The Preservation Reformatting Division is responsible for the Library's program to provide access to at-risk materials by copying them to new formats, such as microfilm, paper facsimile copies or digital reproductions (see Preservation Digital Reformatting Program). In carrying out this responsibility, the Division
Curators, recommending officers, and preservation reformatting professionals together select items for reformatting which are at risk because they are on unstable media or are of high value. The content on unstable media is transferred as accurately as possible to new formats to provide continued user access. The Library creates surrogates for service in lieu of valuable items or items susceptible to theft or loss due their content or size.
Staff select techniques for reformatting (microfilming, paper-to-paper copying or digitizing) using established policies and guidelines after determining the characteristics of the original and fitness for use. Characteristics which drive the new format decision include the condition, type of item (newspaper, photograph, etc), presence of and importance of information in color, variations in paper and content and size, type of illustrations. Uses affecting the selection of the new format include service as a surrogate, reference use, high demand for delivery of the item, user requirements for certain types of copies.