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Plan for Preservation and Conservation Assessment: Efforts for the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Library Amanda Meeks Emporia State University

PLAN FOR PRESERVATION Plan for Preservation and Conservation Assessment: Efforts for the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Library This paper will discuss the landscape of preservation assessment surveys and tools in the Ukraine, specifically in the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy


Library. Research libraries, both domestically and abroad, are typically the home of large rare book and archival collections and the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Library is no exception based on my observations in June 2011. Library materials are deteriorating at a faster rate due to the quality of their publication and it seems preservation efforts of these collections have been slow due to shifts in political power, plundering, inconsistent funding, wars, and fires. Which have also made for a difficult transition into a democratic society with open access libraries. Over the next three years I would like to propose an exchange between Emporia State University’s library students and the Academy in Kyiv in order to assess their collections and design a preservation plan to be implemented at the end of the assessment completion. There are several challenges to be addressed in developing this preservation assessment and plan. The question of what steps are necessary in developing a comprehensive assessment survey and tools for preservation comes up immediately. One study by Baird and Schaffner (2003) uses an assessment survey developed in the U.S. in Eastern European with positive results, but the collection itself will determine how to assess preservation and conservation needs in Kyiv. Students who are part of the exchange will need to be familiar with preservation by taking coursework and focusing on that in their personal studies. Similar to several research libraries in the U.S., National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Library also houses their rare book collections in



inadequate storage facilities and many rare book collections in Eastern Europe are largely unprocessed and uncataloged (Baird & Schaffner, 2003). This issue cannot be ignored, either. A first logical step in this plan would be to assess a desire within the SLIM program to take on this long-term project. Organizing a preservation course specifically for those interested in this project would be helpful and where the “exchange” portion of this project comes in. Having a local preservation and conservation professor would be helpful but it would also benefit to have Ukrainian librarians collaborate in this preliminary step to ensure that their needs are met and well understood. This will require funding for travel and living expenses for visiting librarians as well as a resourceful local instructor who has an understanding of the Ukrainian culture. A second step would be formulating teams within the group of students so that the responsibility would ultimately be shared, but more focused on specific tasks. These teams would include preservation survey development, conservation survey development, digital preservation, and physical preservation planning. A Concentration would ensure that each area was well researched and implemented. Finally, after completing a semester of preliminary study, students would be sent to the Academy library ready to work for one year on this project. Each team would work on their individual tasks but would also collaborate with one another and the Ukrainian librarians to complete the project. This would take a great deal of resources, both financially and technically (within the library). The outcome of this project would be a finished assessment survey with a preservation and conservation plan. A better understanding of the needs in this library

PLAN FOR PRESERVATION would be helpful to those who work there and those who wish to preserve rare Slavic publications. At the time of completion, if funding and resources are available, the preservation plan may be implemented with the help of the team of SLIM students and the Ukrainian librarians. Without action in the near future, I am afraid the consequences


will be a great loss of physical collections of Slavic library materials and lessened chance that these materials will exist for generations to come. As the Ukraine gains momentum as a democratic society with a great deal of nationalistic pride, they will need and want these materials around.

PLAN FOR PRESERVATION Reference Baird, B.J. & Schaffner, B.L. (2003). Slow fires still burn: Results of a preservation assessment in L’viv, Ukraine and Sophia, Bulgaria. College and Research Libraries. 64(4). 318-330.