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Paul N. Banks Papers : [1360]

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Biographical Sketch

Paul N. Banks (1934-2000) was a book conservator as well as an instructor of book conservation and preservation. He is considered one the founders of preservation administration and library conservation. Born in California in 1934, he attended college at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, PA. Banks later became the Head of the Conservation Department at the Newberry Library, maintaining that title from 1964 to 1981. In 1965, Banks began publishing articles on book and paper conservation, and he continued to make leading contributions to the field throughout his career as a conservator. His seminal titles relating to the practice of conservation include The Preservation of Library Materials (1978), A Selective Bibliography on the Conservation of Research Library Materials (1981, Revised Edition), and Preservation Issues and Planning (2001), which he co-edited with Roberta Pilette.[1] This last title remains a (if not the) central text for the field of preservation administration. Paul Banks was also an important educator in the fields of conservation and preservation. He helped to develop the curriculum for the conservation and preservation program at Columbia University, which, founded in 1981, was the first degree-granting library preservation program in the United States. The program later moved to the University of Texas at Austin in 1992, where Banks taught for three years, before retiring in 1996. Paul Banks died of cancer in New York on May 10, 2000. His legacy, however, lives on through the Kilgarlin Center for the Preservation of the Cultural Record, the inheritor of the library-school based training program he established for advanced studies in preservation administration and conservation. The Paul N. Banks and Carolyn Harris Award, administered by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) division of the American Library Association (ALA), was established to honor the memories Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris, both early leaders in library preservation.[2]

Scope and Content Note

The William and Margaret Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record at the University of Texas at Austin first acquired the Banks collection in 2001. The Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin will permanently house the Paul Banks collection in August of 2009. The Paul Banks collection is 75 total boxes of print material that totals 30cubic feet of business files, teaching material, drafts, handwritten notes, personal effects, and three boxes of digital material. There are few materials that are examples of Banks publications or papers within the paper portion of the collection. However, the electronic media contains drafts of his publications, correspondence, grants, book drafts, consultation communication, and articles.

The electronic media portion of the Paul N. Banks Papers consist primarily of Word Documents, Word Perfect documents, Quattro PRO files, plain and rich-text files, images in TIF, JPG, and the proprietary SFW format, Norton Backup files, and .DWG CAD image files. These files contain correspondence, literary works, and financial documents that reflect Banks's work as a consultant, educator, and author in the field of conservation. Program files are also a substantial part of the Banks Papers and provide evidence of the technology that Banks used to support his professional and personal activities.

[1] Banks, Paul N. The Preservation of Library Materials. Chicago : The Newberry Library, 1978. Banks, Paul N. A Selective Bibliography on the Conservation of Research Library Materials. Chicago: Newberry Library, 1981; Preservation: Issues and Planning. Edited by Paul N. Banks and Roberta Pilette. Chicago: American Library Association, 2000.

[2] “Paul N. Banks and Carolyn Harris Award.” ALCTS http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alcts/awards/profrecognition/banksharris.cfm. (accessed 5/02/2009); McCrady, Ellen. "In Memoriam: Paul N. Banks 1934-2000." Abbey Newsletter 24 (1). http://cool-palimpsest.stanford.edu/byorg/abbey/an/an24/an24-1/an24-102.html (accessed 4/16/2009)

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