National Preservation Research Agenda
The Library of Congress pursues preservation research with the aim to forward the National Preservation Research Agenda, which was developed by the Library's Preservation Directorate in consultation with leading scientific laboratories. This matrix (MS Excel) of preservation science projects undertaken by libraries, archives, and museums worldwide illustrates the wide range of preservation research, from scientific and forensic characterization studies to the development of conservation treatments. At the Library of Congress, Preservation Directorate staff members have published extensively on a wide range of research topics, including the effects of solvents on paper, treatment of mold, definitions of artifactual value, energy sustainability, iron gall ink treatment protocols, and other preservation questions.
Current and past research projects at the Library, including the project background, description, and results.
The Preservation Research and Testing Division analyzes the material composition of collection items to further scholarly research, conservation treatment, and the preservation of the Library’s collections. Analytical tests can characterize the chemical composition and condition of a range of materials, including paints, inks, and pigments, coatings, and substrates such as paper, parchment, and papyrus.
The Preservation Research and Testing Division conducts quality assurance on the housing and storage materials used at the Library to ensure that they meet the rigorous performance and composition requirements stipulated in Library of Congress specifications.
The Preservation Research and Testing laboratories include equipment and instruments for microscopy, imaging, general spectroscopy, elemental spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, chromatography, other analytical chemical techniques, physical measurements, and audio signal processing analysis, as well as other general equipment.