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The American Library Association (ALA) Preservation Statistics Survey, a national survey on the preservation activities of cultural heritage institutions, was introduced in 2012 in response to the decision of the Association of Research Libraries’ (ARL) decision to discontinue its long-running preservation statistics program. This paper presents the history of both surveys, discusses the rationale for collecting national data on these activities, and how the data has been used. The paper also includes key results, derived from analysis of both surveys. The surveys suggest that institutional support for preservation activities has declined significantly since its peak in the early 1990s. Preservation programs continue to focus on text-based materials and seem to employ fewer nonprofessional staff than they did five years earlier. The benefits and challenges of conducting a voluntary national survey are also discussed.


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  • Subject
    • Library and Information Science

  • Journal title
    • Library Resources & Technical Services

  • Volume
    • 60

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Pagination
    • 38-51

  • Date submitted

    8 September 2022