The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 13, Number 1
Feb 1989


Literature

Conferences & Professional Publications

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Library Conservation News No. 21, Oct. 1988. On p. 4-6, Michael Pollock describes a survey of part (8.8 M) of the British Library's collections, and presents much data in graphs and charts. About 14%, of the books were brittle, which he blames on the use of wood pulp (it was really alum and use of groundwood and unbleached pulp).

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The Bookmark 45(3), Spring 1987 (published late 1988 or early 1989). Special issue: "Conservation/Preservation." Published by the State Education Dept., New York State Library. Thirteen articles on the New York State program, other similar programs (Illinois, New Jersey, SOLINET), aspects of preservation, the Preservation Planning Program, and individual libraries 'a experiences on preservation. The profiles of the 11 comprehensive research libraries that get the largest NYS grants tell what they have done with the money so far. The most interesting is SUNY Buffalo, which has a Center for Book Preservation, a polyester encapsulation service, and a broad range of activities. This issue was put together by Connie Brooks and Ann Swartzell.

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The Spring 1987 issue of the Guild of Book Workers Journal is a survey of regional activities in the U.S., books arts organizations, and binders.

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Microform Review 17(1) includes four articles on preservation microfilming policies and projects.

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The Conservation of Far Eastern Art, edited by John Mills, Perry Smith and Kazuo Yamasaki, is the preprint volume from the IIC conference of the same name in Tokyo last September. 172 pp., fully illustrated, available from IIC,-6,. Buckingham St., London WC2N 6BA, UK. Price 12/$24 members, 18/ $36 nonmembers, postpaid surface mail. The conference is reported in the December Paper Conservation News and the January CAN.

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Characteristics of Japanese Art that Condition its Care, by Kenzo Toishi and Hiromitsu Washizuka. Edited by Robert Organ. 1987. Y6000 (about $47) from Japanese Association of Museums, Shoyu Kaikan, 33-1 Kasumigasaki, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, Japan. 254 pp. Pauline Webber reviews this in PCN, Dec. 1988, saying it was useful, a little incoherent in places, and overall, an informative and excellent reference book for conservators and curators.

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"Deacidification and Sizing," by Johan Hermans and Patricia Mahoney (Museum of London). Conservation News No. 36, July 1988, p. 8. For a large quantity of mechanical woodpulp designs with water-soluble inks, and for which methanol-based deacidification solutions were not suited because of staining, a solvent/gel based reinforcing/deacidifying agent was used: Klucel G in INS with magnesium bicarbonate solution, 1:5. Several thin coatings were sprayed on the back of the designs.

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A report of the December 1988 meeting of representatives of 16 cooperative preservation programs is on p. 15 of the SAA Newsletter for January.

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Heinz Petersen. Bucheinbände. Akademische Druch und Verlaganstalt, Neufeldweg 75, A-801 Graz, Austria. 1988. DM 185. ISBN 3-201-01382 x. The review by Gh. Peleman in De Boekbinder Jaarboek 1988 is favorable. The book deals at least partly with the dummies of notable book structures of individual books that he made and exhibited in 1971 in the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz.

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"Binding Decisions: Criteria and Process," by Carol Fleischauer. RTSD Newsletter 13(6), 1988, p. 59-60. Emphasizes the decision whether or not to bind paperback monographs; it is based on value, probable use and physical characteristics of each volume.

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Ruth B. Kerns, "A Positive Approach to Negatives: Photographs via Microfilm Technology." American Archivist 51 (1/2), Winter/Spring 1988, p. 111-114. A case study of the conversion of deteriorating photographic negatives to microfilm.

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John C. Mallinson, "On the Preservation of Human- and Machine-Readable Records." Information Technology and Libraries 7(1), March 1988, p. 19-23. Recommends that electronic media be converted to microfilm because of the long-term reliability of microfilm reader technology. (The author is an expert in magnetic recording.)

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Denis Carvin. La reliure médiévale aux XIVe et XVe siècles d'après les fonds des bibliothèques d'Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Carpentras et Marseille. Centre Interrégional de Conservation des Livres, 18 rue de la Calade 13200 ArIes. 1988. [No. of pages variously reported as 159, 200 and 239], and rubbings and drawings. 320 FF/$85. Jane Green-field has seen this book, and reports, "Computer oriented. Numerous charts that it is necessary to memorize to follow the text. No indication of the provenance of the [132] books, merely of their present location in the above libraries.

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Elaine Schlefer en has dug up two references on ozone generated by photocopy machines that should answer a lot of questions:

  1. 1. M.D. Selway et al., "Ozone Production from Photocopying Machines." Am. led. Hyg. Assoc. J. 41(6), June 1980, p. 455-459. Nine of 10 machines tested produced ozone, at 4 to 300 ug/m3. Servicing lowered emissions.
  2. A.J. Allen et al., "Characterization of Potential Indoor Sources of Ozone." Am. led. Hyg. Assoc. J. 39(6), June 1978, p. 466-471. Emission rate was 48-158 ug/copy; in small, poorly ventilated rooms these emission rates built up concentrations as high as 396 ug/m3 (0.202 ppm).

