By using digital capture and quality printing machines along with permanent and durable paper, preservation reformatting/facsimile makes long-lasting replacement copies of deteriorating, damaged, or non-circulating documents and printed materials. The quality of a copy depends on the paper used, the machine printing the copy, the expertise of the machine operator, the imaging materials adhering to the paper, the quality of the original image, and the completeness of the item.
Requirements for a Preservation Facsimile:
- Paper must adhere to standards for permanence and durability. Applicable standards are ANSI Z39.48 -- Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials; ASTM D3290 -- Bond and Ledger Paper for Permanent Records; ASTM D3458 -- Copies from Office Copying Machines for Permanent Records.
- Printing equipment must use a toner or ink with carbon black pigment to produce permanent images.
- Copy machine must function at its optimum operating condition to meet the toner's need for heat/pressure setting of the image in the copying process. It may be necessary to have a specific machine dedicated only to preservation photocopying.
- Image adhesion to the paper should be tested. Do the tape pull test as described in National Archives and Records Administration Technical Information Paper No. 5.
- The test should be performed regularly on printing from machines routinely used for preservation facsimile and may be performed by customers receiving copies produced by vendors.
- Passing the tape pull test means that printed text does not appear -- even the outline of letters or symbols -- in the adhesive of the required tape when it is slowly lifted off the image.
- Each preservation facsimile’s image should replicate the original image and its placement in the original including registration of text on verso and recto sides of a page.
- Preservation facsimile must be inspected to verify page order, legibility, completeness, clarity, contrast, and accuracy. Quality of the replacement print should be compared to the source materials.
- A preservation facsimile should have a statement identifying the work as a copy. Notice of copy should appear as a separate leaf in the copy. The copy identification statement should indicate that the paper complies with ANSI Z39.48 and may make reference to "poor quality original" to describe limits of capture.
- Copyright statements about the limited use of material may be added to the notice of copy if appropriate.
- Preservation replacement prints are to be properly housed and stored according to requirements for paper materials.
- Original material may be stored as "leaf masters," which may be retrieved for future duplication such as making an additional preservation facsimile or making use of other media conversion technology.
Adapted from the American Library Association's Guidelines for Preservation Photocopying .
Preservation Facsimile as an Option for the Preservation of Books
Preservation Facsimile is a good option when it is the content of the book that you are interested in preserving and the paper of the text block is brittle. Preservation facsimile is not an appropriate option for books with artifactual value.
For a list of vendors that provide reformatting and facsimile services and follow standards set by the American Library Association's Guidelines see the Book Manufacturers’ Institute Directory for the Certified Library Binders who provide this service. Many will do work for individuals, such as reproducing genealogical pamphlets for family members.
The techniques utilized ensure legible images and durable, structurally sound bindings. The materials used are both permanent and durable. [Note that photocopying onto alkaline paper is not the only requirement to produce a preservation photocopy. The equipment used must also meet U. S. government standards for image permanence in terms of the stability and strength of the ink bonding to the paper.]