Preservation Department

The Preservation Department maintains Duke University’s scholarly resources for a wide range of scholars. Our four main areas of responsibility are:

Preservation & curation of digital resources

As academic research and publication increases its reliance on computer-driven technologies, the Preservation Department is helping build services and infrastructure for the Duke University Libraries and the university community.   

Transferring obsolete or damaged materials to useable formats

Played an 8-track tape recently? Didn't think so. Our collections include a variety of formats. Inevitably, age or newer technologies mean that some resources become unusable. To  improve our users' library experience, the Preservation Department helps transfer these materials into digital formats that better suit their needs.

Core preservation services

Even as Duke University Libraries increase our range of digital resources, we continue to maintain our collections of books (5.6 million volumes), manuscripts (20 million pages) and sizeable collections of photographic and audio-video materials. Our direct responsibilities include emergency response planning and support, as well as monitoring our buildings' temperature and humidity levels.

Education & outreach

Formats that were curiosities a few years ago are critical sources for research and publication now. If we do not understand the characteristics that make those formats significant, we cannot curate them effectively. Many of the Preservation Department’s outreach activities give librarians and the university community the opportunity to discuss these complex materials with the researchers who use them.

Additional resources