Response from IFLA’s Preservation and Conservation Section to the Lyon Declaration


The Preservation and Standing Committee of IFLA (DIVISION II–Collections) endorses the principles and actions articulated in the Lyon Declaration and stands ready to enact activities to further the sustainability of information sharing.

Libraries, archives, and historical societies are cultural heritage stewards, providing safe-keeping and ongoing usability of the materials that document and support the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the world's citizens.

We need more resources to reach populations whose resources are minimal.  The analog and digital records of many cultures are imperiled due to lack of expertise, space and money.

We see a need for a robust and cooperative training agenda to continue to develop good practices, good workflows, excellent selection skills and the ongoing review and revision of ISO, NISO and other standards, best practices and guidelines, all of which are vetted and published by an international brain trust. 

Additionally, with the advent of the internet, digital reformatting and website development, the opportunities abound to widely expose the hidden collections of some those disenfranchised populations and to celebrate the diversity that had been lost (or suppressed) over the years.  Our vision is that in a culture highly respectful of information and knowledge, that these collections can be exposed, shared, celebrated and preserved.

The Lyon Declaration specifically turns to the preservation community to provide "ongoing" support for cultural heritage (4.d).  The declaration states that "libraries, archives, CSOs, community leaders and the media can assist by:  preserving and ensuring ongoing access to cultural heritage, government records and information by the public, through the stewardship of national libraries and archives and other public heritage institutions."

Moving Forward

IFLA’s Preservation and Conservation Section will develop programs and training opportunities through its satellite pre-conferences and during the IFLA international congress.  The Section collaborates with other sections, such as Rare Books and Manuscripts, National Libraries and Government Information and Official Publications to offer meaningful information exchange. 

IFLA’s Preservation and Conservation Standing Committee advocates for increased awareness about preservation of cultural collections.   There will be no access to information without active preservation, and there will be limited sharing of information without access.  Now, is the time to expand the world’s efforts to ensure that vital collections are preserved to enrich our connected, global community.


With the synergy of a highly charged international Lyon congress fueling our vision, the Preservation and Conservation Section of IFLA strongly endorses the Lyon Declaration and seeks to partner with our cultural heritage institutions to realize its goals.