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Our purpose is to preserve, protect, and thereby extend the usable life of the NYU Libraries’ collections. We pursue this objective in accordance with the mission and goals of the Libraries, and in conjunction with nationally recognized standards.

Our work is informed by the creators of our collections and their cultures, material science, and objects’ values. We collaborate with our NYU Libraries colleagues to promote sustainable stewardship. The department was established in 1985 with funding from the New York State Conservation and Preservation Program.


Digital Preservation

We collaborate with our colleagues across the entire Division of Libraries to develop and implement policies and processes that aim to ensure the long-term preservation and usability of NYU’s digital collections.

Educational and Outreach

We employ students from many schools and departments at NYU. Through these employment opportunities, students gain hands-on preservation experience. We supervise graduate interns from NYU’s conservation and preservation programs. Each year we participate in ALA’s Preservation week to promote library and archives preservation.

General Collections Care

We care for NYU’s circulating library collection through commercial binding, boxing, in-house book repair, and preservation reformatting. We work closely with our library colleagues to promote the preservation of NYU’s collections through consultations and training.

Media Preservation

We care for NYU Libraries’ film, video, and audio materials through assessment, rehousing, conservation, and preservation reformatting. We inspect collections to determine conditions and provide recommendations on long-term care. Our in-house video, audio, and film labs enable our staff to create preservation master files and access copies.

Preventive Conservation

Through our preventive conservation program, led by the Preventive Conservator, we aim to identify and mitigate risks to preserving our library and archival collections. The program includes collection assessment, handling and care training, environmental monitoring, emergency preparedness and response, and integrated pest management.

Special Collections Conservation

In the Barbara Goldsmith Book and Paper Conservation Laboratory we examine, document, carry-out conservation treatments, house, and research NYU Libraries’ Special Collections materials to extend the usable life of the collection. The lab is furnished with specialized equipment for work on bound and unbound paper and parchment items.


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