The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 8, Number 5
Oct 1984


Literature

Conferences & Professional Publications

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DB Newsletter No. 45 (Dec. 1983) has a two-page description of bookbinding in France (unsigned) and a protest by Ivor Robinson about the use of the word "endband" when a perfectly good, traditional word already exists: "headband."

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The August AIC Newsletter has, on p. 16-17, two solid reports by members of the Health and Safety Committee on medical surveillance (tests your doctor should make to monitor your reaction to chemicals used at work) and waste solvent disposal (it's not cheap or easy; NEDCC pays North East Solvents Corp. $50-112 per drum for disposal of flammable liquid).

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"Rally in the Rockies.. .": TAPPI Pulping Conference, Oct. 19-21. Tappi 65(1): 67-68, Jan. 1982. The subsection on oxygen delignification says it doesn't reduce the strength of the pulp if it is used first to reduce the kappa number by about 50% (as from 60 down to 30). Ozone can be used; it's simpler. This is not the same as bleaching. You can bleach afterward with chlorine dioxide, and residual lignin will be 1%. [An article in the May 1982 issue says up to 80% of the residual lignin can be removed with O2 or O3. The viscosity is reduced more, but the strength is greater than if chlorine or chlorine dioxide is used. Presumably other stops in the delignification process would follow, for fine papers, though not for others.]

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Pia C. DeSantis, "Some Observations on the Use of Enzymes in Paper Conservation." JAIC 23: 7-27, Fall 1983. A review article, with 37 annotated references. The author emphasizes that enzymes are harder to inactivate than one might think, and emphasizes minimal use, thorough rinsing and use of an enzyme for which inactivation procedures are beneficial to paper, such as Aspergillopeptidase A, easily inactivated by a bath at pH 8.

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Papers Presented at the Art Conservation Training Programs Conference, May 1-3, 1983. 1984. $14. Make check out to Buffalo State College Foundation, Department of Art Conservation, P.O. Box 71, Cooperstown, NY 13326. 172 pp. One of these papers (DeSantis on enzymes) has already appeared in JAIC. Five of the remaining nine are on conservation of paper and photographic materials, including Paul Rabin's paper on conservation of postage stamps.

Eleven projects for the master's degree at Queen's University are listed in the IIC-CG Newsletter for March 1984. They are from the 1984 crop; probably some of them wound up at this year's student conference. All can be ordered individually from ICCROM. Two that sound interesting are:

The Effects of Freezing on Dermestid Beetles and on Proteinaceous Materials - Jane Ketcham

The Removal of Iron Stains from Paper - Ken Lockwood

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G. Macdougall. Warping of Book-Covers; Being Lecture Six of the Fourteenth Series of Craft Lectures held at Stationers' Hall in the City of London on Friday, 20th March 1936. Chairman: Ernest B. Judd, Esq. (Chairman, The London Master Bookbinders' Association) [1936]. Reprinted in the June Binders' Guild Newsletter. Dr. Macdougall, of the Printing Industry Research Association, reports here PIRA's and his own ideas about what cause book covers to warp. It is a technical and well-informed presentation, followed by 4½ pages of questions, answers and comment between the speaker and the assembled master bookbinders, who included E. Zaehnsdorf, F. J. M. Dent, T. Harrison, and A. Morrell.

Helmut Bansa, "The Conservation of Modern Books." IFLA Journal 9: 102-113, 1983. Bansa is writing in this article for an audience of library administrators. He summarizes what can and what can't be done about the decay of modern books. The message is plain and well organized to appeal to the very intelligent rank beginner, but the effect is partly undone by errors of fact and a bad translation into English. He says on page 104, for instance, that 25% of book paper in the USA was estimated in 1981 to be permanent/durable. To support this, he refers to the work of the Council on Library Resources' Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity. Actually, the date was 1980, and what they reported on was the use of acid-free paper, which is definitely not the same. Another example: he says (p. 104) that "groundwood's bad resistance to aging is due to its fineness." This probably means that the fibers are shorter; but surely the presence of lignin outweighs this factor.

