The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 12, Number 6
Sep 1988


Literature

Selected Contents Of Significant Publications

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Hand Papermaking, v.3 #1, Summer 1988. This came with a newsletter, 4 pages, edited by Michael Durgin, which lists classes and workshops around the country this summer, and describes the programs of the institutions offering then. In the journal is a "Survey of Papermaking Programs in U.S. Colleges and Universities," by Carol Herd. Although there was only a 25% response to the questionnaire, about 72 programs were identified. In the same issue, there is an article on "Kenaf as Fiber for Handmade Paper" and another article that tells how to build a paper press for paper up to 22" x 30", using one to three scissor jacks, and exerting a minimum of 6 psi. (With more jacks and smaller paper, it goes up to 291 psi.)

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Restaurator, v.9 #1, 1988. This issue complements nicely the two volumes of proceedings of the 1986 Vienna meeting, Preservation of Library Materials (Merrily Smith, ed.; K.G. Saur, New York, 1987). The descriptions of activities in different countries cover similar topics (conservation and restoration, the condition of collections, and teaching) but are from countries not represented in the IFLA publication: Federal Republic of Germany, Nigeria, Italy and Switzerland. Gerd Brinkhus' s survey of activities in the state archives and scientific libraries of West Germany is the first such report in English.

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Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, v. 27 #1, Spring 1988. Barbara Roberts has a gratifyingly detailed "Account of the Conservation and Preservation Procedures Following a Fire at the Huntington Library and Art Gallery," which should offer some guidance to museums that have similar disasters. Meredith Mickelson's note on the treatment of two photographs with Filmoplast-P on then adds to our knowledge of pressure-sensitive tapes: both the paper carrier and the adhesive turned yellow in six years, but did not harm the photograph. The formula, which appeared to include a plasticizer/tackifier, has recently been changed. And in the Letters section, there is a technical discussion of Antoinette Dwan's article in the Spring 1987 issue, "Paper Complexity and the Interpretation of Conservation Research."

Conferences & Professional Publications

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"Playing Cards: Their Historical Production and Conservation," by Johan M. Hermans. The Conservator #11, 1987, p. 51-56.

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Jane McAusland wrote to Tony Cains, Chris Clarkson and Joan Rix Tebbutt, asking then for their memories of Sydney Cockerell, and added recollections of her own, for a moving and eloquent "appreciation" of him on page 3-4 of Conservation News #35, March 1988.

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"The Emergence of the Book," by Glenn A. Anderson (Coll. & Res. Libraries March 1988, p. 111-116), presents historical and statistical evidence to show that "our book form may initially have been a Christian strategy to distinguish Christian from other writings and that this format, when its physical advantages became evident, was then adopted by the larger culture." It was not, he says, because parchment was better suited for codices and was replacing papyrus, which was better suited for rolls. "Extant documents indicate that papyrus and parchment were used interchangeably in rolls and codices. Because parchment rolls and papyrus books renamed in use for centuries after the adoption of the codex form, there is no reason to attribute that adoption to the material used in the roll or codex." In the first five centuries of our era, the codex form made up, respectively, less than 1%, 2%, 17%, 70% and 90% of all books in roll or codex form.

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"The Quiet Revolution: Managing New York's Local Government Records in the Information Age" is a report to the governor, legislature, and Commissioner of Education by the New York Local Government Records Advisory Council, dated Dec. 1, 1987. Most of it is on records management, but one of the

10 sections on "Issues and Recommendations" is on "Records Protection and Vital Records." This section deals with matters of preservation, including protection from disaster, neglect, vandalism, and the need for self-studies to ensure that local governments' "procedures, facilities, and equipment are sufficient to protect its records for the period during which they need to be retained." Another recommendation calls for legislation to establish a "records creation surcharge" collected by local governments, that could be used to support improved management and maintenance of local records, especially those of permanent legal, administrative or research value.

