Introduces a one‐year research project, based on a questionnaire survey of nearly 300 archives and record offices, and interviews with librarians, archivists and conservationists. Posits that the research will gather and analyse information on written preservation policies and strategies; reprography policies; environmental control; housekeeping routines; staff training; user education; security; disaster management; and statistics for preservation planning. Initial findings highlight concern regarding the increasing emphasis on user services and damage caused by photocopying; the problem of disintegrating collections printed or written on poor quality paper; the central role of microform as a surrogate medium; interest in the feasibility of establishing a central repository for microfilm; and interest in the surrogacy potential of digitization. Expects that the research will produce good practice guidelines for libraries, archives and record offices and will result in detailed recommendations as to what a national preservation policy might contain and the issues it should consider, thus pointing the way towards a national preservation policy and significantly strengthening the case for it.
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