Curation and Preservation Services at the MIT Libraries
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Personal binding and conservation work | I have a damaged book | Disaster Response for personal collections

The materials in the MIT Libraries have been collected for the benefit of present and future members of the MIT community, and represent a great intellectual and monetary investment. Curation and Preservation Services is committed to caring for these collections.


Personal binding and conservation work

The MIT Libraries cannot include personal books in our library binding shipments, nor can we do conservation work on non-library materials. We can, however, advise patrons and staff members on finding a conservator or binder for personal books. The MIT Libraries does not recommend or endorse any particular vendor or book worker, but we can provide contact information for several options. Please email Ask Us! (MIT only) with your query. The Conservator or Preservation Librarian will respond with suggestions.


I have a damaged book

If the damaged book belongs to the MIT Libraries, please see the Circulation FAQ for more information

If the damaged book is your personal copy, please see Personal Binding and Conservation Work for more information.


Disaster Response for personal collections

The Northeast Document Conservation Center provides 24x7 emergency phone assistance free of charge for individuals and organizations. Call 978-417-1010 or visit their website.

MIT Curation and Preservation Services staff will provide advice to MIT employees and affiliates whose personal collections have been damaged. Call 617-253-5282 or send an email message to during working hours (M-F, 8:30-5:00).

A range of resources are available on the web at all times. The following sites are among the more useful:

Preserving Treasures After a Disaster from the Library of Congress
This webpage includes illustrative photos and videos about recovering from water, contamination, mold, and smoke and soot.

What to do about Home Movie Damage from the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA)
This 10-page brochure contains step-by-step instructions for salvaging wet home movie film and also a list of vendors.

Salvaging Flooded Videotapes from AMIA
This 1-page handout lists key points for salvage for wet video tape.

If items are extensively damaged or too valuable to risk handling at home, a conservation professional will provide expertise. The American Institute for Conservation website has a form through which you can find a conservator in your area that has specific specialties. Go to, then click "Save Your Treasures" and "Find a Conservator" in the center image.






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