The mission of the NAL Preservation Program is to preserve and ensure access to the intellectual content and physical composition of agricultural works of national and international importance indefinitely into the future. Through collaborative efforts, the NAL Preservation Program will advance the application of new technologies and approaches for preserving and ensuring access to agricultural works in all formats. See Scanning Specifications for additional information on standards currently followed by the NAL.
The Preservation Program seeks to reduce the risks to the collections and maximize their life expectancy by engaging in preventive actions for all collection materials as well as duplication and retrospective treatment for damaged materials. The Preservation Program aspires to preserve NAL research materials that are part of the permanent collections by housing them in appropriate macro and micro environments, ensuring their proper handling, maintaining necessary information retrieval equipment and software, providing physical and chemical stabilization, and reformatting or replacing those that are too deteriorated for use.
The preservation of NAL's own collections is a primary step toward preserving the scholarly agricultural record. In addition, NAL has a leadership role to assist in the preservation of important agricultural literature held by other U. S. institutions. NAL's preservation efforts are coordinated with those of other national libraries, research libraries, land-grant institutions, and the U.S. Agricultural Information Network.
Preservation Program staff monitor developments in preservation science to secure and maximize the use of appropriate and effective methods that meet the needs of NAL collections. Program members participate in research, development, testing and evaluation of technologies to support preservation of vital agricultural information for the United States and the world.