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At two-year intervals, theses on the structure of library bindings have appeared, apparently all based on work done at Rochester Institute of Technology. They are only 100, 114 and 75 pages respectively, but they cost $50 apiece from the LBI office, which is now at 8013 Centre Park Dr., Austin, TX 78754 (512/836-4141). Claudia Chaback's (1987) compares the wide vs. the standard hinge; Caroline Keens's (1985) compares the performance of oversewn, PVA double fanned and cleat-laced bindings; and David H. Parisi's (1983) compares the performance of rounded and backed vs. square backed books.

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Bernard Middleton' s History of English Craft Bookbinding Technique is due to be reprinted on August 25, and will be sold at a reduced price, 12.95, by New Holland (Publishers) Ltd., 37 Connaught St., London W2 2AZ.

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"Climatic Control: A Hopeless Bewilderment?" by Elizabeth Stazicker (Journal of the Society of Archivists, v.8 #3, April 1987, pp. 171-173), discusses a system for climate control used in West Germany. It does not depend on mechanical systems for control, alleviating the problems of bringing pollutants into the system, while alleviating humidity and temperature problems. [From CAN #34, July 1988.]

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The Final Report on "Audio Preservation: A Planning Study," a research project carried out by the Associated Audio Archives Committee of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is now available. The 862-page report, printed single-sided on paper punched for three-ring binders, costs $42.95 postpaid to any continental United States address or $37.00 plus actual postage cost (surface or air available) to foreign addresses.

The report is a preliminary, working, reference document and consists of a summary and three appendices. Appendix I contains more than 60 major conclusions and recommendations. Appendix II contains a detailed description of the project and 11 individual research assignments carried out by project participants. The storage and handling report contains, for example, a 31-page outline and index of storage and handling factors, recommendations on storage conditions for cylinders, discs, and tapes, and a bibliography on library construction. Other topics reported on, in greater or lesser degree, include Documentation, Standards, Bibliographical Control, Dissemination, Consortia Potential, Technical considerations, Education & Training, Legal Aspects, Priorities, Disaster Preparedness, and a Professional Organization for Sound Archivists. Appendix III consists of several compilations: a preliminary Glossary (of 50 pages), and an index of terms (137 pages), the responses of more than 35 sound archives to a resources questionnaire sent out during the project, and a bibliography of over 2,500 citations.

Copies may be ordered from Elwood McKee, 118 Monroe St., Rockville, MD 20850. Payment in advance is required (except for foreign postage, which will be billed). Checks should be made out to ARSC--Association for Recorded Sound Collections.

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Forensic Examination of Ink and Paper, by Richard L. Brunelle and Robert W. Reed. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield IL [date not known]. Chapter 13 is on "Methods for the Forensic Examination of Paper."

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The Novosti Press Agency in Moscow prepared an exclusive report on the Leningrad fire (AN, June issue, p. 59) for the Library Journal, which carried it on p. 10 and 12 of the June 15 issue. It says that at least 7½ million of the 12 million books in the library will have to undergo antifungus treatment; mycological teams have been summoned. If funds can be found, Polish specialists, "who lead the world in book restoration," will be invited.

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The Final Report on the Acetate Negative Survey is available for $10 from the University of Louisville Photographic Archives, Ekstrom Library, Louisville, KY 40292. A condensed version of it appeared in Topics in Photographic Preservation, v.2, 1988, which may be purchased from AIC.

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"Light-Fading of Color Transparencies on Desk-Tops," by Robin Siegel (Topics in Photographic Preservation, v.2), reports a strange phenomenon: Soon after moving into a new building, staff of the National Geographic Society "began to notice that their personal prints and wall decorations were fading rapidly, and original transparencies began appearing in the re-filing boxes with unusual discolorations." A survey of storage and handling procedures was made, and fading tests were run. It turned out to be the ceiling illumination, although the Norelco Color 84 series tubes used were emitting only 47 microwatts per lumen. The lack of a white diffusion filter combined with the parabolic design of the reflector resulted in focussing the light strongly enough to give the troublesome effect. In the tests, results appeared roughly proportional to the total lumen output of the bulbs, and not the UV output, with one exception. No totally satisfactory solution has been found, though some recommendations have been made.

