The Regional Alliance for Preservation provides information and resources on preservation and conservation for cultural institutions and the public throughout the United States.

Library of Congress Preservation Directorate

The Library of Congress (LC) is the nation’s largest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with millions of collection items including books, recordings, photographs, maps, and manuscripts. The Preservation Directorate at the Library of Congress is responsible for ensuring long-term access to the intellectual content of the collections and fulfils this mission by coordinating and overseeing activities relating to the preservation and physical protection of the collections. Over 100 preservation professionals carry out these activities, which include conservation, library binding, mass deacidification, reformatting, materials analysis and testing, collections emergency management, and outreach. In addition, Preservation Directorate staff members promote access by supporting online and in-house exhibitions as well as loans.

The Library’s mission restricts the Preservation Directorate from providing preservation services beyond leadership, outreach, and guidance to outside organizations. However, the Preservation Directorate has a strong outreach program and provides information about cultural heritage preservation to Congress and to government agencies, the general public, and libraries and archives all around the world. The Library’s preservation outreach programs raise awareness of and increase the level of knowledge about preservation policies and practices through internships/fellowships and through public programs such as the Topics in Preservation Series (TOPS) lectures.

The Preservation Directorate welcomes collaborative opportunities and has pursued joint efforts in areas including emergency response, education and training, new research, best care practices, and standards development with other preservation-focused organizations. 

Preservation expertise at the Library includes: continuity of operations planning; library binding; conservation of general and special collections; reformatting; mass deacidification; preservation materials testing and quality assurance; collections storage and environmental management; integrated pest management; design, testing, and maintenance of low-oxygen exhibit cases; collections rehousing and stabilization for transport and relocation; care and handling training; development of preservation standards; preservation science research.

 Further details on the Library’s areas of preservation expertise and research, and how the Library shares this information, are available on the Preservation Directorate website at http://www.loc.gov/preservation/.

 If you are interested in involving the Library of Congress in your event or in collaborating on a project, please contact us.


Library of Congress Preservation Directorate (LOC PD)

101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4530


Contact: Mary Oey, Preservation Education Specialist

Tel: 202-707-8345


    • Library of Congress

Above: Cyntia Karnes, Paper Conservator at the Library of Congress, positions detached fragments from a late 18th century nautical map before filling the losses with new paper material.