Library of Congress Partnership/Projects (1997-Present)

Library of CongressThe Image Permanence Institute (IPI) and the Library of Congress (LOC) have had a long and valuable partnership since 1997. In 1998, IPI, LOC and the New York Public Library began work on Optimization—Collection Life and Energy Costs. Funded by the Mellon Foundation, the project involved measuring and evaluating HVAC systems, making improvements to storage conditions, and identifying actions which could lower operating costs. LOC contracted with IPI to expand and continue the project for three years through an Environmental Monitoring Initiative and Mitigation Planning project.

Based on the important developments that evolved out of the partnership between IPI and LOC, the Preservation Directorate has secured funding to continue working with IPI staff on Environmental Monitoring and Analysis Services and Consultations. These projectsexpand on the comprehensive monitoring infrastructure built over several years to gather, analyze, communicate about, and act on environmental data. Specific tasks included:

  • Identify collection storage locations with inappropriate or under-performing environments and work toward long-term improvement in the preservation value of these spaces.
  • Provide consultation and planning data for future facilities improvements or off-site storage.
  • Further the partnership with the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) and LOC Facilities to investigate environments and mechanical systems.
  • Widen the scope of monitored and analyzed environments.

The communication of data collected on the storage environment and its effect on collection materials has evolved dramatically over the course of our work together. The Collection Storage Information System (CSIS) developed for LOC presents temperature, humidity, and dew point data along with IPI’s Preservation Metrics and a wide range of information associated with each monitored location.


IPI/LOC History:


  • LOC contracted with IPI for a Collection Survey and Evaluation of Storage Environments for LOC's Motion Picture Collection


  • LOC funded IPI's Evaluation of the Performance and Products of Scanning Service Providers to Convert LOC Collections from Paper, Flat Film and Microfilm to Digital Images


  • LOC contracted with IPI for an Analysis of the Preservation Quality of Various Environmental Control Scenarios for LOC's Planned Off-Site Book Storage Facility at Ft. Meade


  • Optimizing Collection Life and Energy Costs in Cultural Institutions Project, funded by the Mellon Foundation, IPI partnered with the LOC and the New York Public Library to measure and evaluate HVAC systems, make improvements to storage conditions, and lower operating costs.


  • LOC contracted with IPI for Development of Specifications for Digital Images of Pictorial Images to be Scanned by Contractors
  • Strategic Plan for the Deteriorating Negatives Project, including a preservation survey of the collection and recommendations for acceptable standards for preservation. This project included lectures and hands-on training workshops for LOC staff.
  • LOC's Prints and Photographs Division contracted with IPI for Testing and Evaluation of Selected Film and Glass Negative Collections, along with an environmental assessment of these collections.


  • Tools and Management Processes for Preservation of Library Collections Project, funded by the Mellon Foundation to continue the optimizing project with LOC, the project focused on developing management processes to improve storage environments, and the creation of a publication.


  • Environmental Monitoring Initiative and Mitigation Planning Project, funded by LOC, this project expanded the optimization and monitoring effort to 85 new locations, in addition to the 22 spaces monitored originally.


  • LOC funded the review of proposed climate conditions and general design conditions for the Phase III - Secure Storage Facilities project completed by IPI and Herzog/Wheeler.


  • LOC approved funding to continue and expand IPI’s involvement in environmental monitoring and analysis on Capitol Hill, in Secure Storage Facilities, NAVCC, and select exhibit spaces.
  • LOC contracted with IPI for the Conversion of Existing Library of Congress Environmental Monitoring Data to a Web-Based Collection Storage Information System 2007-2008
  • LOC funded a one year Environmental Monitoring and Analysis Service & Consultation to provide a framework for the Preservation Directorate to incorporate and share environmental data and analysis within the LOC.


  • Environmental Management Contract for continued investigation into mechanical reasons behind the temperature and moisture content in targeted collection storage areas.

IPI can work with your organization to develop an Environmental Monitoring and Analysis project that fits your needs, from designing an environmental management program, purchasing monitoring equipment, evaluating HVAC design plans, review of existing mechanical systems, energy saving opportunities, risk analysis, and more.

Contact Patricia Ford to discuss your needs: