The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 11, Number 6
Aug 1987


Literature

Contents Of Significant Publications

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IIC-Canadian Group. 13th Annual Conference Abstracts, 1987 B.C. Provincial Museum, Victoria, B.C. Robert Arnold in his paper analyzes how the conservators in his division at CCI spent their time for the last four years; many of their activities were preventive in nature rather than treatment oriented. Duane Chartier ("What You Don't see can Hurt You") presents arguments and evidence that "nitrogen oxides are more reactive than sulphur oxides with most target substrates" and considers strategies for protecting them from oxidation, Iona McCraith gives a report of the 1985 IPC tour of China. Robert Parliament describes the new program at Queen's University in conservation of paper objects and books. Denis J.-E. Roy describes methods he has used to measure light levels continuously or repeatedly over long periods of time. And Jack Thompson describes the environmental control system he designed for a travelling exhibit of an exemplar of the Magna Carta. For a copy of the Abstracts, with addresses of contributors, write IIC-CG, P.O. Box 9195, Ottawa, Ontario K1G 3TG, Canada.

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Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 26(1) Spring 1987. Antoinette Dwan, in "Paper Complexity and the Interpretation of Conservation Research," reviews the literature on measurement of paper characteristics, emphasizing how one must keep in mind the strange nature of paper when reading about research on it. Folding endurance is an especially unreliable measure. Thorough; 21 references. Martha Goodway describes simpler and more efficient methods of preparing fibers for identification, and calls attention to previously unrecognized difficulties. Alexander Katlan, Barbara Appelbaum and Paul Himmelstein recommend the use of a video cassette recorder for surveys and documentation, because of the time it saves and the added information it gives.

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Tappi Journal 70(8) Aug. 1987. A description is given on p. 27 of a work in production by Fred Siegenthaler, called "Strange Papers." From 17 countries, 51 participants have provided samples of papers made from materials such as peat moss, carrots, steel fibers, and 30,000,000-year-old wood from a Tasmanian swamp. The special edition will cost $1740, the regular edition $975.

On p. 111-112 is John N. McGovern's article, "Chinese Papermaking Technology goes West before A.D. 751." The commonly accepted story that papermaking came out of China when two Chinese papermakers were captured at the Battle of Talas is probably wrong; there is ample recent evidence that papermaking was carried out in Samarkand before 751. 19 references.

Conferences & Professional Publications

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George Cunha, "Mass Deacidification for Libraries." Library Technology Reports 23 (3) May-June 1987 (entire issue). 112 pages. $45. Make check out to MA, send it to Library Technology Reports, MA, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. This is a survey of known methods of deacidification, including methods not used in this country. It will be available around the first week in September.

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Otto Wächter, "Die De-Laminerung des kerolingischen Evangeliars aus den Essener Domschatz." Maltechnik Restauro 2, April 1987. It took Otto Wächter 500 hours of work to delaminate an illuminated manuscript from the 8th century that had been laminated in 1956 with a very shiny film called "Mipofolie." The author says that illuminated codices should never be entrusted to a binder or book conservator, especially if the miniatures need conservation. He does not say who they should be entrusted to. Chris Clarkson, who showed his deep concern over the loss of early books through destructive binding practices ("The Conservation of Early Books in Codex Form: A Personal Approach: Part 1," Paper Conservator 3: 33-50, 1978), puts much of the blame on library attitudes and practices (p. 33).

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Candace Langholff, "Through the Pages of Paris." Book Arts Review 6(3): 1-2, 11, July 1987. An account of a visit to the Ecole de l'Union des Arts Decoratifs, a semi-private arts school offering a variety of classes in the arts and a four-year program in bookbinding. This account is followed by an annotated list of organizations, compiled by Editor Bryan R. Johnson, that offer courses in book arts. Besides the 17 that offer such courses regularly, he lists five that offer them occasionally. Most of them offer bookbinding. Book Arts Review is published by the Canter for Book Arts, 626 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 (212/460-9768).

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Letter to the Editor of Leather Conservation News, Spring 1987, from Christopher Calnan and Betty Haines, is a description and defense of the gas chamber used for artificial aging of leather in the BLMRA's research for the British Library, in reply to Tom Conroy' s charges that it was uncontrolled, and had not been correlated with natural aging. The charges are well answered, and in the process, readers are given a full page of information on basic processes in research on leather permanence.

LCN vol. 1 will be reprinted for mailing out in November. It has four numbers and costs $15; vol. 2 is $8; and vol. 3 is $12 for individuals, $15 institutions. Checks should be made out to Texas Memorial Museum, and mailed to Texas Memorial Museum, Leather Conservation News, 2400 Trinity, Austin, TX 78705.

