The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 9, Number 6
Nov 1985


Literature

Selected Contents of Significant Publications

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Restaurator 6 (3-4) 1984. Received Oct. 1985. This is the last issue edited by Poul Christiansen before his retirement. Five out of the seven articles it contains are worth special mention.

Karl Dachs (Direktor der Handschriften- und Inkunabelabteilung, Bayrische Staatsbibliothek, Muenchen). "Conservation:

The Curator's Point of View," p. 118-126. Articulate, well-considered statement by someone who has obviously had long experience making the hard decisions jointly with a conservator.

Kenneth Nesheim. "'The Yale Non-toxic Method of Eradicating Book-eating Insects by Deep-freezing," p. 147-164. Omits no potentially useful or significant technical detail; illustrations include an enlargement of the guilty species, the books in their plastic bags, a worm-eaten book, and the blast freezer.

Richard D. Smith. "'The Use of Redesigned and Mechanically Modified Commercial Freezers to Dry Water-wetted Books and Exterminate Insects," p. 165-190. Bibliography includes 24 items and covers research back to 1936; a post script surveys current European use of deep-freeze extermination. Text gives both theory and practice.

Ellen McCrady. "The History of Microfilm Blemishes," p. 191-204. This article, which began as a term paper at Columbia University, gives the history of the "measles" scare of the 1960s and its connection with Barrow's research on permanent paper.

Hana Horáková & Frantisek Martinek. "Disinfection of Archive Documents by Ionizing Radiation," p. 205-216. A literature survey encouraged the authors to study systematically the effect of gamma radiation on different kinds of paper infected with mold. They found that 800 krad killed all mold (at 144°F only 200 krad would do the job) with little effect on the paper's strength, but they warn of delayed effects after aging and of cumulative effects if the same papers are treated repeatedly. the authors are a chemical engineer and conservator, respectively, at the Czech State Archives.

Conferences & Professional Publications

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A Plan for Preservation in New Jersey Libraries: First Steps Toward a State Approach for the Preservation of Library Materials in New Jersey. Prepared by Howard P. Lowell. Northeast Document Conservation Center, 1985. Available from Donna Dziedzic, Asst. State Librarian, New Jersey State Library, 185 West State St., Trenton NJ 08625-0520.

The New Jersey State Library contracted with NEDCC in September 1984 to conduct this study. Project Director Lowell visited throughout New Jersey and met with an advisory committee appointed by the State Librarian to discuss and identify preservation issues. the committee ranked three information-related needs at the top of its priority list:

Awareness and advocacy
Information clearinghouse
Education and training

Other needs identified were: disaster planning and assistance; institutional preservation programs; "non-disaster" emergency responses; preventive preservation and access to preservation maintenance services; and access to conservation laboratory services.

Major recommendations of the study are: 1) to develop criteria for determining categories of materials considered "state historical and research resources" and for setting preservation priorities among them, 2) to establish preservation coordination as a permanent function of the State Library, 3) to seek adequate funding of conservation activities, and 4) to explore technical and conservation resources required to meet state needs.

While many of the recommended actions are to be taken by existing institutions (the state library, the legislature, individual libraries, etc.), the report recommends hiring only one person, with a half-tine helper, to handle most of the information needs of the thousands of libraries in New Jersey.

A bill to authorize and fund a state program, S1020, has been passed and signed into law.

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Ed Martinique. Chinese Traditional Bookbinding. 1984. Chinese Materials Canter Publications, 633 Post St., Suite 251, San Francisco, CA 94109.

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National Institute for Conservation. Scientific Research Priorities Committee. "Proposed Priorities for Scientific Research in Support of Museum Conservation." Nov. 1984. Available from NIC, A&I 2235, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560. 12 pp. typescript.

Among the five committee members was Chandru Shahani, Research Officer at the Library of Congress, and many of the 17 proposed priorities for research are related to libraries and archives, so the reader should not be misled by the title, which suggests that they have been left out of consideration. Each priority is fairly general and is followed by several examples, but no specific questions or proposals are gone into. Some recommendations: 1) present institutions should be expanded to accommodate new scientists coning into the field; 2) institutions should broaden their concerns to include larger and more basic conservation research projects; 3) a regular, ongoing mechanism for communication and coordination of their activities should be established; 4) funding should be increased and made more dependable over time; and 5) priorities of non-museum conservation disciplines should be given specific attention.

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"Monk's Work." Graphic Arts Monthly, Jan. 1985, p. 137-138, 140. This article describes the facsimile reproduction work of an Austrian firm that has been printing and publishing facsimiles of rare books for 30 years. The company, Akademische Druck und Verlagsanstalt of Graz, Austria, claims to be the biggest producer of facsimiles in the world, and has just issued its facsimile edition of the lavishly illuminated Wenzelbibel.

The article is reproduced as p. [21-23] of Binders' Guild Newsletter, Oct. 1985.

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Tony Hendley. The Archival Storage Potential of Microfilm, Magnetic Media and Optical Data Discs. (BNB Research Fund Report No. 10; NCRd Publication No. 19) January 1983. National Reprographic Centre for documentation, the Hatfield Polytechnic, Bayfordbury, Hertford, Herts. SG13 8LD, England. 77 pp. Conclusions: 1) only high grade paper and silver halide microfilm are really archival, 2) magnetic media are too prone to damage to be archival, 3) optical data discs may one day be used for archival storage, but are now unsuitable.

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Videodisc and Optical Digital Disk Technologies and Their Applications in Libraries: a Report to the Council on Library Resources. By Information Systems Consultants, Inc. Washington, DC: Council on Library Resources, 1985. 191 p. $6 prepaid. LC 85-4107.