He organizes his paper around eight well-chosen points, here rephrased and abbreviated:

1. Today's permanent/durable paper will last as long as old handmade rag paper.
2. Permanent/durable paper is not available in many forms and varieties.
3. Groundwood paper will always be with us.
Books printed on poor quality paper can be treated by:

4. Arresting decay
5. Reinforcing the paper
6. Copying

7. All three of these methods cost a lot.
8. Storage environment has a great influence on the lifespan of poor quality paper.

He concludes with a list of seven things that can be done: use P/D paper, get government money, brittle books programs, regional centers and other facilities for restoration, a central agency for treatment of newspapers, setting criteria for treatment, and cooperative arrangements to avoid treating several copies of the same title.

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H. A. B. van Soest, I. Stambolov and P. B. Hallebeek, "Conservation of Leather." Studies in Conservation 29:21-31, 1984. A how-to article rather than a review; suppliers for 13 testing and treatment materials, but only four literature references (all previous publications of the authors) are given. Not primarily oriented to book-bindings, but contains much advice that could be applied to care of them. Although the authors are obviously very knowledgeable about leather chemistry and treatment, the scientific tradition they are part of is quite different from the American and British traditions. Unfamiliar causes and measures of deterioration are put forward, and different conditions for preservation. The treatments are commendably specific and detailed, but they need to be justified in order to help the reader evaluate them. For instance, leather is exposed to ammonia vapor when the pH is too low. Is this effect only temporary, as it is with paper? Ethylene oxide is used to fumigate for woodworm. Have the authors not heard yet about the impossibility of removing the residue from leather? Still, it is very interesting, especially the recipe for a combination dressing and nonaqueous buffering agent (imidazole) on the last page.

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Resins in Conservation. Scottish Society for Conservation and Restoration. $9 per copy from Joyce Townsend, Treasurer, SSCR, c/o Conservation Science, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow G3 BAG, Scotland--the same folks who brought you Chemicals in Conservation, which Michael McCann judged to be carelessly put together in his review in the May 1984 Studies in Conservation. This one may be better.

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Preprints of Papers Presented at the Twelfth Annual Meeting, 1984. American Institute for Conservation, 3545 Williamsburg Lane, NW, Washington, DC, 1984. Some papers of interest to book and paper conservators are:

Jeffrey Abt: A Computer-Based Approach to Conservation Administration. (For condition and treatment records)

David Dudley, A. Downey Rugtiv, and Laura Stirton:

Paper and Silk: the Conservation of Asian Works of Art

Klaus B. Hendriks and Diane Hopkins: Establishing Nodes for a Conservation Information Network: Automating your Conservation Documentation Now (For bibliographic information retrieval within a small specialized library)

Norma Lundberg and Vernon Estick: Conserving Bibliographic Evidence: The Dialectics of Decision- making (A treatment report, with discussion of physical aspects likely to be useful as bibliographical evidence)

(Abstracts of five papers presented in the specialty group session are on p. 117-118. They will appear later in the AIC Book and Paper Group's Annual.)

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Protein Chemistry Course (eight cassettes), a recording of the protein seminar before the last AIC meeting. $44 from Cassette Recording Company, PD Box 20453, Dayton, OH 45420 (a new address for them). Phone: (513) 293-2609.

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Book and Paper Specialty Group (four cassettes), a recording of the group's sessions at the same AIC meeting. Same publisher. A sheet listing all the recordings available from this conference is available from the publisher.

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Johannes Pedersen. The Arabic Book. Translated from the Danish by Geoffrey French. Princeton University Press (41 William St., Princeton, NJ 08540), probably 1984. 220 pages. Cloth $22.50. LPE (whatever that is) $10.00. Describes book production and distribution in medieval Islam.