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There is a new column in the Library Journal: the Permanent Paper Honor Roll. The June 1 issue has it on p. 43, where it lists publishers who use acid-free or permanent paper and tell something about then. Only a few are listed each time. Godine, Library of America, Greenwood, Libraries Unlimited, and Oryx are in this issue.

Individual books in the Professional Reading and the Book Notes column are also listed with information on the permanence of their paper.

Standards & Practical Guides

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The second edition of Chemicals in Conservation: A Guide to Possible Hazards and Safe Use, by Amanda Clydesdale, has appeared. It includes 95 entries not in the first edition, and 126 of the original entries have been updated. Order from Chemicals in Conservation, Fiona Butterfield, 100 Holeburn Rd., Newlands, Glasgow G43 2XN, Scotland. No price given.

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A Guide to Museum Pest Control, edited by Lynda Zycherman and J. Richard Schrock, will be published October 15. Until then, it is sold for $28, and after that date, for $36, by Association of Systematics Collections, 730 11th St., NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20001 (202/347-2850). Invoices and overseas air mail are extra. This is a completely revised and expanded version of Pest Control in Museums, edited by Edwards, Bell and King (1980).

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Tropical Librarianship, by Wilfred J. Plumbe. Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, NJ, 1987. Preservation is one of many topics covered. The author has published a book called Preservation of Books in Tropical and Subtropical Countries.

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In the July Binders' Guild Newsletter, Tom Conroy describes the round plough in detail in a six-page article that will also appear in the Abbey Newsletter later on. And Editor Jim Dorsey gives us a nine-page account of his experiences making the German case binding from Werner Rebsamen's instructions in the April 1987 issue of this Newsletter. He clarifies and amplifies the original instructions, and evaluates the techniques, instructions and effect. It is like a book review, but it is a bookbinding-technique review, very useful.

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"Scrapbooks and Albums: Their Care and Conservation," written by Barbara Zucker of the Illinois Cooperative Conservation Program in 1984, is available from the Illinois State Library, Preservation Office, Room 288, Centennial Bldg., Springfield, IL 62756 (217/782-7848). So is its companion piece, "Photographs: Their Care and Conservation," both without charge, as is the 15-item bibliography, "Preservation in the Small Library." And the 35-item AV loan list; they will loan out of state.

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The reports on two CCI research projects, the enzyme "catalog" and the evaluation of archival tapes, will not be out until next year, Helen Burgess reported when asked in a telephone conversation for an update, this month (August).

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"Guideline for Conservators and Curators: Draft III," prepared by the RBMS Ad Hoc Conservators' Collations Committee (Terry Belanger, Chair), appeared in C&RL News May 1988, p. 294-295. It has three recommendations: 1) Curators should send a copy of a book's collation along with any book sent for treatment. 2) Conservators should check these collations against their own records and notify the curator of any discrepancies, in the treatment reports. 3) Conservators should mark books as little as possible, generally avoid erasing their marks, and make note of their marks in the documentation. (The marks referred to are usually page numbers, written lightly in pencil.)

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Art Hazards News 11(3) 1988: Special Resource Issue. 24 pages, seven of which consist of lists of health and safety organizations, with addresses and telephone numbers: occupational health clinics, poison control centers, safety supply sources, offices of OSHA and similar agencies, and audiovisuals and books. Write Center for Safety in the Arts, 5 Beekman St., Suite 1030, New York, NY 10038 (212/227-6220).

Bookbindings

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Sün Evrard, in her "Letter from Europe" in the October GBW Newsletter reviews current and coming exhibitions of fine books, and one auction is described in which one fine binding went for $80,000. (At the January 1988 exchange rate, that would be $93,600.)

