I have visited the Library of Congress and toured their facilities for preserving books, photos, and other materials several times in the past. Unfortunately, I have never documented my trips there, so I was glad to locate Gallery: Digitizing the past and present at the Library of Congress. In this article Rob Beschizza highlights the work that goes on at the Library of Congress to preserve traditional and digital materials from the past and present.
Beschizza describes equipment in use at the Library of Congress. The photo reproduced here shows the use of x-rays to determine the elemental composition of a centuries old book. I cannot help but to wonder if technicians several hundred years in the future will be similarly analyzing today’s photo books. Unlike some other photo books in the market, Creative Memories StoryBooks will survive this test of time.
This article documents the magnitude of the preservation problem, including the difficulty associated with video images from the 1970’s. Beschizza also provides useful information including the advice to avoid sticky labels with CDs and DVD.
If you have never seen the Library of Congress, or even if you have, I think you’ll enjoy this tour.