The scale of the preservation problem makes the preservation of all original documents impossible. To preserve the information they contain, they can be copied into other formats, including both photographic and digitised media. The professional and technical issues which arise from the practice of format conversion are considered, and the available technologies surveyed. Some current and ongoing projects are discussed and assessed. It is concluded that format conversion is a vital tool for the preservation manager and that it can help librarians to provide better services to users of older materials.
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