New Self Assessment Tool Released

From the PADG list:

The Preservation Self-Assessment Program (PSAP) is now live!

The University of Illinois and its project partners are proud to announce that after two years of development and testing, The Preservation Self-Assessment Program (PSAP, is available for use!  The PSAP is a free online tool that helps collection managers prioritize efforts to improve conditions of collection materials. Through guided evaluation of items and collections, storage/exhibit environments, and institutional policies, the PSAP produces reports on the factors that impact the health of cultural heritage materials, and defines the points from which to begin care.

The PSAP was created to assist any organization that collects paper documents/books, photographic and image materials, and audiovisual media, including library special collections, archives, museums, and historical societies. Like the Audiovisual Self-Assessment Program (AvSAP) which preceded it, the PSAP is designed to assist in organizations where little to no prior preservation training exists. Our goal is to help collections managers develop a prioritized preservation plan as well as to educate them on the “health risks” posed to their collections and what they can do to mitigate them with the resources at hand.

In addition to the assessment functions, the PSAP also offers the Format ID Guide among other useful resources.  The Format ID Guide is a stand-alone guide that can assist collection managers in identifying the formats of materials in their collections ranging from matte collodion photographs to U-matic video recordings.  Once identified, the Format ID Guide provides useful advice on that material type’s history, composition, preservation challenges, and optimal storage and display.

About the developers of PSAP: The University of Illinois Library partnered with Heritage Preservation, the Spurlock Museum, the Illinois State Library, the McLean County Museum of History, the Chicago History Museum, The Urbana Free Library, and the Illinois Heritage Association on this project. The PSAP was made possible with generous support through a National Leadership Grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) .

For more information on the Preservation Self-Assessment Program visit the PSAP website at:

Job Opening: Digital Preservation Librarian, Univ. of Virginia

Please note: The University of Virginia Library has an expedited hiring process—please apply as soon as possible to be considered for this position.

Digital Preservation Librarian

The University of Virginia Library seeks a Digital Preservation Librarian to facilitate access and long-term preservation to digitized and born-digital materials.  We are looking for creative individuals who are excited by the prospect of working at a forward-looking organization during times of great change.  Known for the strength and variety of its collections and leadership in digital initiatives, the Library embraces respect, integrity, inclusion, innovation and collaboration in our work within the University, with peer institutions, and with the worldwide community.  A staff of 220 manage 11 libraries that serve a vibrant and diverse scholarly community of 15,000 undergraduates, 6,000 graduate students, 2,000 teaching and research faculty, and visitors from the public and other institutions.

The Digital Preservation Librarian is responsible for creating and maintaining policies, procedures, workflows, and strategies related to digital preservation projects and practices. The primary responsibilities include leading a cross-area Library team to preserve and provide access to web-based content; preparing born-digital materials for preservation ingest, stabilization and storage; collaborating with curators and donors to survey, appraise, and ensure proper transfer of born-digital holdings; and working with individuals and departments on faculty digital projects. The employee in this position is expected to be current with the community of practice for digital preservation, as well as be a leader within the broader fields of preservation and digital libraries.


Education: MLS or advanced degree in relevant field

Required: Experience with digital preservation in an academic setting, including hands on experience working with physical born-digital media and web preservation. Strong technical expertise with digital objects in a library or cultural heritage organization. Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with digital preservation issues, tools, standards, and best practices. Coursework or experience leading to knowledge of the principles and practices of data curation and long-term digital preservation. Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing, with a wide range of groups and individuals, both internal and external to the Library.  Ability to work independently and collaboratively, prioritize work and resolve complex problems.  Strong organizational and project management skills.

Preferred: Working knowledge of the following digital preservation tools: Bitcurator, Archivematica, Archive-it

Anticipated Salary: $50,000 – $60,000

Benefits: Come be a part of Charlottesville’s leading employer with a competitive benefits package including multiple options for health insurance (including vision and dental), a minimum of 22 days of leave per year (in addition to 12 or more paid holidays), and a $2,000 annual education benefit (after one year of service). The University of Virginia also offers retirement plans, tax deferred savings plan options with cash match and much more.

