The woman in this photo is an employee at the Library of Congress. She is using a high-tech scanner to map the individual chemical components of a century-old book in order to learn how to better preserve it.
Boing Boing's Rob Beschizza visited the two Library of Congress departments dedicated to keeping our memories safe: The Preservation Research and Testing Division in Washington, DC, and the National Audio-Visual Conservation Centre in Culpeper, VA. There he discovered the many high tech methods used to keep old media - books, recordings and the like - safe for many more years to come. His account of the visit is definitely worth a read - even if only to marvel at the impossible-seeming task of keeping 190 million items preserved. [BoingBoing]