IFLA Principles for the Care and Handling of Library Material

by Edward P. Adcock with the assistance of Marie-Thérèse Varlamoff and Virginie Kremp (Compiled and edited)

Publisher: Paris: IFLA PAC, Washington DR: CLIR, 1998

An entirely new version of "IFLA Principles for the Preservation and Conservation of Library Materials" by J.-M. Dureau & D.W.G. Clements, 1986 (IFLA Professional Reports no. 8).


This document is a general introduction to the care and handling of library material or individuals and institutions with little or no preservation knowledge. It does not provide a comprehensive list of detailed methods and practices, but gives basic information to assist libraries in establishing a responsible attitude to looking after their collections. The threats to collections are often known, but librarians frequently do not proclaim suciently loudly the consequences of ignoring the dangers. ‘IFLA Principles for the Care and Handling of Library Materials’ is therefore designed to encourage those responsible to face up to these consequences and, together with scientific and technical experts, to formulate a positive policy for the future of the material in their collections.

Primarily, this publication sets out to:

  • expose the vulnerability of library material;
  • advance knowledge about the permanence and durability of library material;
  • encourage proper care and handling of library material;
  • aid library staff in their search for solutions to preservation problems;
  • encourage clear lines of communication among library managers, buildings managers, and preservation and library staff so that all concerned work towards preserving the library’s holdings.

Original Language


Standards, PAC (Preservation and Conservation), Preservation

Last update: 16 June 2020