To Apply: Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to receive full consideration.  Applicants must apply through the University of Virginia online employment website at, providing cover letter, resume, and contact information for three current, professional references.

The University of Virginia is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Job Opening: Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Digital Library Technical Coordinator
Academic Professional
University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign

Position Available:  This position is available as soon as possible.  This is a 100% time, twelve month appointment Academic Professional position in the University Library.

Duties and Responsibilities: Reporting to the Preservation Librarian and liaising with Library IT, the Digital Library Technical Coordinator supports the planning, implementation and ongoing production of the Library’s digital collections, with particular emphasis on project design, digitization workflows, and transfer into content and delivery systems. Collections include, but are not limited to, digitized newspapers, audiovisual media, books, and manuscripts created locally or by vendors for access and distribution purposes. The successful candidate will have a strong knowledge of digital library practices, and practical familiarity with scripting languages and database technology. He or she will have demonstrable excellent interpersonal, organizational, oral, and written communication skills and strong service orientation.

The Digital Library Technical Coordinator will:

  • Evaluate workflow architecture of Preservation Services reformatting operations and implement improvements in collaboration with stakeholders
  • Coordinate meetings and discussions concerning technical architecture to support reformatting workflows
  • Develop clear and expedient workflows to move projects from image and audio capture to appropriate access platforms as informed by emerging trends and best practices in digital collection creation and management
  • Write text and image file processing scripts to support the streamlined deposit of digitized book packages to the HathiTrust Digital Library
  • Collaborate with and serve as primary liaison between the Library’s Digital Production units and Library IT
  • Provide technical coordination for newspaper digitization initiatives
  • Provide technical coordination for audio and moving image digitization initiatives



  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Demonstrated ability to assess, analyze, plan, and solve problems creatively and collaboratively in a complex, rapidly-changing environment
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex projects with minimal supervision, to balance competing priorities, and to meet deadlines
  • Working knowledge of a scripting language such as Ruby, Python, and Perl, especially as it relates to digital library workflows, file transformations, moving and renaming files, and manipulating XML or text documents
  • Experience with databases and SQL


  • ALA-Accredited Master’s degree in library and information science
  • Experience with digital library and/or content management platforms such as CONTENTdm, HathiTrust, Veridian, DSpace and Fedora
  • Familiarity with library digitization practices and standards for books, newspapers, and/or audiovisual content
  • Familiarity with programming Web applications
  • Experience with Web development frameworks such as Ruby on Rails
  • Familiarity with Web technologies like HTTP and REST
  • Working knowledge of library metadata standards and applications



The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Library is a leader in the delivery of user services, and active programs in information, instructional, access, and scholarly services help the Library to maintain its place at the intellectual heart of the campus. The Library also holds one of the preeminent research collections in the world, encompassing more than 12 million volumes and a total of more than 23 million items. The Library is committed to maintaining the strongest collections and service programs possible, and to engaging in research, development, and scholarly practice – all of which support the University’s missions of teaching, research, and public engagement. The Library employs approximately 90 faculty members, and more than 300 academic professionals, staff, and graduate assistants. For more information, see:

The Preservation Services Unit at the University of Illinois Library operates with the holistic vision of developing a comprehensive preservation, conservation, and imaging program for the entire library system.  The Conservation Lab consists of both collections conservation as well as special collections conservation functions in a shared 5,000 square foot lab space, and employs two endowed professional conservators as well as support staff, graduate students, hourly student assistants, volunteers and conservation interns.  The Unit also assists in the education, planning and development of the overall preservation program for the Library. For more information on the Preservation Services program, visit

Salary:  Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and credentials.

