UI Libraries Welcomes New Head of Preservation

Release: June 14, 2001

The University of Iowa Libraries is pleased to announce the appointment of Nancy Ellen Kraft as Head of the Preservation Department at the University of Iowa Libraries. Kraft, who joined the UI Library staff on April 16, most recently served as preservation librarian at the State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City.

“We are delighted to welcome Nancy, ” said Edward Shreeves, Director of Collections and Information Resources. “With her strong background in project management and planning, and her impressive work with other state organizations, Nancy will have a major impact on preservation initiatives here, at the University of Iowa Libraries, and more broadly.”

During her tenure at the State Historical Society, Kraft spearheaded several ambitious projects including the translation of over 3.9 million pages of newspapers onto microfilm through a federally funded program and, separately, the preservation of over 400,000 clippings of World War II Iowa newspaper articles also onto microfilm. She also directed the Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium group effort to successfully secure National Endowment for the Humanities funding to develop an Iowa Statewide preservation action plan.

In reflecting on the challenges of her new position, Kraft said, “I come to the UI Libraries at a very exciting time in preservation. Never before have we had so many options available to provide access and care to our collections. The Libraries holdings range from a 14th century central Italian Missal and early photographs to brittle books and electronic theses. Each format presents its own challenges, and I am looking forward to meeting all the Libraries’ staff in charge of the various collections to assess these various needs.”

Kraft holds an MA in Library Science from the University of Iowa and a BA from the University of South Dakota in Russian and Library Science. She has published a number of articles on preservation and presented workshops on a variety of themes from disaster recovery to film preservation. Kraft has served on professional committees including the Iowa Governor’s Cultural Coalition, the State of Iowa Libraries Online Advisory Committee, the ILA/ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) Working Group on Preservation, serves on the Board of the Linn County Historical Society and is the current President of the Iowa Library Association Foundation Board.

The University of Iowa Libraries is the largest library system in Iowa and the 29th largest academic/research library in the United States. The Main Library and 11 branch libraries contain nearly four million volumes. The mission of the Preservation Department is to maintain collection resources in useable condition and is responsible for activities that relate to the care and handling of both circulating and non-circulating library materials.