[6]Preservation and Conservation Info

[6]Preservation and Conservation Info - Module 6:...

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Module 6: Preservation & Conservation A significant part of information science is preservation and conservation. Information bearing items, whether stone tablets, clay statues, papyrus scrolls, etc., are subject to the ravages of time, nature, and human carelessness. Preserving them for posterity has been one of the most important roles for information specialists. There are two basic types of preservation: care of the physical object and care of its information. ____________________________________________________________________________ ________ What are preservation and conservation? Preservation and conservation is a field within information science that aims to, essentially, preserve and conserve information and the information storage media. Media formats include, but are not limited to, paper, film, photographs, artwork, digital formats, and audio tape. The terms preservation and conservation are often incorrectly used interchangeably. In reality, preservation typically precedes conservation. Preservation refers to the steps taken to prolong the life of an object, whereas conservation refers to actions taken to restore damage caused by any deteriorating factors. Please read the Definitions of Conservation from the American Institute for Conservation for specific preservation and conservation definitions. ____________________________________________________________________________ ________ Common culprits Common problems resulting in the detioration or destruction of information storage media include the following: Light can cause paper to bleach, to turn yellow, to darken, to embrittle (it weakens the fibers in the paper); can cause dyes in paper, photographs, and artwork to fade or change color; can serve as a catalyst for chemical reactions, resulting in deteriorating of paper or ink. Heat Because heat catalyzes chemical reactions, heat can increase the rate of deterioration. An increase in heat causes the relative humidity to decrease, so air will hold more moisture. Many pests thrive in higher temperature. Cold Temperatures that are too low can cause materials to dry out and become brittle Relative humidity will rise, causing condensation. See "Moisture" for more information about condensation.
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Worse than too high or too low temperatures is frequent and/or rapid fluctuation between the two. Moisture Moisture problems can be caused by relative humidity (too high or too low) or by water damage (well, damage from any liquid, like water, cofee, soda, or beer) Problems caused by high relative humidity (RH) Mold can grow and destroy objects. Insects are attracted to high RH. Glue can soften and become less adhesive. Salts found in hygroscopic materials can dissolve into a solution, thus resulting in a chemical reaction Condensation can form and cause water damage. Water damage can also result in chemical reactions. Also, condensation can corrode materials (rust, for example).
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2009 for the course INF 304w taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '09 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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[6]Preservation and Conservation Info - Module 6:...

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