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"Text of Agreement for Cooperation with Library of The Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Leningrad [by the Library of Congress]," LC Information Bulletin, Jan. 2, 1989, p. 3-5. The Academy of Sciences Library was disinfected with formaldehyde. Most of the recommendations in the "Consultants' Report" (which is available from the Abbey Publications office on request; send SASE) seem to have been accepted, and the Library of Congress is helping replace lost books. The agreement was signed in June by V.P. Leonov, Carolyn Sung, Hugh Olmsted, Peter Waters, Merrily Smith and Harold Leich. The fine was reported in the June 1988 issue of AN.

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The program for the October 1987 Membership Meeting of the Association of Research Libraries was on preservation, and included papers by David Weber, James H. Billington, William Studer, Pat Battin, James Morris and Merrily Smith, as well as a panel discussion by leading preservation administrators. It has been published as Meeting the Preservation Challenge, and is available from The Association of Research Libraries, 1527 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036, for $14 (members) and $28 (nonmembers).

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"Future Directions in Conservation Science," Conservation News No. 37, Nov. 1988, p. 14-19. A summary of the meeting held at the British Academy on Sept. 30, 1988, sponsored by the Science-based Archaeology Committee and The Conservation Unit. A sobering, sometimes depressing, assessment of the state, needs and problems of conservation science in the UK, which may be fairly representative of the rest of the world. Still, it is good to see conservation scientists having their own convention, and being able to talk to representatives of the funding agencies who were there.

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Conservation-Restoration of Leather and Wood. Training of Restorers. 6th International Restorer Seminar, Veszprem, July 1987. Budapest, National Centre of Museums, 1988. 508 pp. In English, French or German. ISBN 963-7108-17. (Address of publisher: Nat. Ctr. of Mus., Könyves Kalman krt. 40, H-1087 Budapest, Hungary.)

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"Untersuchung der destruktiven Wirkung von Tinten auf Schniftträgermaterialien," by Gerhard Banik et al. Restauro 4, 1988, p. 302-308. Title in English: "Examination of the Destructive Effect of Inks on Paper and Parchment." Of the three mechanisms by which iron-gall inks are believed to destroy paper (acidity, iron-catalyzed oxidation and fungi), the oxidation of the cellulose by water-soluble iron compounds was found to be the most important.

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According to the Library Journal for January, Joseph Grant s preservation comic book The Librarian (AN Sept. 88, p. 116) will continue publication, in an English/Spanish version, with an acid-free paper edition as well as the regular comic book format.

Another comic book artist who has put his talents at the service of conservation is Stephen Bond, Assistant Conservator at the Australian Archives in Victoria. The panel below is from the AICCM National Newsletter for March 1988:

Illustration

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Two dormant periodicals have revived: Technology & Conservation just put out an issue that covers 1985-88, and includes a nine-page directory of occupational health and safety organizations (OSHA, state plans, EPA, NIOSH and professional associations). Subscriptions are free. Write T&C at 1 Emerson Place, Boston, MA 02114. (Roofing maintenance and environmental control through insulation are also covered in this issue.)

The Paper Conservator, vol. 10, 1986, just came out too. It consists of Part 1 of the papers from the 10th Anniversary Conference of IPC, "New Directions in Paper Conservation," at Oxford in 1986. IPC members receive the annual Paper Conservator and Paper Conservation News. For overseas members, dues are $52. (See "Useful Addresses," a sheet sent AN subscribers yearly.) IPC has discounted the prices for two of its publications, by the way: Vol. 5/6 of The Paper Conservator (6/$12 postpaid, surface) and Preprints of the 1986 Oxford Conference (1O/$20 postpaid, surface).

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T.A. Cahill et al. (eight authors total). "The Vinland Map, Revisited: New Compositional Evidence on its Inks and Parchment." Analytical Chemistry 59(6), 1987, p. 829-833. After analysis by PIXE, the authors are seriously considering that the map is genuine. [Related McCrone publication is cited on p. 148 of the December AN.]

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"From Paris," a compilation of letters from Australian John Tonkin, who attended the Summer School at the Atelier d'Arts Appliques this year, gives a vivid picture of the bookbinding scene in Paris: schools, suppliers, an auction of fine bindings, workshops and equipment. Raised Bands, the newsletter of the Craft Bookbinders' Guild, Sept. 1988. Address: Secretary, PO Box 322, Kingston, ACT 2604, Australia.

