The conservation team is responsible for maintaining the physical stability and accessibility of all collections materials within the George A. Smathers Libraries. This includes materials from the Special and Area Studies Collections, Library West, Marston Science Library, the Art and Architecture Library, the Education Library, the Health Sciences Libraries, as well as the Government Documents and Florida Repository (FLARE) collections located off campus.
Our primary responsibility is the repair and stabilization of damaged or at-risk materials. This includes the general repair, maintenance, and binding of circulating books; the stabilization and review of materials as they go through the digitization process; as well as in-depth assessments, treatments, and housings for our special collection items. We also partner with the digitization and exhibits teams to assist in other library projects.
Our ultimate goal is to make our collections available to the UF community, researchers, and future generations. In support of this, we follow the American Institute for Conservation’s Mission and Code of Ethics as we strive to provide stable, accessible, and creative experiences with our collections that will enhance the learning and development of peoples and communities near and far.
The Conservation Team cares for the circulating items in the Libraries’ collections with the ultimate goal of having the items ready for use by our researchers and students under any condition.
The Conservation Team works closely with Digital Support Services to inspect and prepare items for digitization.
Work on Special Collection material is a collaborative effort between our librarians and conservator to identify the essential value of an item in our collections to conserve in our treatments. In addition to treatments, we build bespoke housing to protect items and make them accessible to our users.
We work closely with our Exhibits Unit (link) to do any cleaning, repair, and/or support work on collection material that will be going into a library exhibit. Requests for treatment of potential exhibit materials should be routed through the Exhibits Director.