Terms of appointment:  Twelve-month appointment; 24 annual vacation days; 11 annual paid holidays; 12 annual sick-leave days (cumulative), plus an additional 13 sick-leave days (non-cumulative) available, if needed, each year; health insurance requiring a small co-payment is provided to employee (with the option to purchase coverage for spouse and dependents); required participation in State Universities Retirement System (SURS) (8% of annual salary is withheld and is refundable upon termination), with several options for participation in additional retirement plans; newly-hired employees are covered by the Medicare portion of Social Security and are subject to its deduction.

Campus and Community: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a comprehensive and major public land-grant university (Doctoral/Research University-Extensive) that is ranked among the best in the world. Chartered in 1867, it provides undergraduate and graduate education in more than 150 fields of study, conducts theoretical and applied research, and provides public service to the state and the nation. It employs 3,000 faculty members who serve 31,000 undergraduates and 12,000 graduate and professional students; approximately 25% of faculty receives campus-wide recognition each year for excellence in teaching. More information about the campus is available at

The University is located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, which have a combined population of 100,000 and are situated about 140 miles south of Chicago, 120 miles west of Indianapolis, and 170 northeast of St. Louis. The University and its surrounding communities offer a cultural and recreational environment ideally suited to the work of a major research institution. For more information about the community, visit: or

To Apply: To ensure full consideration, please complete your candidate profile at and upload a letter of interest, resume, contact information including email addresses for three professional references.  Applications not submitted through this website will not be considered. For questions, please call: 217-333-8169.

Deadline:  In order to ensure full consideration, applications and nominations must be received by August 24, 2015.

Job Opening: Dartmouth College Conservation Dept.

Position Vacancy: Dartmouth College Library

Assistant Conservator

Dartmouth College Library is seeking a collaborative and proactive Assistant Conservator to become an integral part of Preservation Services in support of their mission to conserve the Library’s physical collections.  In coordination with the Library’s Collections Conservator, the Assistant Conservator assists in the management of the daily workflow and production in the Conservation Lab.  The Assistant Conservator will perform conservation treatments on rare and special collection material ranging from simple to complex; develop and implement procedures and guidelines to manage work flow for material involved in digital production projects; assist in training practicum students and conservation interns; assist as consultant in exhibit preparedness for library materials.

RESPONSIBILITIES: Performs conservation treatment on rare and unique library materials, generally those requiring individual treatment. Materials include: books, manuscripts, albums, maps, and other flat work. Digital liaison for collection treatment workflow; accountable for treatments, developing and overseeing conservation workflow for all material needing treatment before and/or after digitizing; plans and coordinates projects with Collections Conservator, Special Collections staff, and the digital production team.

RANK AND SALARY: Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.  Full benefits package including 22 vacation days; comprehensive health care; retirement plans, including TIAA-CREF; and relocation assistance.

QUALIFICATIONS: Qualifications and further information are available at the Dartmouth employment web site:  position # 0111201

GENERAL INFORMATION: Founded in 1769 and located in scenic Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth is a private, four-year, coeducational undergraduate college with graduate schools of business, engineering and medicine and 16 graduate programs in the arts and sciences. Dartmouth’s mission is to educate the most promising students and to prepare them for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership, through a faculty dedicated to teaching and the creation of knowledge. At the heart of Dartmouth College is one of the oldest research libraries in the United States. Nine libraries distributed across various academic centers, house the 3.4 million volume collection and provide access to a rich array of digital resources supported by a technically robust network environment. The Library’s mission is to foster intellectual growth and advance the teaching and research missions of the College by supporting excellence and innovation in education and research, managing and delivering scholarly content, and partnering in the development and dissemination of new scholarship.

