University of Michigan School of Information
This summer, I interned for the Library of Congress’ (LOC) Preservation Services Division (PSD). As the team within the LOC’s Preservation Directorate most focused on preservation digitization and digital archiving, PSD reformats much of the institution’s brittle books, newspapers, microfilm and external tangible media. My experience in Washington, D.C. encompassed the full variety of PSD’s reformatting processes and workflows: I extracted and processed digital files and metadata from CDs, floppy disks, hard drives and other media formats using forensic recovery of evidence technology (FRED); scanned fragile books and pamphlets with a BC-100 book capture system and edited the digital reproductions; updated PSD records with bibliographic and processing metadata for LOC materials reformatted off-site by vendors; and reviewed digital reproductions for quality after in-house and external digitization. I gained useful library preservation skills with specialized technology and software as well as a better understanding of the steps and communication involved in managing preservation reformatting for a large cultural heritage organization. Interning with PSD during the COVID-19 pandemic also provided unique chances to both explore other areas of the LOC as the Library was reopening to the public and to learn about library and archives careers with the federal government through virtual professional development events. This internship taught me that digital preservation can be an ongoing and collaborative process, rather than simply a series of projects. I am thankful to have experienced a bit of the technical, production side of library and archives preservation work and looking forward to cultivating the new skills I acquired at the LOC.