Standards & Practical Guides

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"Bidding Library Binding," by Jon H. Lazar (Rochester Public Library). New Library Scene, Oct. 1988, p. 1, 5. Advice to library staff members about getting quality binding for the best price by inviting bids. A related publication is on p. 11 of the August issue of the same publication--"Report on Bidding Library Binding Contracts," by Sally Grauer. This is a summary of the panel on bidding of library binding contracts, at the July 1988 ALA Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Panel speakers were Ann Swartzell, Wes Boomgaarden, Bob Coyle and Paul Parisi.

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Disaster Management for Libraries: Planning and Process, by Claire England and Karen Evans. $25 to nonmembers of the Canadian Library Association. 1988. 207 pp. ISBN 0-88802-197-6. Order from CLA 200 Elgin St., Suite 602, Ottawa, Oct. K2P 1L5 Wes Boomgaarden reviews it in the Sept. 1 Library Journal, saying its value lies in its concentration on the management function of preparation for the unthinkable. There is a section on preserving collections, that seems out of place.

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How to Make Paste Papers, by Jennifer Woods, 1988, paste paper cover. $4 from The Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.

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"The Development of a Standard Accelerated Aging Test for Measuring the Durability of Leathers used in Musical Instrument," by Harley Pillingsrud and Jean Tancous, Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association 82, 1987. The method developed uses compressed air and sulfur dioxide at 400-600C in a heavy PVC pipe "bomb," and is similar to the method used by Cheshire in 1946. (Reviewed by Toby Raphael in Leather Conservation News, Fall 1988.)

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Batty Walsh, whose chart for salvage procedures for various types of objects (including books and paper) was published in the May 1988 WAAC Newsletter, says that she will send out free copies on request. Her address is: Provincial Archives of British Columbia, 655 Belleville St., Victoria, B.C., V8V 1X4, Canada.

She sent a bibliography on disasters too: "Safeguarding Your Collection from Disasters: Selected Resources," by Louis Goldich, Sept. 1987. It lists articles, books, tape cassettes, kits, periodicals, videotapes and bibliographies, with the emphasis on museums and on natural disasters. Publishers' addresses and prices are given. 3 pp. Write to the author at San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park, PO Box 2107, San Diego, CA 92112-2107 (619/232-7931).

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Caring for Books and Documents, by David Baynes-Cope. 2nd ed. of this practical guide for small archives and individual book collectors. 5.95 plus postage from British Library Publications Sales Unit, Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS23 7BQ.

Bibliographies & Other Lists

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Glossary of Basic Archival and Library Conservation Terms:

English with equivalents in Spanish, German, Italian, French and Russian. (ICA Handbooks Series V. 4) New York: K. G. Saur, 1988. Compiled by the Committee on Conservation and Restoration, International Council on Archives; edited by Carmen Crespo Nogueira. 151 pp. This has the earmarks of a first effort by a non-English-speaking group that is using English as the primary language for their publication. They have not yet contacted all the experts and sources they need to do a good job at this type of glossary, but now that they have made their needs and intentions known by publishing this book, perhaps some friendly multilingual conservators will offer to help with the text for the second edition. Most of the terms are from hand bookbinding, and a few are from printmaking, papermaking and conservation. Perhaps they were chosen with the needs of the world's archivists in mind, but if terms as abstruse as polishing iron, one on and two off, and back cornering are given space, why has the committee omitted enclosure, survey, environmental controls and oxidizing agents? The entry for alkaline reserve defines only the alkaline reserve left after deacidification; for oversewing, makes no mention of the machine; and for groundwood pulp, refers simply to the entry for pulp. Anyone who can afford to wait for the second edition, should.

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CAP (Conservation and Preservation) 3(3), October 1988, is a very useful summary, in English, of the 28 book and paper entries from the ICCROM International Index on Training in Conservation of Cultural Property. It includes all the information for each entry: contact person, nature of course on program, subjects covered, duration of training, and so on. There are not too many subscribers to CAP in this country to borrow it from, since it is usually printed in Japanese, but its editor may be willing to sell copies of this issue to people who inquire. His name is Toru Kibe, and he lives at Sendagi 3-1-1-306, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113 Japan.

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International Index of Conservation Research, First Edition, 1988. At head of title: ICCROM. Washington, DC: Conservation Analytical Laboratory. 142 pp. ISBN 92-9077-080-5. In French and English. A good start in a worthwhile project. Even though it is bound to be incomplete and somewhat out of date, this index provides a great deal of information that was simply not accessible before, and should go a long way toward facilitating cooperative efforts, building on prior work, and putting the results to good use. Projects from all countries are listed in a classified subject order, and the name of the researcher and the address of the institution are given, together with the title of the project. $10 from ICCROM. CAL must carry it too, but no price is given.