APPLICATION: Review of applications will begin as of August 24, 2015 and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants chosen for an onsite interview will be expected to bring a portfolio of work. For the complete job description and to apply online go to: and reference position # 0111201

Dartmouth College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and has a strong commitment to diversity. Women, persons of color, persons with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Conference Notes: International Council on Archives, pt.2

Written by Annie Peterson, Preservation Librarian, Tulane University

Day 2: July 15

The second full day of the conference opened with “Approaches to Preservation,” where three institutions presented their different ways of addressing AV preservation. Hannah Palin, University of Washington Libraries, spoke about “The Magnetic Media Crisis: A Collaborative Approach.” Washington, and the wider Pacific Northwest region, has few professionals whose positions are fully dedicated to AV preservation, so there was a need amongst many institutions to pool resources where possible to preserve content that would otherwise be lost. Palin surveyed institutions in Washington about their AV holdings and then worked across institutions to establish Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound (MIPoPs), which includes digitization capabilities and is focusing first on regional content on magnetic media, with a pilot project digitizing local public access television. Kim Tarr, New York University, spoke about “Practical Considerations for Outsourcing Video Preservation Projects,” focusing on an outsourced approach to preservation. Tarr talked about NYU’s Video At Risk project’s RFP guide and template for video digitization, a helpful guide for institutions starting the outsourcing process. Erica Titkemeyer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Chris Lacinak, AVPreserve, talked about the Southern Folklife Center’s (SFC) holistic approach to preserving their AV collections in “Planning End to End for Digitization: Paths for Access and Preservation.” SFC is currently working on a project that considers not just the digitization portion of AV preservation, but also processing prior to digitization, digital preservation, and access to digitized content. SFC is currently working on prioritization, developing workflows, and project planning, and over the next 3 years will serve as a testbed for sustainability and scalability of this approach.

In the second morning session, “Access and Use,” Lourdes Loca, Iinstituto Mora, started off with “Documentaries and Research: Documentation and Access,” speaking about the epistemological value of images and the importance of documenting research at a research-focused organization. Sonia Yaco, University of Illinois Chicago, followed with “Collections to Curriculum Crosswalk,” describing a tool that she built to match course content to collections to increase student exposure to special collections. Megan McShea , Archives of American Art, rounded out the program with “Putting Archival AV Media Into Context: Processing Mixed Media Manuscript Collections.” McShea’s Project tackled a problem faced in many archives: AV materials are mixed in with processed collections but remain unprocessed, creating hidden backlogs, or AV-heavy collections are set aside and seen as difficult to process without specific expertise. The project created guidelines for processing mixed collections, available at .

In the first of the two post-lunch sessions, “Bless this Mess: Imperfect Solutions for Imperfect Situations in Digital Video Preservation” the three speakers highlighted that perfect is the enemy of good. Christian B. Lopez, University of Georgia Libraries, spoke about challenges faced when working towards established standards for a large amount of content with minimal staff, such as the challenges of LTO tape without IT specifically dedicated to it. Juliana M. Nykolaiszyn and Sarah Milligan, both from Oklahoma State University, spoke about digitizing MiniDV and taking action on your AV content. The discussion in the session was refreshingly open and honest about how institutions are doing what they realistically can now instead of waiting to achieve absolute perfection, which would probably come too late anyways in the face of degralescence, harkening back to Michelle Krasowski’s talk on day 1 about achievable standards.

The final session of day 2, “Project Reports” included two reports of projects at academic institutions, the first from University of Maryland Libraries, “Is This Enough? Digitizing Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Archives” from Bria Parker, Vincent Novara, and Robin Pike. The three presenters spoke about their experience outsourcing a collection of videotapes, detailing the process of prioritization, pilot project, and decisions made about standards and metadata. Michael Moosberger spoke about his success in increasing AV preservation efforts at Dalhousie University in “Action After Years Of Neglect: The Dalhousie University Archives’ Audiovisual Reformatting Project,” which included significant support across administrative levels at the institution.

The different models presented in the final session, combined with the project reports from earlier sessions, gave all of the conference participants a wide range of approaches to consider for their own institutions. Each presenter had a different experience with prioritization, access, digitization, and all of the other components involved in planning and executing an AV preservation project, but there were lessons to be learned from each one. Discussions and Q&A’s on the second day of the conference confirmed that other attendees also found discussions of alternative standards to reach for and ways that institutions are actually completing work, as opposed to seemingly unachievable standards frequently discussed, a refreshing and absolutely necessary conversation to have.

