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Barbara Goldsmith Preservation Division
The New York Public Library has one of the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive institutional preservation programs in the United States, with activities dating back to the 1911 opening of the landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The Barbara Goldsmith Preservation Division cares for the Library’s permanent assets in all formats housed in more than ninety buildings in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, as well as a high-density storage facility in New Jersey. The Division preserves both the artifacts that comprise the Library’s vast and diverse collections as well as their intellectual content. The work done by Preservation Division staff significantly contributes to the long-term survival of the Library’s renowned collections held in trust for public access and use.
NYPL Conducts Audio and Moving Image Assessment
With Mellon Foundation funding, the NYPL recently completed a comprehensive audio and moving image assessment. NYPL holds one of the largest and the most important audio and moving image (AMI) collections in the world; however, the future of these collections is at risk by the very nature the media’s vulnerability to decay and technological obsolescence. The final recommendations are being integrated into NYPL’s institution-wide strategic planning process with the recognition that sustainable, long-term preservation strategies for AMI collections will best serve the Library’s collections and users. Read the project overview, and watch this page for more information.
- Audio Preservation
Preservation of sound recordings is achieved through a multifaceted program of conservation, reformatting and documentation.
- Collections Care
Collections Care assesses, treats, and provides protective enclosures for collection items; manages mass deacidification; and shares in collection disaster preparedness and recovery.
- Conservation Treatment
Conservators perform physical and chemical treatments on rare and special collections to ensure long-term survival and access for current and future generations.
- Digital Preservation Development
Digital preservation development and activities are a shared responsibility among the Library’s information technology, digital, curatorial and Preservation programs.
- Field Services
Field Services serves as the outreach center for staff and public, promoting and implementing preservation practices used to extend the life of Library and personal collections.
- Moving Image Preservation
The moving image studios produce preservation, access, and requested footage copies from a broad range of historic and current media formats.
- Preservation Microfilming
Preservation Microfilming preserves the intellectual content of at-risk collection materials by reformatting to microfilm, which may be converted from film to digital format through collaborative projects.
Registrars are responsible for the management and safety of the Library’s special collections during exhibitions and outgoing loans, and when in transit throughout the Library system.
From September 25, 2009 through June 26, 2010 D. Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall (First Floor) Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, NY 10018-2788 (directions) Hours: Click here forRead More ›
When I think of Victor Jessen (or any of the secret filmmakers) inconspicuously filming dance fragments, "from various angles," with his Bell and Howell camera, coat pockets stuffed with up to 15 preloaded 16mm film magazines, I immediately think of Woody Allen's character Virgil Starkwell in the filmRead More ›
Preservation can be compared to a health care system because it involves preventative, diagnostic, clinical, and critical care services.
The Outgoing Loan Program for external exhibitions is coordinated by the Registrar’s Office within the Preservation Division. This program enables approved cultural institutions to borrow works from the NYPL's collections for display in their own exhibitions.
With Mellon Foundation funding, the New York Public Library (NYPL) undertook an audio and moving image assessment in 2013. The final recommendations are being integrated into NYPL’s institution-wide strategic planning process with the recognition that sustainable, long-term preservation strategies for AMI collections will best serve the Library’s collections and users.
NYPL and Yale were awarded an IMLS leadership grant to prepare a host of fellows for careers in preservation administration.