Harvard College Library

Jan Merrill-Oldham Receives ALCTS 2004 Preservation Award

Jan Merrill-Oldham is the Malloy-Rabinowitz Preservation Librarian and recipient of the 2004 Paul Banks & Carolyn Harris Preservation Award.

March 9, 2004 - Jan Merrill-Oldham, the Malloy-Rabinowitz Preservation Librarian, Harvard University Library and Harvard College Library, has been named the recipient of the 2004 Paul Banks & Carolyn Harris Preservation Award, given by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS). The award, consisting of $1,500 and a citation in recognition of her work, sponsored by Preservation Technologies, L.P., recognizes the contribution of a professional preservation specialist who has been active in the field of preservation and/or conservation of library and/or archival materials.

"From her early years as a young Turk, Jan has been a person of consequence in the profession, identifying, defining, and advancing preservation on both the local and the national level. Her vision, drive, and unrelenting energy have worked to advance the place of preservation. Her’s is an unmatched contribution of lasting worth," said Susan Lee, Associate Librarian of Harvard College for Planning and Administration.

Merrill-Oldham has been active in the field of preservation and conservation for more than 20 years. She was a preservation intern at Yale University in 1979 – 1980. After completing her internship, she undertook a year survey to assess the preservation needs of the University of Connecticut Libraries.

In 1981 she became the first preservation officer at the University of Connecticut Libraries, where she developed and managed a comprehensive preservation program. In 1995, she moved to Harvard University, where she is the Malloy-Rabinowitz Preservation Librarian.

Merrill-Oldham is a recognized leader in the field of preservation. She has presented at numerous conferences and workshops and has authored or served as editor of more than forty publications. She has been an active participant in American Library Association (ALA), Association of Research Librarians (ARL), the American Institute for Conservation, the Rare Book School, the Council on Library Resources, the Commission on Preservation and Access, the Society of American Archivists, the Library of Congress National Preservation Program, and the Library Binding Institute. She has worked tirelessly serving on committees and task forces, developing standards, and helping to shape the preservation agenda.

Merrill-Oldham’s major contribution has been through her role in improving library binding, improving preservation for libraries of every type. She provided leadership to the Library Binding Institute and in the development of the landmark 1986 "LBI Standard for Library Binding." She has worked to educate librarians about quality binding through countless preservations and publications, especially the "Guide to the LBI Standard" in 1990, and she continues to work for improvements in repeated service with National Information Standards Organization (NISO) on standards for Library Binding and for Hardcover Binding for Books (the standard for publishers’ bindings).

The award will be presented on Sunday, June 27, 2004, at the ALCTS Awards Ceremony and Membership Meeting during the 2004 American Library Association meeting in Orlando, Florida. It honors the memories of Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris, early leaders in library preservation, teachers, and mentors for many in the field of preservation.

This story appears courtesy of the Harvard College Library Communications Office
Copyright © 2004 President and Fellows of Harvard College