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Sang B. Lee, Robert L. Feller and John Bogaard. "Relation of Cellulose Chain Scission to Hot-Alkali-Soluble Content During Thermal and Photochemical Degradation of Paper." Journal of Imaging Science 29 (2), March/April 1985, p. 61-64. An investigation of the two principal mechanisms of paper deterioration, chain scission (which lowers the degree of polymerization and can be estimated from the intrinsic viscosity) and oxidation (which turns alcohol groups in the cellulose into carbonyl groups, mainly, and can be measured from hot-alkali-solubility). Scission, which affects strength directly, is the main effect of heat aging, while oxidation, which affects strength only indirectly by sensitizing it to agents of deterioration, is the main effect of light aging. The authors looked at the ratio between the two mechanisms during early stages of aging, found them constant under aging by heat or light, and concluded they probably do not proceed sequentially as previously thought.

This paper relates to the debate over light bleaching between the paper conservators and the paper chemists. The conservators like it; 50% of the paper conservators who met at the Dirdas' for the Washington Conservation Guild July 16 used it, because of its mild nature and lack of any observable bad reactions. The paper chemists do not like the idea; they say you can t have bleaching without deterioration, and they are aware of the chemical changes that set the paper up for later accelerated deterioration. The Washington conservators discussed this paper at the meeting, among other matters.

The International Standards Organization (ISO) Accelerated Aging Working Group plans to develop a method for measuring the effect of light on paper.

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James R. Druzik (Conservation Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art). "Ozone: the Intractable Problem." Waac: Western Association for Art Conservation [Newsletter] 7 (3) Sept. 1985, p. 3-9. An important article, reviewing the evidence from scanty research on the destructive effects of this gas. The author is a chemist, and the rest of his address is: 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036.

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Pulp and Paper Science and Technology. Vol. 1: Pulp. Edited by C. E. Libby. 1962. [Publisher not identified by Richard D. Smith, who sent in this reference.] Pages 417-423 deal with the way moisture affects the physical properties of paper (stiffness, tensile, burst, fold and tear). Each property reaches a maximum at a different relative humidity (about 20%, 38%, 55%, 67% and 88%)--something that should be borne in mind the next time someone says low humidities weaken paper, as they may very well do when they see the new ANSI standards for environmental storage, which in Draft 4 was recommending 25-35% RH for unbound records and 40-55% for bound records.

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The Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild asked a rare book librarian and a graphic designer to describe the esthetic experience of handling a beautiful book, and printed the results on p. 9-10 of their summer 1985 Newsletter.

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The Per Guldbeck Memorial Lecture for 1985 was delivered by Ian Hodkinson at the IIC-CG Annual Conference May 17. It was on the topic of "Education and Training for Conservation in Canada." He described the diversity of conservation specialties, and boiled them down to six: the practitioner, scientist, technician, craftsman, manager and educator. There are four training options, he said, all of which have their place and none of which is sufficient in itself: formal training program, internship, apprenticeship and professional development through reading, experimentation, courses, seminars, etc. His lecture, reprinted in the September IIC-CG Newsletter, outlines the kind of background and training needed for all six specialties and for non-conservators as well.

Ian Hodkinson is the Program Director of the Art Conservation Program and Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

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Carriage House Handmade Paper Works will be publishing a book to celebrate its 10th anniversary in December. It will be a compilation of articles on specialized aspects of papermaking, by Winifred Lutz, Asao Shimura, Alexandra Soteriou, Lee McDonald and Kathy and Howard Clark. For information write Elaine and Donna Koretsky, Carriage House HMP Works, 8 Evans Road, Brookline, MA 02146.

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Humor has emerged as a literary form in the conservation and graphic arts world:

Standards & Practical Guides

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Ronald R. Powell. Basic Research Methods for Librarians. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corp., 1985. 188 pp. $29.50. LC 84-28401. ISBN 0-89391-154-2.

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"Caveman Chemistry of Films." a 13-page amalgam of typescript and photocopied reference book pages, with 7 page-size samples of clear films, accompanied by two loose pages giving a description of the hot copper wire test for vinyl and a summary page on selecting the right film for archival storage uses. Available for $5 from Taylor Made Company, P0 Box 406, Lima, PA 19037. This is the pamphlet mentioned in the report of the Photographic Materials Group Winter Meeting in the July issue (p. 65). It describes a number of tests that can be made outside a chemistry lab to differentiate films, in case you can t get the supplier to tell you what they are made of.

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"Hiring and Firing and Some Further Thought-Provoking Comments on the Subject of Having Other People Work for You," Crafts Report Oct. 1985, p. 20-21. This is really a two-page spread with four separate articles on it about the legal, practical, emotional and other aspects of hiring, firing etc.

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Conservation of Photographs. Publication F-40. Rochester, NY, Eastman Kodak, 1985. $30.95

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Klaus B. Hendricks. The Preservation and Restoration of Photographic Materials in Archives and Libraries: a RAMP Study. General Information Programme and UNISIST. Paris: UNESCO, 1984. (PGI 84/WS/1) 118 pp.

Bibliographies & Other Lists

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Graham Pollard. Early Bookbinding Manuals, an Annotated List of Technical Accounts of Bookbinding to 1840. Continued by Esther Potter. Oxford, Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1984. $10.00 from Oak Knoll Books, 414 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720 (302/328-7232).

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Ann Clapp, with Helen Burgess. Reading List for Students in Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works on Paper and Photographs. New revision, available from AIC, 3545 Williamsburg Lane, NW, Washington, DC 20008.

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