Bobst library houses millions of volumes, 53,320 serial titles, and over 43,000 linear feet of archives. That’s a LOT of physical objects—many of them old and irreplaceable—that need constant care and maintenance.

That’s where the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation & Conservation Department comes in. The conservators working there—tucked away in workshops on one of Bobst’s lower levels—use an array of tools to preserve, protect, and extend the life of NYU Libraries' collections. Their work encompasses everything from bookbinding to film repair to figuring out how to safely store a book made out of slices of Kraft American cheese (yes, really).

To get a better sense of all the careful effort that goes into keeping valuable materials in top shape for scholars’ use, NYU News headed to the basement with the department’s Special Collections team.