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The literature representing 1999 to 2001 reveals that the preservation field is absorbed in an evolution. The literature demonstrates that trusted practices are changing to improve outcomes and further advance the preservation field. Simultaneously, in the wake of the digital revolution, preservation professionals dream about merging traditional and digital technologies in the hope that both long-term preservation and enhanced access will be achieved. This article attempts to relate the values of the discipline in order to inspire further research and persuade more work in formulating hypotheses to integrate preservation theory and practice. Finally, this overview of the literature will communicate the scope of the preservation problem, clarify misconceptions in the field, and document areas that warrant further investigation and refinement.
The literature representing 1999 to 2001 reveals that the preservation field is continually absorbed in an evolution. This literature review examines the trends and customs of the preservation field as documented in the literature, and attempts to relate the values of the discipline in order to inspire further research and persuade more work in formulating hypotheses to integrate preservation theory and practice. Finally, this depiction of the literature will communicate the scope of the preservation problem, clarify misconceptions in the field, and document areas that warrant further investigation and refinement. Following up the preceding preservation literature reviews that have been published in this journal, this work provides a sampling of the preservation literature and will not include book reviews, annual reports, preservation project announcements, technical leaflets, and strictly specialized conservation literature. Exclusion of these works does not indicate any censorship, but is necessary to keep on target with the goals of this article and ensure a succinct and concise overview of the preservation literature.
Preservation-Related Literature Reviews
There have been several preservation literature reviews describing trends, convictions, and practices during their respective time periods. Coinciding with the observations that Drewes made in a previous review of preservation literature, current articles from 1999 to 2001 continue to integrate preservation management into the overall organizational structure of a library or archive (Drewes 1993). However, there is an attempt to take this assimilation a step further by incorporating secondary storage facilities and including digital technologies. Publishing case studies, presenting an overview of projects, and providing examples of how a procedure and practice are developed at a specific institution also remain constituents of the corpus of preservation literature as during the time of Drewes's review. Sophia Jordan conducted a review of preservation literature covering 1993 to 1998 and observed that the preservation field experienced a "refinement" and "maturation" (2000). The author reviewed a multitude of works and categorized them into subgroups including: Review of the Literature; Binding and Bindings; Physical Treatment, Reformatting (Microfilming and Photoduplication); Audio-Video, Film, and Photographic Materials; The Digital Arena; Environment Control; Disaster Planning; and Management. Jordan's examination concluded that "preservation librarians have reflected upon themselves and have developed an historical perspective of themselves" (2000, 10).
Consistent with both Drewes's and Jordan's literature reviews, preservation literature continues to thrive at this time (Drewes 1993; Jordan 2000). The fact that literature reviews are being conducted on digital documents and music collections, focusing specifically on the preservation issues relating to these mediums, is evidence of a blossoming of literature. These reviews testify to both Drewes's observation of a "widening circle" (1993, 315) and Jordan's noting "refinements in established preservation concerns (2000, 5). The authors represent specialized fields outside of preservation and recognize the mortality of digital documents and music collections. Smith claims that the literature "signifies an urgent appeal ... to preserve the priceless musical heritage" (2000, 135), while Parkes observes that the literature has "identified the major preservation issues as being the physical deterioration of digital media and the rapid rate of technological obsolescence" (1999, 374).
Jordan recognizes that "If the literature of the early 1990's reveals an explosion of information . . . then the preservation literature covering 1993-1998 shows refinements in established preservation concerns and a maturation and leadership in the new frontier" (2000, 5). Consequently, the literature representing 1999 to 2001 reveals that the preservation field is continually absorbed in an evolution and is on the verge of a revolution. The literature demonstrates that trusted practices are continuously evolving to improve outcomes and further advance the preservation field. Simultaneously, in the wake of the digital revolution, preservation professionals dream of merging traditional and digital technologies in the hope that both long-term preservation and enhanced access will be achieved. This technological revolution will continue to influence preservation services in the future and lead to a collaboration of resources across disciplines.
Clarifying Preservation Misconceptions
The journey to achieve both preservation and access has not been an easy one, and chosen paths have been challenged. Library and archives professionals recognize microfilm as the most dependable preservation medium; however, the public does not embrace this technology as a satisfying tool for access. Nicholson Baker's publication Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper (2001) has stirred up controversy in the library and archival world, specifically in the area of preservation and destruction of original text for preservation purposes. Reviews and articles in publications such as the New Yorker; The New York Times Book Review, and Washington Post Book World have contributed to the work's notoriety. Baker chastises libraries for their microfilming practices of not retaining original materials such as newspaper in their permanent collections, and contends that the "brittle book crisis" is not as critical as it has been portrayed in the library and archives world. Although Baker's interest in preservatio n is admirable, he is critical of many practices that are now obsolete and does not tell a complete story. Libraries and archives often seek funding and support from the public and are quite concerned about the fallout of such negative and uninformed publicity. Consequently, librarians and archivists are attempting to mitigate the negative press received with the publication of the book by addressing issues that were raised and offering an explanation of what practices are implemented today and what can realistically be accomplished within the means of an institution. Libraries and archives realize that they must do a better job in pleading their case to the public and increasing awareness of current preservation initiatives. Baker's publication provides a rallying point for preservationists to reassert their value and effectiveness. Double Fold inspires the necessity for expanded education in preservation, as well as constant evaluation of these practices set forth by the preservation community to ensure tha t collections are accessible for the future.
Michele Valerie Cloonan challenges preservation professionals to look critically at their role and the profession as the trend toward the decline in preservation programming in Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and schools teaching library and information sciences indicates a weakening of the field (2001). Sophia Jordan believes that a review of literature demonstrates "that the work in the field suggests a 'coming of age' for preservation. Preservation has been a part of libraries both as an administrative unit and as a unified practice long enough now to have developed a history, methodology, a series of sub-specialties, and, yes, even philosophical schools" (2000, 5). However, Cloonan (2001, 239) disputes this viewpoint because social issues concerning the survival of cultural heritage materials are not discussed in the literature included in that review. The author explains that preservation is more than prescribed treatments and solutions and requires a better understanding of the cultural context that surrounds an object (Cloonan 2001).
Importance of the Artifact
As if in response to the concerns presented by Baker and Cloonan, the recent literature reveals a renewed and refocused commitment on the part of the pubic to the original artifact. Cloonan points out that public interest is a driving force in establishing preservation as a priority when or while the public looks to cultural institutions to preserve their heritage (2001). Tools such as eBay, Bibliofind, Abebooks, auction sites, and various other Web sites facilitate researching the availability and value of an item and increase preservation awareness in the public domain. Reminded of the preservation challenges posed by digital technology and recognizing the public …