The New England Document Conservation Center was founded in 1973 in response to growing alarm about the monumental scope of the paper deterioration problem facing collection-holding institutions in New England. Documents and artifacts needed conservation treatment in historical societies, college and university libraries, public libraries, and town and state archives, but there was no facility within the region that could provide appropriate services. A cooperative approach to the problem was seen as the most effective solution. In the early 1970s, the six state libraries in New England, operating under the Interstate Library Compact, agreed to cooperate to create a shared conservation facility that would meet the needs of all nonprofit groups in New England. George Cunha founded the Center with start-up funds from the Council on Library Resources, the New England Library Board, the Kresge Foundation, and other donors.
In 1980, the New England Document Conservation Center was incorporated as the Northeast Document Conservation Center to reflect its expanded region, and today the Center welcomes clients from across the United States. The Center specializes in treating all paper-based collections materials, including books, maps, photographs, scrapbooks, architectural drawings, globes, works of art on paper, and materials such as wallpaper, parchment, and papyrus. NEDCC has developed high quality digital imaging services which include digitization of collection materials such as books, maps, documents, works of art, photographs, film, slides and transparencies, and X-Ray film. In 2014, funded by a National Leadership grant from IMLS, the Center added audio preservation to its list of services, offering a digital reformatting service for early audio recordings on grooved media using IRENE, a system developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in collaboration with the Library of Congress. In 2017, funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Audio Preservation Services expanded to include magnetic and digital audio tape with a high-touch, high-quality digital transfer service for unique and at-risk collections.
See the NEDCC Timeline for highlights and achievements from the Center's history.
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