Science & Tech

Website saves wet books

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The 'emergencies' section of the Library Preservation Web site contains information about emergency preparedness as well as emergency recovery

Wondering what to do if you discover a bunch of old books are floating in backed-up sewer water or if a parchment manuscript gets soaked by an automatic sprinkler? The library emergency Web pages can tell you, plus a lot more. The Web pages, prepared by the Weissman Preservation Center in the Harvard University Library and the Preservation & Imaging Department in the Harvard College Library, also contain forms and questionnaires to enable librarians at each of Harvard’s more than 90 libraries to prepare for worst-case scenarios. According to Jane Hedberg, preservation program officer, the Web is the ideal place for disseminating such information. “We have such a decentralized system that the Web is a brilliant tool for communication,” she said. The “emergencies” section of the Library Preservation Web site contains information about emergency preparedness as well as emergency recovery. It offers lists of readings, suggested supplies, and procedures for responding to emergencies involving Harvard’s library collections. The information can be found at http://preserve.harvard.edu/emergencies.