For more info on the 2015 ICA-SUV conference see

Editor’s note: Part 1 of this conference report is online.

Conference Notes: International Council of Archives, pt.1

Written by Annie Peterson, Preservation Librarian, Tulane University

The International Council on Archives Section on University and Research Libraries (ICA-SUV) recently held its annual conference in Chapel Hill, NC. The theme of the conference was “Audiovisual Archives in University Archives and Research Institutions, and it was a small, well-curated conference that provoked great discussions in and outside of the sessions.

Day 1: July 14, 2015

The conference opened with keynote speaker William R. Ferris, Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History; Senior Associate Director of CSAS; Adjunct Professor in the Curriculum in Folklore.  Ferris made clear the importance of preserving our audiovisual heritage for scholarship by talking about the work that he did to document the American South. He invoked an African proverb that says when a man or woman dies a library burns down, but Ferris added that archivists preserve that knowledge so that it can carry on. Ferris’s talk was an inspiring start to the conference, setting the stage for the importance of what would be discussed for the next few days, and reminding us all of the reasons that we work to preserve collections.

The first session of the day, “Making the Case for Media Preservation: Context, Tools, and Strategies,” offered a slightly more grim outlook of the state of things, but with some hope for the future. In “Why Media Preservation Can’t Wait: The Gathering Storm,” Mike Casey, Indiana University, reinforced the urgency of the problem that we face in AV preservation, talking about degradation and obsolescence, or, degralescence. Casey set the expiration date for media at 2028 for the purposes of his discussion, and the date carried through the conference as a date we should anticipate that digitization will be either impossible (there will simply be no equipment available for transfers), or prohibitively expensive.

Chris Lacinak followed with a talk about the Cost of Inaction Calculator, a tool to help us quantify the loss that Casey spoke about for communicating the value at stake to administrators or other stakeholders who need data for decision-making. Casey and Lacinak both then provided examples of how some institutions are working to address the problem, with a number of different approaches to tackling everything in-house, outsourcing, a combination of the two, or collaborating across organizations.

In the first afternoon session, Skip Elsheimer of A/V Geeks, Josephine McRobbie, and Jason Evans Groth, both from North Carolina Sate University Libraries, presented on “A/V Geeks at the Hunt Library: What Obsolete Media Can Still Teach Us.” At NC State’s Hunt Library, the three presenters  had worked together to organize a series of screenings of historic education films from the collection of A/V Geeks. Elsheimer worked with faculty or scholars to provide historical context for the films, and spoke in the session about the importance of making archives relevant and providing access after digitization: if content is digitized and then not made accessible, it’s gone from one shelf to another. McRobbie and Groth talked about the many details that were considered in planning the event in order to make it a success in Hunt Library’s unique space, such as measuring sound levels throughout the open library as the screening was happening to ensure that it was not too disruptive, and using physical artifacts (films and other media) in a show-and-tell session to incorporate the original media into the events (the films are projected digitally in Hunt Library). The session included a screening of a 1948 educational film “How to Judge Facts.” 

The first day of the conference concluded with the session  “Standards and Assessment.” Seth Anderson, AVPreserve, opened the session with “Applying ISO 16363 to AV Archives.” ISO 16363 is the standard for audit and certification of trustworthy digital repositories. Anderson said that the standard can provide guidelines for thinking about digital preservation, strategic planning, and larger concepts associated with digital preservation. Michelle Krasowski, Internet Archive, presented a contrasting view of media preservation from what had been previously been discussed at the conference in “Archiving for All: Working Towards Inclusive Digitization Standards.”  Krakowski spoke of a more flexible approach to standards because communities with fewer resources are excluded by standards that are difficult to attain, putting the history of those communities at risk. The Internet Archive has a Community Media Archive of community access television, and has built up in house digitization capabilities for optical discs, audio cassettes, and some video. Not all of the content is digitized to the highest “preservation quality” standards, but it is now accessible and would otherwise not be seen. Josh Harris, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, concluded the session with “The Current State of Media Preservation:  Assessment as a Pathway to Meeting the Challenge,” in which he described the media census at the University of Illinois that identified AV assets across campus (>400,000), and propelled forward UIUC’s media preservation efforts including in-house reformatting. Harris noted that programmatic approaches to AV preservation are still slow, and more action must be taken swiftly to address the challenges that we know exist.

