Preservation Bookmarks

promotional bookmarks for pw

The Library of Congress, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, created these bookmarks especially for Preservation Week, but they can be used at any time. They provide good basic information for preserving some of the most common personal and community collections. They may be downloaded and printed or reproduced without restriction, as long as they are not altered in any way.
There are two sets of four bookmarks. The first set (pictured at right) provides information on preserving books, paper, photographs, and digital files. The second set provides information on preserving art, family heirlooms, audio-visual materials, and collections damaged by water.

Bookmark Files

Four bookmarks in each file. 

The first set includes the following topics:

  • Photographs
  • Digital Files
  • Papers
  • Books

The second set includes the following topics: 

  • Works of Art
  • Family Heirlooms
  • Preserving your stuff after water damage
  • Preserving your A / V Recordings


Making Preservation Bookmarks from the Files

These .pdf files can be opened with free, downloadable Acrobat software. Open the color or black-and-white file, depending on your printer or copier capabilities and your preference. Bookmarks in each file only differ in color. Each file contains two pages—the front and back of the bookmark. Most users will find making the bookmarks very easy—others may need some of these tips. Printers work in many different ways, so we can’t provide precise directions for every variation, but here are general guidelines we hope will help. The Library of Congress also provides printing instructions.

  • See tips for printing in the left margin of the back of the four-bookmark image:
  • The finished size of each bookmark will be 2.25 x 7.25 inches.
  • Specify paper weight within your printer’s range. We suggest light card stock. Copy paper is typically too flimsy for the wear a bookmark gets.
  • You may need to experiment a little. Test front to back registration by making one double-sided print. Hold the print up to a strong light. The edges of the bookmarks on the front and back should be pretty closely aligned.
  • You can also look at the targets at the top and bottom of the prints on each side. Ideally they would be exactly on top of each other. Since most printers and copiers can’t achieve this, the cut lines on the master files allow for some differences from front to back. The finished product will be fine.
  • If you’re having trouble aligning the front and back sides automatically, use a by-pass tray or whatever mechanism your printer uses to allow you to print only the front side of a two-sided document, then follow the printer instructions to manually feed the printer with your front-side prints to print the second side.
  • Some systems will need you to use the “letter, landscape” setting. Others will accept and print in the “portrait” set up.
  • If you will photocopy to produce the bookmarks in quantity, use the copier’s instructions to follow the steps above with a double-sided and two single-sided originals (front and back). Check the registration on your copies (automatic double-sided or reloaded single side to copy the reverse). One version may be better registered than the other.
  • As with a printer, use the copier’s settings for the paper stock and tray you are using. We recommend light card stock.
  • Print in modest units (about 25 at a time), and check registration before copying the next set. If you have difficulty, try positioning the master copies directly on the platen instead of automatically feeding them. This may give you more control.
  • Once you have your copies, use the ¼-inch cut lines on the sheets to guide the position of your paper cutter or straight-edge and cutting device (e.g., X-acto knife, rotary wheel).