Preservation Priorities: Red Book of Estonian Publications, 1535-1850

By Kurmo Konsa and Tiiu Reimo.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

One of the most difficult aspects of preservation planning is prioritizing. Priority is defined as the relative importance of activities or issues involved in a project, action or situation. Prioritization is a structured decision process to prioritize alternatives that compete for limited resources. Prioritization involves choosing among a number of alternatives using informed judgment and prioritization criteria. The intended function of prioritization is to aid decision makers with resource allocation, planning and scheduling decisions. This article presents a systematic approach to setting preservation
priorities of Estonian Publications (1535-1850). The Red Book of Estonian Publications lists Estonian national imprint from the very first copies up to the year 1850, constituting the first part of the complete list of national
publications which are significant.
In the context of Estonian culture. The Red Book of Estonian Publications is a database of rare printed matter which is of cultural, scientific and historical value in Estonia. The database includes information on the availability of the
original(s) and (preservation/surrogate) copies, and a description of the physical condition of at least one original copy of each title. The Red Book of Estonian Publications is compiled for the following purposes: to create a database of rare and endangered printed matter which are of primary importance for preserving the Estonian national memory, to regulate the conditions of the use and display of the original copies, to identify the capacity of conservation and restoration needs. The compilation of the Red Book of Estonian Publications observed the following criteria: the value of the publication in terms of cultural history, the availability of the publication, the condition
of the publication The practical result of the Red Book is the database (available at of historically, culturally and scientifically valuable Estonian books together with recorded data about availability of original items and their preservation copies, the description of physical condition of one original item and the digitized images of the title page and binding of one original item that is preserved in Estonian
memory institutions.

Keywords: Preservation Priorities, Preservation, Red Book of Publications

International Journal of the Book, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.11-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 831.884KB).

Dr. Kurmo Konsa

Associated Professor, Chair of Archival Studies, Tartu University, Tartu, Estonia

Kurmo Konsa was born on the 31st of the August 1965 at Tartu, Estonia. He is an Associated Professor in Chair of Archival Studies at Tartu University. He has an M.Sc in microbiology from Tartu University, and an M.A. in Book Science from Tallinn University. Kurmo Konsa holds a doctoral degree in Informational Science from Tallinn University. His doctoral work focuses on preservation of written heritage and preservation surveys issues. Formerly he worked at Tartu University Library as paper conservator and at Estonian Postal Museum as conservator and curator of collections. His current research program includes the condition surveys of Estonian written records - construction of theoretical framework within which to develop, test and evaluate a preservation surveys methodology; creating a general methodology that may be adopted for assessing of condition of all paper-based collections and statistical surveys of Estonian written heritage. The most important and extensive conservation project with which Dr. Konsa has been involved was the Project Thule – the State of Cultural Heritage in Major Estonian Libraries. This project was carried out by support of UNESCO in 1998 – 2000. He is the Vice-Chairman of Estonian Preservation Council an umbrella organization of national memory institutions at Estonian Cultural Ministry. Dr Konsa participates in composition of advanced professional training courses at Tartu University and at Estonian Cultural Ministry. Kurmo Konsa has presented the results of his studies at conferences in Estonia and abroad (Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Germany). He published a lot of articles in special publications. His books Preservation of Archival Materials and Preservation Guide for Libraries and Archives are the only study and reference materials concerning the preservation of written heritage in Estonia.

Dr. Tiiu Reimo

Head of The Institute of Informational Studies, Professor, The Institute of Informational Studies, Tallinn University, Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia

Tiiu Reimo (born in 1953) is professor of book science at Tallinn University since 2003; member of the Nordic-Baltic-Russian Network on the History of Books, Libraries and Reading (HIBOLIRE) since 2006. She worked at the Department of Baltica Literature and Rare Books of Academic Library of Tallinn University in 1976-2003; from 1987 as head of the Department. She received her Doctorate from Tallinn University in 2001. Her research interests are book history and preservation of printed heritage. She is the author of books Chronology of the Estonian Book (2000) and Book Culture in Tallinn in the Second Half of the 18th Century (2001) and numerous articles on book history.


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