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35 Miniature Books in Designer Bindings, by Anne and David Bromer, 1987. $15 from Bromer Booksellers, 607 Boylston St., at Copley Sq., Boston, MA 02116. The GBW Newsletter for December says it was planned as a sale catalog detailing a collection of miniature books in designer bindings commissioned by the Bromers from fine binders in many countries. The smallest book was done by Emilio Brugalla. All the bindings are illustrated in full color. In the end, a private collector bought the whole lot.

Bibliographies & Other Lists

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International Index of Conservation Research is apparently out and can be ordered for $6.00 from ICCROM, Via di San Michele 13, 00153 Rome, Italy. The second edition is already planned for next year. Enquiries regarding inclusion in subsequent issues should be sent to "Conservation Research Index" at the same address.

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Thomas Cubasch is working on a bibliography on all fields and aspects of conservation, of publications still in print, and in a major European language. He especially wants material not readily available through the normal book trade. He plans to issue it in annual editions, and hopes to be able to offer a mail order service for the books mentioned in the bibliography. He welcomes suggestions of books that deserve reprinting or translating into major languages; references for student project reports; and any information about material published by associations, organizations, museums, libraries, archives, etc. Write Thomas C. Cubasch, Publisher, Verlag der Apfel, Gumpendorfer Str. 12, A-1060 Vienna, Austria.

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Julia Miller has compiled a six-page bibliography on papyrus with sections on its chemistry, conservation, history, photography, and the technical enhancement of script. She will provide copies free on request. Write her at University of Michigan, Conservation Lab, 200 Hill St., Ann Arbor, Ml 48104.

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Oak Knoll Books, as usual, has lots of books on bookbinding listed in their catalogs--new as well as old. 214 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720.

Nonbook Materials

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The Illinois state preservation program is now run from the Preservation Office of the Illinois State Library (288 Centennial Bldg., Springfield, IL 62756, 217/782-7848). Their audiovisual loan collection has over 30 items in it, which are lent for two-week periods, even outside the state, without charge. Write for list.

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Five of the session tapes of the AAM meeting in Pittsburgh sound interesting. They can be ordered for $9 apiece, plus $1 per tape for postage and handling, up to $4. Order from Vanguard Systems, Inc., 4210 Shawnee Mission Pkwy., Suite 100A, Shawnee Mission, KS 66205 (913/432-6520).

76A-B. Pest Control Without Fumigation: Problems and Solutions.
95. Collection Losses, Negligence, and Malfeasance.
98A-B. Museum Climate Control
107. Design and Conservation: Conflict and Collaboration.
122. Recovering from Disaster: A Public Television Documentary.

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The New Jersey Library Association's Preservation Section has produced some bookmarks for the use of its members, about 2" x 6". Here is one full-size, and the rest much reduced to save space. They are printed on cream-colored card, which unfortunately is acidic.

Graph

Graph Graph Graph

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The videotape by Richard Young, "Library and Archival Disaster--Preparedness and Recovery" (AN April 1987, p. 46), which was produced and distributed originally by BiblioPrep/ BiblioTech, is now distributed by ALAVideo (American Library Association, 50 East Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611). The price has gone up from $98 to $125 plus $4 postage.

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Sue Abbey and Bill Leyshon are developing a computer program named Fotofind as an aid to identifying photographic materials. The program includes 66 types of 19th century processes. Anyone who wants to try it out and critique it for them can have a copy for $5; write Sue Abbey, Archivist, Sharlot Hall Museum, 415 West Gurley St., Prescott, AZ 86301. [Prom ConservatioNews, June 1988.]

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"Handle with Care," a 4-minute video produced by Lora Hays, humorously shows all the wrong ways to treat a book. $39 from New York University Libraries, Collection Management Office, 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012 (212/998-2560).

