Collections Care

Collections Care staff measuring books, rebinding books, and repairing newspapers



The Harvard Library Collections Care unit houses a production-oriented collections care program for actively circulating collections that largely post-date the 18th century. We are committed to the use of permanent and durable materials, structurally sound treatment techniques, and an efficient approach to production. We are committed to excellence, productivity, and adherence to the Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.



  • Preservation review for individual items to determine the proper course of action
  • Conservation treatment: preventive maintenance; construction of protective enclosures, and a wide range of minor, intermediate, and major conservation treatments that return worn and damaged 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century library materials to useful condition
  • Preparation of new acquisitions for use: inserting loose items into bound materials, constructing pockets, mold remediation, inspecting pest damage
  • Preparation of library materials for commercial binding
  • Consulting: advice on collections conservation issues, including workbench design, space planning, preservation decision making, program development, and emergency planning
  • Preservation assessments and surveys: site visits, environmental monitoring, and condition surveys
  • Disaster recovery: assistance with the salvage of materials in Harvard's library collections that have been damaged by fire, water, mold, and/or pests
  • Equipment: fume hood, ultrasonic welder, and power cutter available for use by conservation staff throughout the libraries at Harvard
  • Reference library: vendor catalogs, product samples, manuals, books, periodicals, and brochures on collections conservation topics
  • Training: internships, workshops, and individualized training for library staff at Harvard

In order to provide the best possible service for Harvard's vast collections, our skilled staff members work in many locations across the Harvard campus.



If you have questions concerning general and circulating collections, please contact us.

Harvard Library Collections Care
Phone: 617-496-2403

If your question concerns special collections, please refer to the Weissman Preservation Center.