UC Berkeley Library

Using the Library during COVID-19

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Preservation Replacement

Feb 24 - Mar 2
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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

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.

Replacement of brittle books

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 do bibliographic checking to identify copies at other libraries that could be borrowed by UCB Library users, and to identify copies for possible purchase.

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 Circulation 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)
  • Preserve in protective enclosure (clamshell box)

Replacement of missing pages

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 withstand tip-ins. After missing page replacements are produced by PRD, the CTD technicians attach the replacement pages.

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.

Replacement of missing whole items

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.

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