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In order to assist in meeting the needs of Member States, particularly developing countries, in the specialized areas of Archives Administration and Records Management, the Division of the General Information Programme has developed a long-term Records and Archives Management Programme - RAMP.

The basic elements of RAMP reflect and contribute to the overall themes of the General Information Programme. RAMP thus includes projects, studies and other activities intented to :

- develop standards, rules, methods and other normative tools for the processing and transfer of specialized information and the creation of compatible information systems ;

- enable developing countries to set up their own data bases and to have access to those now in existence throughout the world, so as to increase the exchange and flow of information through the application of modern technologies ;

- promote the development of specialized regional information networks ;

- contribute to the harmonious development of compatible international information services and systems ;

- set up national information systems and improve the various components of these systems ;

- formulate development policies and plans in this field ;

- train information specialists and users and develop the national and regional potential for education and training in the information sciences, library science and archives administration.

This study aims at describing the state of development in mass restoration and preservation methods whatever the medium may be; it highlights the various aspects, technical, economic, etc. and the importance of the role accorded to preservation in library and archives policy.

Relying among other things on the results of the world survey carried out in 1986 by Unesco, IFLA and ICA among libraries and archives concerning preservation, the study examines step by step the different kinds of damage (mechanical, biological, chemical) occurring on library materials and their causes, the conditions in which the libraries are found, and methods of restoration. A short bibliography completes the work.

Comments and suggestions regarding the study are welcomed and should be addressed to the Division of the General Information Programme, UNESCO, 7, Place de Fontenoy, 75700 PARIS, France. Other studies prepared as part of the RAMP programme may also be obtained at the same address.

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