The staff members of the USC conservation lab are
actively involved in the preventative preservation
activities throughout the university library
systems. Environmental Monitoring, Staff and User
Education, and Disaster Preparedness, Salvage, and
Recovery efforts are all included in the
university's preventative preservation capabilities.
Below, some of the activities the lab is currently
involved in are listed.
- Environmental Monitoring
- We use
Preservation Environment Monitor (PEM)
data loggers from the Image Permanence
Institute in many university library
collection areas. These allow us to compile
data on the temperature and relative
humidity fluctuations over time, and to
create reports that will allow us to locate
potential environmental problems quickly.
- Integrated Pest Management is in place
in several university buildings. This is
monitored with the Zpest database, freeware
created by Leon Zak.
- Mold abatement, when needed, is
performed by the conservation lab staff.
- HVAC analysis recommendations are made
based on the PEM data we collect.
- Staff and User Education
- Interns from several graduate
departments of the university are often
trained in the lab for course credit.
- Seminars on preservation awareness and
workshops on various preservation activities
are taught by the lab staff.
- Laboratory staff often give guest
lectures or lab tours to graduate classes in
the departments of Public History, Museum
Studies, and Library and Information
- Disaster Preparedness, Salvage, and Recovery
- Lab staff will assist in the development
of disaster plans and their successful
- Lab staff will also be available for
assistance with disaster response as
- Preservation Planning
- Laboratory staff will arrange and
conduct a variety of surveys for specific
collections or library departments. These
may include item level, random sampling, or
stratified sampling surveys. The surveys
conducted will generally be used to create a
Preservation Priority Survey, which will
allow the Conservation lab to work
effectively with Curators to plan for the
conservation and preservation needs of the
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