photo of staff inspecting microfilm Library Preservation Department, University of California, Berkeley


The Preservation Replacement Division (PRD) offers these services:

  • replacement of brittle books too deteriorated to continue to be used
  • replacement of pages missing from books
  • replacement of out-of-print whole books and serial issues missing from the collection
  • preservation projects to microfilm subject-based groups of deteriorated materials from the collections

With the exception of projects, most of PRD's work is "use-driven," that is, it is identified by the library users when they need materials that prove to be missing from the collection, missing pages from volumes, or are in too poor physical condition to be used. Additionally, library staff identify items for possible replacement and forward them to PRD.


Identification of candidates: The "brittle books" program addresses the needs of the collection materials currently in demand, but too deteriorated to use. Items are flagged in the Conservation Treatment division from among items that cannot be repaired or rebound. PRD staff document the physical condition information and propose replacement options.

Bibliographic checking: Before replacement, books are reviewed by a subject specialist (selector). Prior to selector review, PRD staff does bibliographic checking to identify copies at other libraries that could be borrowed by UCB Library users, and to identify copies for possible purchase. Bibliographic resources employed by PRD include:

  • OskiCat (other copies, volumes, or editions of the title on campus)
  • Melvyl (title availability at other UC libraries and Stanford University)
  • OCLC (national availability for microform s, reprints, etc.)
  • Books in Print, Guide to Reprints, and similar sources (commercially available editions and reprints)
  • Print and Web catalogs of major microform vendors (ProQuest, IDC, Guide to Microforms in Print, etc.)

Selector review and follow-up: The selector reviews the bibliographic information provided and decides on one of the following courses of action:

  • Withdraw without replacement (PRD or CIRCULATI0N processes the item for withdrawal)
  • Retain as is (reshelve the item or transfer the item to NRLF)
  • Replace commercially (purchase a duplicate copy, reprint, or different edition, or purchase the item in another format)
  • Replace inhouse (make a preservation photocopy or a preservation microfilm)
  • Preserve in protective enclosure (phase box, clamshell box)


Inspection: Books are inspected to determine if any pages are missing or damaged. Missing or damaged pages are replaced, if possible, before the book is copied.

Photocopying: Books selected for photocopying are disbound. The loose pages are photocopied — double-sided and in original size — onto acid-free off-white paper. Usually extra binding margin is added on the gutter; other margins are preserved or increased if possible. Most volumes are buckram bound; thin volumes are pamphlet bound. Original plates may be retained and tipped in with a hinge when the paper is in relatively good condition and the photocopy cannot match the quality of the original. Color plates too brittle or damaged to be retained are photocopied in color.

Post-photocopying procedures: After photocopying and inspection, the disbound original is discarded unless the selector has requested that the loose sheets be retained in a box.


Preparation for microfilming: Books that have been selected for microfilm replacement are disbound by PRD staff. If the book is to be retained after microfilming and is bound too tightly to be filmed, PRD staff try to locate another copy more suitable for filming. All volumes are collated to ensure completeness.

A master negative number is as signed to each title on a reel. If the original document is a multi-volume set or a newspaper, PRD determines the breaking points for splitting the text over multiple reels of microfilm (reel programming).

PRD staff prepare microfilm targets — sheets of paper that will be filmed with the volume which contain necessary information regarding the document and the film copy, including missing material and major defects.

Microfilming: Documents are sent either to the Preservation Microfilming Service or to a commercial film vendor to be photographed in 35mm microfilm format. All films are inspected frame-by-frame for completeness and quality of images.

Post-filming procedures: When original volumes are discarded after filming, PRD staff check every film. (Microfilms of new spapers are an exception; they are inspected page-by-page by the Preservation Microfilming Service and then selectively inspected by PRD staff.) When originals are to be retained after filming, PRD staff routinely check every tenth film. If the original is to be retained, it is returned to the shelving unit. If it is to be withdrawn after filming, it is processed for withdrawal by PRD staff or sent back to the owning unit.

Three silver halide 35mm microfilms are made for every title microfilmed: the 1st generation film (the camera negative, also known as the master negative) is bar coded and stored at SRLF. The 2nd generation negative film (the duplicate negative, also known as the print master) is stored at NRLF. A positive film copy (also known as the service copy) is routed to Technical Services for cataloging for patron use.


Review: Before a book with missing pages comes to PRD it is reviewed by technicians in the Conservation Treatment Division (CTD) to determine whether it is in good enough condition to with stand tip-ins. After missing page replacements are produced by PRD, the CTD technicians attach the replacement pages.

Collation: Books are checked page by page to see if there are more missing pages than those reported. Pages with underlining or comments in the margin usually are not replaced unless the marks affect the legibility of the text.

Borrowing: Replacement pages are made from intact copies obtained via the Interlibrary Borrowing Service (IBS) or, when possible, from other copies on campus. When source copies are to be drawn from non-circulating materials, as often happens with recent journals and reference books, pRD obtains photocopies of the needed pages via IBS and then recopies them with adequate binding margins. Replacement pages are two- sided, sized to match the original, and printed either on white or cream colored paper to blend with the original document.

Photocopying: Missing color plates and maps are often, but not always, replaced with color photocopies. If a large number of color copies is needed to complete the job, the PRD staff check the commercial availability of the book to determine if the more economical course of action would be to commercially replace the damaged copy. If a commercial replacement is not available the PRD staff will consult with a selector to decide whether color copying is worth the expense.


Requests for replacement of missing books or serial issues usually come to PRD when the Order Division staff have been unable to locate a new or used copy and the selector has opted for replacement with a photocopy made by the Preservation department (see Preservation Replacement Decision Form).

Copyright permission: If a work is protected by copyright, PRD staff determine if permission of copyright holder is required to reproduce the title and request such permission in writing if necessary. If permission for the reproduction is denied, the replacement order is canceled and the selector is notified or advised on other options (e.g., ordering a photocopy or a film copy of a thesis directly from the owning in stitution).

Borrowing: Replacement photocopies are made from good copies obtained via the Interlibrary Borrowing Service or, when possible, from other copies on campus.

Collation: Books obtained via the Interlibrary Borrowing Service are inspected to determine suitability for photocopying. A borrowed copy may be unsuitable if it is incomplete (some pages are missing or damaged) or otherwise imperfect (e.g., defaced, fragile, or bound too tightly). In such a case PRD staff try to obtain yet another copy.

Photocopying: Guidelines for whole item photocopying are essentially the same as for preservation photocopying.


, Unit Head
phone: (510) 643-7544

, Preservation Replacement Assistant
phone: (510) 643-7544

, Preservation Replacement Assistant
phone: (510) 642-8059


19 Doe Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley CA 94720-6000
Fax: (510) 642-4664

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