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"Graduate Book Arts Education: Two Approaches," p. 73-81 in the April 1984 Fine Print. Describes the University of Alabama and the Mills College Programs. Mills College already has several courses in bookbinding, and students interested in conservation can work with private conservators in the area (Oakland, California). The University of Alabama hopes to add paper conservation and book restoration to its curriculum, among other courses, for the 1984-85 academic year. Their program is in the Graduate School of Library Service and, like the Mills College one, leads to a master's degree.

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Philip Smith. The Book: Art & Object. Owing to the strength of the dollar, Philip Smith is changing the US price as follows:

 

Dollars

Sterling

Ordinary Edition $22.00 (old price $28) £15
Post and packing 3.00 2.10
Currency exchange charge 4.25(per check only) ______
Total   £17.l0

Color cards: Sets of 16 wrappered

$5.00 incl. post & packing £3.50

Special (signed and numbered) Edition B.A.O.

56.00 (old price $75) 40
Post & packing 4.50 3.15
Currency exchange charge 4.25(per check) ______
Total   £43.15

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"Conservation and the Library Binder: A Report on the LBI Annual Convention Conservation/Preservation Program." [i.e., the ALA Annual Convention] The New Library Scene 3: 7-8, June 1984. Summarizes the talks of Sherelyn Ogden of NEDCC and Don Etherington of the University of Texas.

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Giorgio Terrace. Solubility and Solvents for Conservation Problems. 3rd ad. ICCROM, 1984. 60 pp. $3.50.

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Fausta Gallo. Biological Factors in the Deterioration of Library and Archive Materials. ICCROM (in preparation)

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Jan Merrill-Oldham, "Getting Educated: A Librarian's View." The New Library Scene 3: 1, 6, 13, June 1984. How librarians can become knowledgeable about library binding.

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Trevor Jones, "Permanent Dyes for Leather." Designer Bookbinders Review, 10: 23-24, Aut. 1977. On p. 18-23 in the same issue: "Some Leather Dye Techniques."

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F. W. Ratcliffe. Preservation Policies and Conservation in British Libraries: Report of the Cambridge... Conservation Project. £9.50 from Publications Section, British Library Landing Division, Boston Spa, Wetherby, W. Yorks. LS23 7BQ, England. ISBN 0-7123-3035-6.

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Ann Swartzell, Column Editor, "Preservation" [column], RTSD Newsletter 9(3): 21-24, 1984. This is the first of a series. It makes a pretty thorough survey of preservation surveys, recent and current, in American libraries.

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The New Bookbinder: Journal of Designer Bookbinders. Vol. 3,1983. Received for review about May 1, 1984. Partial list of contents:

Book Conservation Workshop Manual, Part Four: The Repair of Parchment and Vellum in Manuscript Form, by Barbara Giuffrida, Based on CLR Report 536 by Cains and Giuffrida, 1972. p. 21-41.

A History of Endbands, Based on a Study by Karl Jäckel, by Monika Gast. Numerous large, clear illustrations. p. 41-58.

Cuir-Ciselé: Experiments with an Ancient Technique, by J. A. Szirmai. p. 59-65.

The Gwynn Family: Book-edge Gilders, Paper Marblers and Bookbinders, by Bernard C. Middleton. p. 66-71.

A Survey of Edge-Gilding Machines, edited by James Brockman. Six kinds are described. p. 72-76.

Introduction to DB4, by Trevor Jones. [A directory of fellows of DB, with color illustrations of the binders' works. There are 20 fellows. This is a separately-paged supplement.]

The New Bookbinder is sent free to members of Designer Bookbinders. Membership fee for those overseas outside Europe is £18; copies of TNB, £115 (about $21). Write The Hon. Secretary, Designer Bookbinders, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, England.

