The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 9, Number 3
May 1985


Literature

Selected Contents of Significant Publications

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The New Bookbinder: Journal of Designer Bookbinders, vol. 4, 1984, was received at the Newsletter office in late March of this year. People who missed getting the earlier volumes can get them at £30 for the set of three (vol. 1-3) from Oak Knoll Books, 414 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720 (302/328-7232). New subscriptions (or memberships): write Designer Bookbinders, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, England.

The complete table of contents is:

Modern Bookbindings in the Dutch Royal Library - Jan Storm van Leeuwen

An Interview with David Sellars (with questions put by Philip Smith; 13 pages)

Bookbinding Terminology and Descriptive Bibliography - Michèle V. Cloonan

The Multi-Purpose Blocking Machine - William Bull Horizons in Bookbinding [a report of the Brighton Conference] - Trevor Jones

A Rational Approach to the Design of Some Bookbinding Equipment - Derek Beck

Book Conservation Workshop Manual, Part Five: Specification and Observation - Anthony Cains

The "Exhibition and Book Reviews" section is 11 pages long and contains nine reviews by qualified people of (mainly) significant works.

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PhotographiConservation, vol. 7 #1, March 1985, was received April 30. George I. Eaton has a 2-page article on "Photographic Image Oxidation in Processed Black-and-White Films, Plates, and Papers," which explains the chemical processes involved, gives advice for processing and storing photographic images to prevent oxidation, and briefly reviews the microfilm blemish scare of the 1960s, with the research it stimulated. That scare, the research and the effect on the library and archival community, are reviewed by the editor of this Newsletter as an episode in the history of conservation, in an article now in press with Restaurator.

The same issue announces that Ilford now has an ultra-fine grain Cibachrome film for microfilming and slide duplicating. It is a direct-positive color material based on silver-dye bleach technology. (Cibachrome film is known for its stability and permanence.) a book called Prudent Practices for Disposal of Chemicals from Laboratories is described (see "Manuals" section below); also, software for indexing photos, that will interface with an optical laser disk for projection. The software is Quest, a picture classification and retrieval program written in dBase II (Images Concepts, P0 Box 211, West Boylston, MA 01583). It is IBM compatible.

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Fine Print, vol. 11 #2, April 1985, has several items of interest. Guy Petherbridge gives a glowing review of Chris Clarkson's 23-page work on limp vellum binding as issued by the Red Gull Press; two of the reviews have significant notes on the bindings used, and one of them even includes a diagram of the structure (p. 111). The "Featured Bookbinding" is described in detail by its creator, Trevor Jones. Two of the books reviewed here were also reviewed in the latest New Bookbinder: the exhibition catalog Bookbinding in America 1680-1910, from the Collection of Frederick E. Maser (reviewed by John P. Chalmers here, and in TNB by Samuel Ellenport) and Marianne Tidcombe's the Bookbindings of T. J. Cobden-Sanderson (reviewed here by Anthony Bliss and in TNB by Sydney Cockerell).

Conferences & Professional Publications

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Charles M. Briquet, Les Filigranes, the reprint of the 1923 edition, is selling at $200 for all eight volumes until July, $250 thereafter, from Hacker Art Books, 54 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

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"The Yale Survey: a Large-Scale Study of Book Deterioration in the Yale University Library," by Gay Walker, Jane Greenfield, John Fox and Jeffrey S. Simonoff, has finally been published. It is in the March 1985 issue of College & Research Libraries, p. 111-132. This study is notable for the size of its sample (36,500 volumes), the sophistication of its statistics (described in an appendix), the attention to detail both in execution and reporting, the wide differences it revealed in condition of the various subject collections on campus on almost every variable, and the usefulness of results. Its features will be widely imitated, though libraries with few resources for condition surveys like this will probably find it convenient to assume that collections comparable in age and subject matter to Yale's are also comparable in condition.

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Gary Frost reviews Roy Harley Lewis's Fine Bookbinding in the Twentieth Century (Arco, New York, 1985; 151 pages, 125 illustrations, $29.95) in the April issue of the New Library Scene. He seems to like it, but wishes that other kinds of fine binding besides designer binding had been considered, e.g. limited edition hand binding and conservation book work. Available from Arco Publishing Co., 215 Park Ave. South, New York, NY 10003.

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The Library Preservation Program: Models, Priorities, Possibilities, edited by Jan Merrill-Oldham and Merrily Smith, is the proceedings of the 1983 ALA/LC seminar for middle managers in preservation, and concerns all aspects of establishing preservation programs. The 118-page paperback volume is $8.95 from MA Publishing Services, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611 (0-8389-3315-7, 84-28270).

Bookbindings

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Designer Bookbinders Colour Cards, a set of 20 cards that illustrates bookbindings designed and made by Fellows and Licentiates of Designer Bookbinders, as described in the March DB Newsletter. Cost: £3 per set, + £2.50 if payment is being made in dollars, + postage:

  Air Surface
1 set £1.50 £0.60
2 sets £2.65 £0.95
3 sets £3.90 £1.35

The full cover of all the bindings is shown in color.

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The binding of Claire Van Vliet's 1984 edition of the Circus of Doctor Lao by Charles G. Finney gets a separate review in the October Fine Print. About the book itself, which has 122 pages and costs $750 per copy, reviewer Lance Hidy says, "This book is a masterpiece." Janice Schopfer, who reviews Van Vliet's exposed-cord, nonadhesive binding, says it is "aesthetically satisfying yet structurally effective."

Commercially Available Publications

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Edward Walker. The Art of Book-Binding, Its Rise and Progress; Including a Descriptive Account of the New York Bindery. Oak Knoll Books, 414 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720 (302/328-7232). 1984. 92 pp. $25. Originally published 1850.

Introductions and editing by Paul Koda; design by Henry Morris.

Standards & Practical Guides

The Fragile Record: Preserving our Documentary Heritage, an audiovisual presentation of the Wisconsin Conservation Service Center, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 816 State St., Madison, WI 53706 (608/262-8975). A 30-minute introduction to the concepts of phased conservation as applied to paper, books and photographic materials; describes services of the WCSC. Available in single or double carousel, and in videotape, three formats: 3/4" Beta, 1/2" Beta or 1/2" VHS. For out-of-state viewers, $15/week + shipping & insurance; borrower must return it by Express Mail. Write for information sheet.

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Museum and Archival Supplies Handbook, 2d ed. Order from 1) Ontario Museum Association, 38 Charles St. East, Toronto, Ont. M4Y 1T1 (416/923-3868) or from 2) Toronto Archivists Group, Box 97, Station F, Toronto, Ont. M4Y 2L4, Canada. $15 to members of OMA or TAAG, $20 others. Lists over 600 North American suppliers, includes index and advice on use of materials.

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Collection Security in ARL Libraries. ARL/OMS SPEC Kit 100, Jan. 1984. ISSN 0160 3582. 94 pp. $15 prepaid; $7.50 to ARL library members. Write SPEC Center, Office of Management Studies, Association of Research Libraries, 1527 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036.

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