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Paper Preservation: Nature, Extent, & Recommendations by Lynn Westbrook. University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Occasional Papers, No. 171, November 1985. $3 from the University of Illinois. Order from Publications Office, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois, 249 Armory Bldg., 505 E. Armory St., Champaign, IL 61820. 74 pp.

Any publication with 341 references would seen to be a valuable review paper, a contribution to the literature; but this one is not. It was obviously compiled by someone without an adequate background in preservation of paper-based library materials, because it is littered with errors not obvious to the neophyte: On page 22 it says that Olin and Mohawk make acid-free copy paper; on page 29 it calls microfilm blemishes "nitrate spots"; on page 56 it says that Jerome Business Forms, Inc., of Maryland Heights, Mo., "now produces W. J. Barrow's Permalife paper"; on page 58, 1929 is given as the date when book paper was first tested for acid content; and so on. There is no index. There is no bibliography to help the reader find the original, complete citation from one of those 341 notes.

This paper was produced as part of the work for the MA in Library Science at the University of Chicago in 1982.

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Forde, H. Domesday Preserved. HMSO, London, 1987. 64 pp. 6.95 paper. A detailed examination of materials and methods used during the rebinding which was carried out to allow publication of a full-color facsimile for the 900th anniversary. [from the June Paper Conservation News]

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Canadian Conservation Institute. Proceedings of Symposium '86. To appear Fall 1987. About $1O-$12, from CCI.

Nonbook Materials

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The videotapes from the Stanford conference can now be purchased individually or as a set from the Information Office, Box A, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 20540. ("Library Preservation: Fundamental Techniques," the third in a three-part series of conferences cosponsored by the Library of Congress and the American Library Association. The five-day conference in August 1985 was attended by 125 participants from all over the country, and consisted essentially of a concentrated course in phased conservation and conservation-oriented book repair.) All cost about $30 in 1/2" VHS, and about twice that in 3/4" U-Matic; the set of six, which would take almost eight hours to view, costs $150 in VHS and $375 in U-Matic. The titles are listed in the April issue of this Newsletter, but it is best to write for an order form which gives all details. Request it from National Preservation Program Office, LM-G07, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540. A written instruction booklet accompanies each tape, and is not available separately.

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There were two films made of operations at the Hayle Mill of Barcham Green paper mill before it closed, but neither one seems to be available now; at least neither source has responded to mail inquiries sent six and eight months ago. It is especially important to have archival copies of these films somewhere. These are the two addresses to which mail inquiries were sent: 1) Anglia Television, Anglia House, Norwich, Norfolk, England, and 2) Dr. Ken Barlow, Greater Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Road Station, Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester M3 4JP, England; they made the films in 1979 and 1972, respectively.

Standards & Practical Guides

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The Centroid Colors, it turns out, now cost considerably more than they did in 1980, despite assurances by NBS (June issue, p. 61). The Centroid Color Charts, SRM 2106, include 251 chips and cost $32. They can be bought separately, though the book, Color: Universal Language and Dictionary of Names, SRM 2107, cannot. Together the book and charts make up the "Color Kit," which costs $41. The National Bureau of Standards (NBS) sells both; for more information call them at 301/975-5668.

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The RLG Preservation Manual, announced in the June issue, can be purchased by nonmembers for $14. Make check out to Research Libraries Group and send it to Publications Clerk, RLG Jordan Quadrangle, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. This is a very good buy, because it is complete, with especially good coverage of microfilming; accurate and up-to-date; and based on the consensus of leaders in the field of library preservation.

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Matting and Hinging of Works of Art on Paper, Compiled by Merrily A. Smith. A National Preservation Program Office Publication. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1981. This is still in print and available from the National Preservation Program Office. In 1986 someone took advantage of the fact that government publications are not protected by copyright and began selling photocopies of most of the material in this book, bound with some copyrighted appendices of their own. The brochure advertising the availability of this 1986 edition neglected to give an address, but did say the book was being distributed by The Consultant Press, a division of The Photographic Art Center. It gives no credit to the National Preservation Program Office.

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"Curriculum for the Teaching of Conservation," prepared by John Feather for the Library Association Sub-committee on Preservation and Conservation. Libr. Ass. Rec. 88 (10), Oct. 1986, p. 499 & 501. This is only a draft so far. It includes specific suggestions for including conservation in the core curriculum for librarians; in specialist courses like those for rare books, manuscript studies and archives; a course on collection management; and a master's course in conservation. By "course" they mean "program" and by "conservation" they mean what this Newsletter usually refers to as "preservation," an inclusive concept that covers both treatment and administrative measures.

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