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Margaret Brown's Boxes for the Protection of Rare Books: Their Design and Construction (Library of Congress, 1982) got a very good review from Jim Dorsey, editor of the Binders' Guild Newsletter, in the July issue. He liked the very complete descriptions, large illustrations, space for reader's notes, and layout. "My opinion is that it is one of the few books in our field that a complete novice can follow and get immediate satisfaction."

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Documenting America: Assessing the Condition of Historical Records in the States. Edited by Lisa B. Weber. National Association of State Archives and Records Administrators (NASARA), New York, 1984. This does for the United States what Toward a Usable Past (AN, Apr. 1984, p. 36) did for New York State, that is, to assess the condition of its historical records of all sorts. Conservation is One of the aspects covered for each state. To request a 71-page copy, contact NASARA Executive Director Bruce W. Dearstyne, New York State Archives, Room 10A75, Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230. The SAA Newsletter had a good summary recently, consisting of excerpts from the consultants' reports.

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Carmen Crespo. Development of a Regional Demonstration and Training Centre at the School for Archivists, University of Cordoba. UNESCO Technical Report RP/1979-80/5/ 10.1/03. Paris, 1981. This report details the development of courses for restorers and technicians in reprography.

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Do Boekbinder, v.3 #1 and #2. (Korenlei 21, 9000 Gent, Belgium) Issue #1 lists all the papers given at the fifth "Internationaler Graphischer Restauratorentag" of IADA, in the Hague, 12-16 September 1983. All titles have been translated to Dutch. It also reprints in full the list of courses given at Ascona at the Centro del Bel Libro, and lists 12 journals or newsletters from eight countries (but not the Abbey Newsletter). All those in English have been announced or are referred to repeatedly in AN, but there are several new ones in other languages:

Issue #2 contains an illustrated article by Jan Storm van Leeuwen on early bindings, on page 6-20.

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First Impressions, A Newsletter from the Institute for the Book Arts, by Richard-Gabriel Rummonds, Director. Vol. 1 #1 describes the Institute and the MFA in the Book Arts program and has a paragraph on Philip Dusel, the California binder and restorer who went to the Institute in March and April as binder-in-residence. There is a report of the three workshops on Japanese bookmaking techniques, and a description of the Book Arts Reference Library. More information from Institute for the Book Arts, PD Box 6242, University, AL 35486.

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Adhesives and Consolidants, Preprints of the 10th International Congress of the IIC in Paris, 2-8 September, 1984. Price to members £10.00 or US$20.00. Write to IIC 6 Buckingham Street, London WC2N 68A.

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Butterworth Publishers has postponed the publication of The Conservation of Library and Archive Materials, the proceedings of the 1980 Cambridge conference, again. It will not be out until "sometime in 1985."

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Fine Print for July has several items of interest in it. On page 99, Mike Burton, Production Manager of the University of Alabama Press, protests the good review given to Mohawk Letterpress in the July 1983 issue, saying the pH is OK but the folding endurance is lousy. There is a rebuttal by Mohawk's vice-president of marketing. On pages 121-123, Don Guyot gives a favorable review to Phoebe Jane Easton's Marbling: A History and a Bibliography. Marc Drogin's book, Anathema: Medieval Scribes and the History of Book Curses, is panned on page 125 by Don Moy, who says it is unreadable. On page 128-129, The Book Beautiful and the Binding as Art, a booksellers' offering of 219 modern French illustrated books with bindings by Bonet, Adler, Legrain and others, is similarly panned by Anthony Fair. Excerpt: "From this point on, things begin to go downhill pretty fast. There are the inevitable dozen bindings by René Kieffer, always a master of the humdrum; ten bindings by Leprêtre of whom much the same may be said, although his bindings are more vulgar

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The Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of ALA put out its first newsletter in April 1984. This is an independent-minded group, which has been having its own conference the week immediately preceding the ALA's for 25 years. So far they have not been very active in conservation matters, though at their June 19-21 preconference in Austin, Texas, a half day was devoted to workshops on conservation by Don Etherington and staff. RBMS has an ad hoc Committee on the Transfer of Rare Materials from General Stacks to Special Collections. It has drafted guidelines for selection of this material, but is not ready to issue them yet. The theme for 1985's preconference will be "Changing Concepts of Value and Rarity." For copies or subscriptions of the RBMS Newsletter, write Stephen Ferguson, Princeton University Library, Princeton, NJ 08544.

