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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS070001)

Utilization, Preservation and Management of Library Materials that Require Original State Conservation: Based on a Survey of the Condition of Chinese Books of the Qing Dynasty in Keio University
No.70, p.1-24
Issue date

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the utilization, preservation and management of library materials that require original state conservation, focusing on the Chinese books of the Qing Dynasty era.

Methods: First, from the results of the interview and questionnaire surveys conducted on the staff in charge of rare books at 15 institutions, the following factors are considered to be some of the causes of the degradation of Chinese books: 1)Insufficient maintenance of the stack environment, 2)Utilization of the materials, and 3)Environmental changes on entering the stacks. Secondly, on the basis of these findings and other previous studies, a comparison study was designed to examine the state of degradation of the Chinese books in the Keio University Mita Media Center (with 1470 Chinese books) and in the Keio Institute of Oriental Classics (with 323 Chinese books), each of which has its own usage rules and its unique environment. Additionally, the conditions of 119 Japanese books and 237 books in Western languages published in the time of the Qing Dynasty were examined to compare with those of the Chinese books.

Results: The Chinese books of the Qing Dynasty era are in very good condition, and can be used as they are. The degradation was caused by careless handling as well as frequent use, and not by inappropriate management of the environment. In conclusion, meticulous care is required for deteriorated books made of paper from wood pulp, and those that are difficult to open, in order to use the actual material.

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