Music Preservation Resources

Created by the Preservation Committee of the Music Library Association in 2008, this site is designed to consolidate useful information about the preservation of music materials in one convenient location. It is primarily for librarians and archivists, but may be helpful for anyone seeking to preserve their collections. Please read our About statement for more on the scope of this site. You may navigate through the site through the links on the left.

The resources below are a continuous work in progress, and we would be very interested in your feedback. Please send comments and recommendations to:

Thank you.

Treshani Perera
Chair, Preservation Committee 

Preservation Committee Purpose and Members

Overviews and Major Issues

Alice Carli, Binding and Care of Printed Music. Lanham, MD; Oxford: The Scarecrow Press; Middleton, WI: Music Library Association, 2003.

Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) Preservation Leaflets
Free information on a variety of preservation issues, including planning, environmental controls, disaster recovery, photographic materials, and storage.

Columbia University: Murder in the Stacks
A short, memorable primer on basic care of library materials, highlighting the importance of prevention in preservation.

Gaylord Archival Guide to Collections Care
Handy, downloadable reference for care and storage of a variety of materials, including paper, photographs, and textiles.

Lisa Hooper and Donald Force - Keeping Time: An Introduction to Archival Best Practices for Music Librarians

CoOL Conservation

Audio, Film, and Video Preservation

ARSC Guide to Audio Preservation
A current, thorough, and authoritative manual available for purchase in hard copy or downloadable in PDF format, commissioned for and sponsored by the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress. Co-published by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and The Library of Congress.

International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) Special and Technical Publications
Authoritative resources on audio, film, and video preservation available for viewing in several languages, including IASA-TC 04, Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects, and IASA-TC 05, Handling and Storage of Audio and Video Carriers.

Library of Congress: Care, Handling, and Storage of Audio Visual Materials
A quick guide, organized by format.

Anthony Cocciolo: Moving Image and Sound Collections for Archivists. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2017.

Digital Preservation

Library of Congress: Digital Preservation

Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC): Digital Preservation
A comprehensive page with numerous links to additional resources.

Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative (FADGI)
“FADGI is a collaborative effort started in 2007 by federal agencies to articulate common sustainable practices and guidelines for digitized and born digital historical, archival and cultural content.”

Disaster Management and Recovery

dPlan: The Online Disaster-Planning Tool for Cultural and Civic Institutions

Library of Congress: Emergency Management


Inclusion here is for informational purposes and does not constitute an endorsement. 

Last updated: February 01, 2018, at 03:10 PM EST


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About MLA

The Music Library Association is the professional association for music libraries and librarianship in the United States. Founded in 1931, it has an international membership of librarians, musicians, scholars, educators, and members of the book and music trades. Complementing the Association’s national and international activities are eleven regional chapters that carry out its programs on the local level.