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Tappi Journal for September contains several facts or research findings relevant to book and paper conservation. Drying paper in the presence of an electrostatic field increases the drying rate 5% to 18% (p. 17). In an article on aseptic packaging on p. 56 ff, it is stated that package surfaces can be sterilized by ultraviolet C-rays, gamma rays, hydrogen peroxide, ethylene oxide, and water vapor, but hydrogen peroxide is most commonly used. In an article that begins on p. 133--really a note--the phenomenon of sizing migration is described. The authors have observed the migration of alum-rosin sizing from the inside of a roll of paper to the outside, as tested by a Hercules Size Penetration Tester. Figure 3 shows a ratio of about 1:3 in rosin content of inner vs. outer layers.

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Paper Conservation News for June contains a letter from Margaret Hey, in which she says that pulp for leafcasting should be deacidified too. She recommends using calcium hydroxide solution in the pulp machine, providing it has no copper fittings. The concentration should ensure a pH of 8. On exposure to the air as it dries, it will react with CO2 to form calcium carbonate; no second bath is necessary.

Bibliographies & Other Lists

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Horsham Book Shop, 18 Market Square, Horsham, Sussex RHI2 1EU, England, specializes in new and out-of-print books for bookbinders. They put out two lists a year and will send them regularly on request. The March list had 20 books; it was their first. Payment can be made by VISA credit card (they tell you how). Authors include Burdett, Cockerell, Diehl, Haldane, Horton, Miura, Middleton, Tidcombe and Barrett; prices range from £2.50 to £65.

Museum Books, Inc. (6 West 37th St., New York, NY 10018) has several books on papermaking in its "Bibliography for the Graphic Arts - A" Vol. 4 #2:

Jules Heller. Papermaking. $22.50

Sukey Hughes. Washi, The World of Japanese Paper. $57.00

Dard Hunter. Papermaking; The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft. 2nd ad. $8.95

Vance Studley. Art and Craft of Homemade Paper Today $10.95

Silvie Turner and Birgit Skiold. Handmade Paper: A Worldwide Survey of Mills, Papers, Techniques and Uses. $45.00

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Wilsey Rare Books (80 Watchung Ave., Upper Montclair, NJ 07043, 201/744-8366) have 12 books on bookbinding in their Catalogue 12. Moat or all on decoration of covers, and most over $150.

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Publications from the American Association of Museums, 1984. AAM, 1055 Thomas Jefferson St., NW, Washington, DC 20007. 17 pp. Lists long and short publications on topics such as security, exhibitions and environmental control, which the museum world pays a great deal of attention to because of the value of their collection items.

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Barbara A. Shailor. Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Vol. 1 of a projected 3-vol. set and Vol. 34 of "Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies," the publishing program of the Center for Medieval & Early Renaissance Studies at the State University of New York at Binghamton. To appear July or August 1984. (Vol. 2 is planned for 1986 and Vol. 3 for 1988.) $26 from the Center; write MRTS LNG99, State University of New York, Binghamton, NY 13901.

This is the book for which Jane Greenfield used the binding description method that appeared in the June issue of this Newsletter. It is cloth bound and printed on acid-free paper (Glatfelter 60# Natural Smooth); there are 58 plates. ISBN 0-86698-065-2.

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Best's Safety Directory. 2 vole., soft cover. A. M. Best Co., Ambest Road, Oldwick, NJ 08858 (201) 439-2200. $15 plus state tax if any; down from $40 for the 1982 edition. 1680 pages. Has features of a handbook, yellow pages and consumer's guide. (Only residents of CA, IL, MO, NJ & NY have to add sales tax. For NY it is $1.24.)