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The Library Journal for Dec. 1988 has a long list of mew and renovated academic library buildings, with all kinds of data on cost, space, book capacity and so on, including the name of the architect. There is a similar list for public libraries, and addresses of all the architects are furnished. There is another long list for library projects in progress, showing which stage they are in.

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The Image Permanence Institute has prepared a list of topics and issues identified as possible areas of preservation research by attendees at the AlA conference last July. Each is discussed, and its appropriateness for IPI research is discussed. All questions concern film or fiche. The document, "Statement of Research Needs in Preservation of Library Microforms," is notable for the fruitful nature of the dialog it embodies, and for the way some of the questions verbalize what must be persistent but generally unrecognized problems in the field.

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Conservation of Photographic Materials, A Basic Reading List. Compiled by Klaus B. Hendriks and Anne Whitehurst. Free from National Archives of Canada, 395 Wellington St., Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0N3, Canada (613/995-5138). 1988. In French and English, 32 pp. each. Listed under 11 subject headings, including Organization of Photographs, and indexed. Not much on microfilm or movies.

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"A Geographical List of Study Opportunities in the Book Arts on File with the Guild of Book Workers as of July, 1988," compiled by Joan T. Batchelor and J. Franklin Mowery. 9 pp., including 9 foreign items. Price and availability not listed. Published by the Guild of Book Workers, 521 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10175.

"Supply Directory 1988," another valuable and almost unique reference source from the Guild, has 70 pages and can be ordered from Supply Chairmen Susan B. Martin, GBW, 521 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10175 for $10 ($11 abroad).

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"Bibliography of Technical Standards for Paper and Paper-Based Library Materials," by Connie Brooks, for the Physical Quality of Library Materials Committee (ALA/RTSD/PLMS), July 1988. $4.35 for RTSD members and $4.85 for nonmembers, from ALA/RTSD, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. The first move of a librarians' group, when its members feel the need for more knowledge about a topic, is often to compile a bibliography. This at least gives them an opportunity to dip in and teach themselves by reading. In this case, it is hard to see how the bibliography can be very useful. The standards are grouped by topic, but they are not annotated, and only a few of them relate to preservation, which is presumably the main interest of those who asked for the compilation. Even the ones that are relevant to preservation are pretty technical, and they are almost useless unless the library has access to testing facilities for quality control. Suppliers often will bid on a supply contract, promising that their materials will meet one or more standards as required by the contract, but fail to meet standards if they suspect no testing is being done. Many TAPPI methods are included as if they were standards (TAPPI does not set standards). What is needed is not a better bibliography than this one, but a better situation all round: more librarians who are technically knowledgeable, more testing facilities that libraries can use, a guide to products bought by preservation librarians, better information provided by suppliers, and so on.

Nonbook Materials

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New York University has produced a four-minute color video entitled "Handle With Care." It is available in 3/4", Beta and VHS formats for $39 from NYUL, Collection Management Office, 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012 (212/ 998-2560).

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Audio tapes of the AIC Pre-Conference Workshop on Conservation Surveys are available for $57 a set. Make check payable to AIC and send it to Paul R. Himmelstein, 444 Central Park West, New York, NY 10025.

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Videotape, "Basic Book Repair, with Jane Greenfield." About 25 minutes. (The Wilson Video Resource Collection) Available from H.W. Wilson Co., 950 University Ave., Bronx, NY 10452 (800-367-6770; in NY state, 800-462-6060). $89. This tape is not up the standard set by Books: Their Care and Repair, by Jane Greenfield. The procedures as described do not seem to have benefitted by the conservation-oriented improvements in book repair made over the last 20 years. This is not to say that people repairing their own or a library's books should do conservation, but only that they should do what works best, and refrain from making things any worse. The worst shocker was the use of regular buckram strips as pasted-down guards to hold the textblock to the coven, after cutting the apparently sound super at the hinge--merely to mend an endsheet torn at the hinge! New super was then added, but it reached only to within 3/4" of the head and tail. The joints were set with knitting needles and ace bandages, a pretty ineffective method and not very defensible when you consider that the joints are usually the first structural components to give way. Paper mends are made with lots of adhesive, and wax paper is put on both sides before the book is put aside to dry overnight. (Why not urge people to use as little adhesive as possible, and use blotters at least on one side, and take a peek, at least while learning, to see that the paste has not schmeared all over the page?)

This is a puzzling videotape, because everyone knows that the author is used to doing conservation and binding work of high quality. Perhaps the best way to understand it is as an inexpert attempt at popularization, one that greatly underestimates a novice's ability to learn the right (or any right) way to work on books. Contrary to the widespread belief, popularization is very difficult to do well, and only a few people can do it adequately. Sometimes it is easier to teach advanced techniques, and to visualize the readers or learners as other people much like oneself, if this is what one is more used to doing.

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