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 Center 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]