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The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 10th ad. Rev. by Gessner G. Hawley. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1981. 1135 pp. $46.75 + state tax if any. Order from VNR, 7625 Empire Dr., Florence, KY 41042.

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"Decorated and Marbled Paper Booklist," by Shelagh Smith; comments by Don Guyot. 44 items on 7 typed pages. Ms. Smith is at 92 Monsheen Drive, Woodbridge, Ont. L4L 2E7, Canada.

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RLG Preservation Union List. First edition, June 1984. In microfiche format; lists 25,000 works for which member libraries hold master microfilm negatives. Helps non-RLIN users find out what has already been filmed, so they won't waste their money doing it again. They can order a service copy instead from whoever has a master listed. Complimentary copies in limited number available from Ms. Christina Schmehl, RLG Publications Clerk, The Research Libraries Group, Inc., Jordan Quadrangle - Oak, Stanford, CA 94305.

Bookbindings

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The Bindings of Cobden Sanderson: A Study of His Work, 1884-1893, by Marianne Tidcombe. British Library (Great Russell Street, London WC1) 1984. 416 pp., 203 black & white illus. £60 with slipcase.

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L.A. Book Arts Now: The Southern California Bookbinding & Book Arts Exhibition 1983. [catalogue] 16 pp. Includes 59 works by 17 artists, on exhibit at the L.A. Public Library August-September 1983. Write Dan Strehl, Bruckman Rare Book Committee, LAPL, 630 Fifth Ave., LA, CA 90071.

Standards & Practical Guides

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The Conservation of Bookbinding Leather, A Report Prepared by the British Leather Manufacturers' Research Association for the British Library. 96 pages. ISBN 0 7123 0034 1. £30 for overseas orders. Order from your usual supplier or from the British Library, Reference Division Publications, Great Russell St., London WC1B 30G.

This report recommends retannage of vegetable-tanned leather with aluminum for stability (buffer salts don't do the job); impregnation where needed; and a dressing. There will be a review in a future issue of this Newsletter. This is an important book.

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Jan Merrill-Oldham, "Binding for Research Libraries." The New Library Scene, 3 (4): 1, 4-6, Aug. 1984. Demystifies and systematizes the dealings between librarian and binder. Everyone should have a copy. Get a copy from a friend or write to New Library Scene, 1421 E. Wayzata Blvd., Suite 51, Wayzata, MM 55391 (612/475-2241).

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La Reliure by Annie Persuy and Sün Evrard. Editions Denoel, Paris, 1983. Collection Connaissance at Technique. 173 p. ISBN: 2207-229270. In French, but seen as "indispensable" because of its high quality and many illustrations, by the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild, and by Jim Dorsey in the Binders' Guild Newsletter, and by others.

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The Ventilation Manual for the Arts, by Nancy Clark, Thomas Cutter, and Jean McGrane. Center for Occupational Hazards, 5 Beekman St., New York, NY 10038. 1984. 96 pages. $6.00 plus $1.50 postage. Contains instructions for building your own ventilation system and much other information.

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Disaster Preparedness: A Guide for Developing a Plan to Cope with Disaster for the Public and Private Library. 23 p. Written by Dr. John L. Sharpe (Curator of Rare Books, Duke University) and the Library Resources Committee of the North Carolina Library Association. $4. Make checks payable to N.C.L.A. and send to Library Resources Committee, c/o Patrick Valentine, N.C. Foreign Language Center, 328 Gillespie St., Fayetteville, NC 28301.

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N. Irving Sax. Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials, 6th ed. Florence, KY: Van Nostrand Reinhold (Mail Order Service, 7625 Empire Drive, 41042), 1984. 3,136 p. $198. This is three times the length of the 5th ed. The publisher will send it to you for 30 days free.

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