Day 1 of the conference gave a great overview of the challenges faced by academic libraries and other cultural heritage institutions, and provided examples for different ways forward. The sessions were tied together with a common thread of the importance of providing access to the amazing content that is held across all types of institutions, and the critical role of librarians and archivists in acting swiftly to preserve our AV heritage.  Stay tuned for a wrap up of day 2 of the conference.

Job Opening: NYU Conservation Lab

Conservator, Special Collections

New York University Libraries

Position Summary

Under the general direction of the Conservation Librarian, manage and execute conservation treatments to preserve, protect, and guarantee the survival and future accessibility of special collection materials. Supervise project staff; research, disseminate information, and provide guidance on all aspects of preservation to library staff. Participate in disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and lab organization and maintenance.

New York University Libraries

Libraries at New York University serve the school’s 40,000 students and faculty and contain more than 5 million volumes. The Libraries supports NYU’s vision to become the first true Global Network University by collaborating and providing services to our 11 global academic centers and “portal campuses” in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.   New York University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the OCLC Research Library Partnership, and the HathiTrust. The Libraries participates in a variety of consortia and collaborates closely with Columbia University Libraries and the New York Public Library through the Manhattan Research Library Consortium.

The Special Collections at NYU

NYU’s Fales Library houses the Fales collection of rare books and manuscripts in English and American literature, as well as a wide range of objects and media in the Downtown Collection and other special collections. The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives form a unique, internationally-known center for scholarly research on Labor and the Left: book, document, print, photograph, film, and oral history collections describe the history of the labor movement and how it relates to the broader struggle for economic, social, and political change. The New York University Archives serves as the final repository for the historical records of NYU. Its primary purpose is to document the history of the University, founded in 1831, and to provide source material for administrators, faculty, students, alumni, and other members of the University community, as well as scholars, authors, and other interested persons who seek to evaluate the impact of the University’s activities on the history of American social, cultural, and intellectual development.

Qualifications/Required Education

Graduate degree in conservation of books and archival materials, including a minimum of one year internship under the direction of an experienced conservator and/or equivalent combination of training and experience.

Experience Required:

Minimum 4 years conservation experience managing conservation projects and working with special collections materials is required.

Preferred Experience:

Supervising interns and/or employees. Successful project management experience. 3 years professional conservation experience in a research library or similar academic setting.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge of current book and paper conservation techniques; professional conservation principles and ethical standards as defined by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) Code of Ethic and Guidelines for Practice for Conservation of Historic &Artistic Works); the history of the book; techniques of bookbinding and papermaking; chemistry as it applies to the conservation of library and archival collections; optimal collection storage environments. Basic understanding of environment control systems. Proficiency using MS Office Suite (word processing, spreadsheet, database) and Adobe Photoshop. Proficiency using conservation and digital documentation equipment. Familiarity with health and safety laboratory standards in particular those federal and local standard for working with toxic chemicals and for personal safety during mold remediation.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Demonstrated ability to contribute to the profession through teaching, research, and/or publication.


The position is a full-time professional position. Salary is commensurate with experience. Attractive benefits package and four weeks annual vacation.

To Apply:

Apply online at:

NYU’s Division of Libraries embraces diversity and is committed to attracting qualified candidates who also embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. NYU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.


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