The Reformatting unit consists of Brittle Books Replacement and Microfilming. It is headed by a librarian and employs three staff supplemented by project staff when the need arises. The Reformatting Policy provides details about the functioning of the unit.
The unit coordinates a brittle books replacement program. Damaged items identified at the point of circulation are sent to book repair. If the paper is sound, the book is repaired immediately and returned to the shelf. If the paper is brittle, the volume is not repaired, and it enters the brittle books replacement program. All volumes are automatically replaced with a bound preservation photocopy replacement.
Since 1987, the Preservation Department has actively pursued a program to microfilm the most significant and endangered parts of the Cornell University Library. These include Southeast Asian languages and history, Peruvian literature and history, British Rule in India, the Fiske Icelandic collection, the Dante/Petrarch collections, the Witchcraft collection, and Medical Archives. Over 30,000 volumes have been produced with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the New York State conservation program. Film is available to local partons and to researchers worldwide via interlibrary loan or purchase. All preparation and inspection of the microfilm takes place in the reformatting unit. The actual filming is outsourced. All national standards for production of preservation microfilm are followed. The master (camera) negatives are stored at Iron Mountain/National Underground Storage facility, the print negative is stored at the Annex storage facility, and positive copies are held available in the various libraries.
Cornell University Library’s Department of Preservation and Conservation was a pioneer in the creation and management of digital images, and since early in 1990, has produced large numbers of digital images, conducted ground-breaking research, and been involved in several programs of education and training. In 2002, the Digital Consulting and Production Services (DCAPS) was formed into a separate unit by assembling a group of experts and appropriate equipment. DCAPS, is designed to plan, create, and manage digital resources on a cost-recovery basis. For example, several grant-funded projects are now centered and managed by the staff of DCAPS. Among the project completed so far are: the Samuel May Anti-Slavery Pamphlet Collection, the Collection of Political Americana, the Andrew D. White Architectural Photographs Collection, Historical Mathematics Monographs, the International Women’s Periodicals, and Project Euclid. DCAPS is concerned with: digitizing instructional and research materials; processing images including the conversion of images to text, reformatting files, creating archival and Web versions of images; obtaining copyright clearance; organizing digital resources; developing digital publications that are Web-accessible; devising metadata solutions.