility in mind. It may be used in a variety of ways. Here are some possible approaches:
“Cherry Pick” Information
Want to learn about a specific preservation topic? Need a refresher? Access any session to find the information you need.
Work Online without a Facilitator
You can take Preservation 101 as a self-guided course. Work through all of the modules, reading all content, completing the activities, and recording your thoughts and comments. Allow a minimum of two to three hours to work through each module. No instructor is available to answer questions in this self-paced approach, and no continuing education credit is available for completion of this course.
Take the Online Course with a Facilitator
In Fall 2006, Preservation 101 was piloted as an eight-week, all-online course using content of this site in conjunction with online learning tools that provided forum and portfolio functions. This course was facilitated by the course authors along with faculty from the live workshops. When this facilitated course was presented, it took approximately one week per session to complete.
If you are interested in NEDCC staff providing a facilitated all-online course for your own group, training can be arranged on a fee-for-service basis. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
An organization may facilitate the course by licensing its use. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this approach.
Course Tools for Both the Static and Facilitated Versions
A primary goal of this course is to enable you to gather the information needed for a general preservation planning survey of your institution, and to that end, several tools have been devised to assist you in using this course effectively.
Each session of the course includes a number of PDF checklists or worksheets that will assist you in gathering information about existing preservation activities and conditions within your institution.
Use of the PDFs is optional, but using them will enhance your experience and make it easier to prepare the Final Assignments for each session. You should print out some or all of these checklists to use for note-taking as you physically survey your building and collections. Keep in mind that some of the checklists/worksheets may not apply to your particular institution, depending on the type of users you serve and the collections you hold.
A list of all PDFs in the course, arranged by session, can be accessed by choosing “PDFs” at the top of each page of the course. A three-ring binder may be useful as a way to organize and retain your printed PDF checklists/worksheets.
Session Final Assignments
At the end of each of the eight sessions, you will find a Final Assignment that consists of one or more survey worksheets to fill out. In these worksheets, you will summarize the information collected in your PDF checklists and Notebook and determine your institution’s highest preservation priorities for the topic covered that week (e.g., building and environment, collections care, disaster planning).
Overall Course Assignment
Each Final Assignment acts as a building block in the process of conducting a preservation planning survey of your institution. If you complete all of the Final Assignment survey worksheets, you will have collected most of the information needed to summarize and analyze your institution's preservation needs. You will, however, still need to pull this information together into a written survey report after you have finished the course.
The Overall Course Assignment, found at the end of Session 8, asks you to look back at your Final Assignments for each session, and to prepare an overall executive summary that lists short-term, medium-term, and long-term preservation priorities for your institution.
Course Tools for the Facilitated Version Only
Throughout the course, you will notice prompts instructing you to record your thoughts about specific content in a Notebook. Since a primary goal is to help you improve preservation practices within your own institution, the Notebook provides a place for you to summarize how your institution’s existing preservation activities compare to the recommendations provided in the content. In some instances, you will find references within the Notebook and/or in the page text to PDF checklists/worksheets (see below) that will help you gather more detailed information about preservation conditions within your institution.
To use the Notebook, enter text into any Notebook text box; you can edit and format each entry (and print it, if desired) by using the icons directly above each text box. When you are finished entering text for an entry, click Submit/Edit to save the entry. You can return to a page and make changes to your entry at any time.
To access a list of all your Notebook entries within the course, choose “See all entries” in any Notebook box, or choose “Notebook” in the menu at the top of each page of the course. You can also edit your entries through this list. Please note that only you and the course facilitator(s) are able to read your Notebook entries, and only you are able to make changes to them.
It is strongly recommended that you utilize the Notebook, since your Notebook entries will be helpful to you as you complete the Final Assignment for each session.
A discussion forum is provided as part of this course as a means to share ideas and network with other participants. A discussion question will be provided each week, and participants are encouraged to participate in the discussions.
To access the Forum, choose “Forum” in the menu at the top of each page of the course. You will also find links to the Forum in the Final Assignment page for each session.
Preservation 101 was made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Funding of NEDCC’s preservation activities is provided in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In order to garner support for future programs of this type, we welcome feedback on your experience using these materials. We would appreciate learning how you used this product and how helpful you found it. Please send your comments to email@example.com.