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A number of categories should be considered for preservation.

Every survival community undertaking this project should have documentation of human history during this era, whether in historical texts, comprehensive encyclopedias or documentaries. The collection and preservation of textbooks that will meet the needs of a comprehensive education, from kindergarten through college will be most valuable. Further, individuals trained in special disciplines should maintain a specialized inventory of books and references particular to their disciplines. Such materials will not only be useful to review and maintain skills, but in the training of apprentices, future scholars and artists to carry on the trades, professions and arts of those disciplines.

Protecting the media manifestations of those arts can only best preserve the arts and the precious elements of our culture. Beyond worthy novels, poetry and plays that would be included in the great books/works categories, our collections should include works that reflect our art and culture as expressed in the various media. Lithographs, if not paintings; photographic works; musical scores; even software where possible. Music in various forms of media will be essential in this category. Some materials, like music and software, will require the preservation of various technologies (e.g.: CD players, computers) that will allow their use.

Finally, many powerful and inspirational spiritually oriented books have been written in recent times. While too recent to be recognized as classics, these books (and other media) will be of more interest than ever as the surviving humanity seeks to build a new civilization. At present, a relatively small but growing percentage of the population is attracted to this "new age" category. As human consciousness changes, material in this category will be in great demand as so many of these works contain the formative templates of a new reality.

Another method of determining how to build a comprehensive collection is to refer to the Dewey decimal (or other) system of categorization and decide upon the most appropriate books you might contribute to represent each category. The availability of preserved collections, as described above, will be most valuable in allowing us to endure the awesome burden of elements and survival work we can expect to face during and after the changes. Whether we turn to a spiritual work to acquire guidance and inspiration, or read stories aloud, or bury ourselves in the task of learning a new discipline, such collected media will be among our most valuable and treasured resources to keep us going through the hard times. And, when the first rays of sun break through the gloom, enough of us will have carried forward the seeds for creating a new civilization on Earth.