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Cassette tapes of about 90 AlA programs from the summer meeting are available from ACTS, Inc., 14153 Clayton Rd., BalIwin, MO 63011 (314/394-0611). The only ones that seen relevant to preservation are:

LA8848ac - Government Documents as Rare Books (ACRL). Discusses the problem of identifying rare government documents collections and general collections, and explores strategies for protecting and preserving these materials. $30.
LA8856ab - Preservation of Asian and African Materials (ACRL). Discusses the current state and further needs of preservation of Asian and African library materials which are relevant to area studies. $20.
LA8880ab - Preservation Microfilming: The Art of Contracting for Services (EMIERT). See report of ALA meeting, this issue.

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A VHS video, "If Disaster Strikes," is available from the National Preservation Office in the British Library, Gt. Russell St., London WC1B 3DG It can be purchased for 34.50 and rented for 11.50 per week, and it runs about 20 minutes. Available this fall. Cannot be run on American machines, unless somebody converts it for us.

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A poster about 11" x 17", produced for local use at the University of Michigan to celebrate its Library Preservation Week last December, is reproduced below. In the original, the background is a warm red-brown, about the color of an old calf or morocco binding, and the color is entirely even, unlike this reproduction.

Poster

For A Wider Audience

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"Your Old Books," by Peter Van Wingen, is a new brochure available from ALA for $1 each or 50 for $20.

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"The Big Problem of Brittle Books," Science, v. 240, 29 April 1988, p. 598-600. Reviews the general problem and LC's troubles with the DEZ facility on the eve of the issuance of the OTA report. Inaccurate when it tries to describe the problem of increasing the use of alkaline paper. Examples:

The ultimate solution to prevent the acid paper problem in the future is to convince book publishers to use alkaline paper. False. Over half of them are already convinced--but even if all of then were convinced, that would still leave the archives awash in acidic paper, not to mention the records of individuals and businesses Alkaline stock is generally regarded as more expensive than acid paper [but] alkalinity is just one factor that goes into the pricing of paper. False; or at least it implies that alkaline paper is priced by pH. A recent study of price of acid and alkaline paper, published in the Alkaline Paper Advocate, shows no difference for book publishing paper. It is true that certain papers marketed through special channels as permanent/durable papers are much more costly to the consumer, but there is no reason to believe that they are any more costly to make.

Mills have little incentive to change.. .Converting a paper mill to produce alkaline stock is expensive. Well, it is true that conversion is an expensive process, bat not that mills have little incentive to change. If they lack incentive, why are so many of them converting, even in times like this, when the market is so tight that they can sell anything they can make? Why is Hammermill converting all four of its mills (not counting Grays Harbor, which is already alkaline) this year and next? Why is it predicted that 12 companies will go alkaline over the next 10 years? The answer is that they can make it cheaper, with less hassle, all things considered.

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The Richmond Times-Dispatch ran a series February 21-23 on the dreadful state of the Virginia State Library. John R. T. Moore sent clippings of the first two days' coverage, which take up nine sheets of 8½ x 11 paper when pasted up for photocopying onto permanent paper. If anyone can send in the third day's coverage, then copies of the whole story can be made for sending out to readers.

The April issue of American Libraries had a story on two investigations concerning complaints about the state librarian, Ella Gaines Yates, concerning bribery and embezzlement; but the June issue reported that state officials had found "no provable violation" of bribery and embezzlement laws.

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The Librarian, No. 1 July 1988, first appeared at the ALA convention in July. It is not what you might think. It is a four-page piece of comic art about a superhero type woman who zooms through the air and zaps people nonlethally. It opens like this: "Dedicated to the preservation of man's knowledge and ideas, the Librarian fights the never ending battle against acid paper, book vandalism, and the destruction of books! Follow the Librarian's adventures as she begins her heroic escapades." It was done by Joseph Grant, Rick Forgus and Jay Willson, and is copyrighted by Preservation Comics, Box 951, Scottsdale, AZ 85252.

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