INF 7750 and HIS 7810: Introduction to Library and Archival Conservation

Credits: 3 credits

Prerequisite(s): INF 7710 (or HIS 7840) or INF 6010

Rationale for inclusion in curriculum

Preservation and conservation of library and archival materials is a core function of libraries and archival repositories. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of preservation and conservation management of archival and library materials.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the mechanisms of degradation of library and archival materials.
  2. Explain how environment and handling can contribute to these mechanisms.
  3. Propose methods for the intervention of the degradation.
  4. Evaluate the conservation condition of all collections.
  5. Provide the proper environment and preservation for library and archival materials
  6. Locate a professional conservator and identify conservation problems, which require the attention of a trained conservator.


  1. Definitions of conservation and preservation.
  2. The nature of library and archival materials, and their mechanisms of degradation.
  3. Influences on the mechanisms of degradation of library and archival materials: environment and handling.
  4. Preservation management techniques: the conservation condition survey, the preservation plan, and the disaster plan.
  5. Preservation of digital information.
  6. Conservation treatments, deciding what to treat in-house and what to route to a conservator.
  7. Demonstration of typical in-house treatments followed by hands-on laboratory.

Course methodology

Discussions, lectures, laboratory demonstrations

Bases for evaluation of student performance

Participation, exams, paper


To be determined

Approved: 1/12

Updated: 4/17