Organized in 1974, Columbia's Preservation & Digital Conversion Division is one of the five oldest library preservation programs in the United States. The division has primary responsibility for maintaining the collections through treatment, which ensures their availability for use, and through digitization, when use is no longer possible due to unstable condition and/or embrittled paper. The division is responsible for preservation of materials in all formats and genres, including digital resources created by the Libraries. The division also manages projects to digitize library holdings for access purposes.
The division provides preventive preservation measures through disaster preparedness planning, environmental monitoring, environmental control, planning for library renovation, deacidification, and staff and user education and training.