The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 13, Number 4
Jul 1989


Literature

Selected Contents

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CAN No. 38, July 1989, celebrates its tenth year of publication with an outstanding issue.

"Guidelines for the Administration and Care of Daguerreotype Collections," by Grant B. Romer

"Cold and Cool Vault Environments for the Storage of Historic Photographic Materials," by Siegfried Rempel

"Negative Duplication: Evaluating the Reproduction and Preservation Needs of Collections," by Steven T. Puglia

"Meeting Reports" - an eight-page section containing reports of 11 lectures, conferences and workshops

A 31-item bibliography by Karen Preslock on photocopier-related health hazards and related matters. Annotated.

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The Paper Conservator, Vol. 11 (1987) makes up Part II of the papers from the IPC' a Oxford conference, 1986. Four of the 15 papers are:

"Japanese Folded Sheet Books: Construction, Materials and Conservation," by Catherine Atwood

"Leaf-casting in the National Library of Scotland," by John McIntyre

"New Directions of an Ancient Kind: Conservation Traditions in the Far East," by Paul Wills

"A Modern Approach to Papyrus Conservation: Materials and Techniques as Applied at the British Museum," by Frances Elliot and Eric Harding

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Paper Conservation News, No. 50, June 1989, has a good description of paper splitting by Gerard Banik. It is used mainly as a last resort method for preserving non-permanent paper, such as newsprint. Tom Collings has a didactic technical note, entitled "A Solution to Solutions? - Some Elementary Guidelines," in which he explains how to do the arithmetic for w/w and w/v solutions, and tells how they don't use cc's any more--it became ml for a while, and now it's cm3. Maybe this country has been holding off converting to metric because it is waiting for things to settle down a bit.

There is a report of a one-day meeting organized by the UKIC on "Money and Conservation," which is substantial and informative.

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The Conservation of Far Eastern Art, Preprints of the Contributions to the Kyoto Congress, 19-23 September 1988, edited by John S. Mills, Perry Smith and Kazuo Yamasaki (IIC, 1988), is well illustrated and edited. The first six papers are of especial interest:

"Permanence of Washi (Japanese Paper)," by M. Inaba and R. Sugisita. Reports the effect on permanence of dôsa, a surface size of animal glue and alum.

"A Study of the Properties of Aged Starch Paste (furu-nori)" by V. D. Daniels. The author finds no evidence that furu-nori is more flexible than unaged paste.

"Biochemical investigations on the Formation Mechanisms of Foxing," by H. Arai, N. Matsui, N. Matsumura and H. Murakita. The brown color could be a result of the

Maillard reaction, the amino acids being supplied by the fungus.

"Fungal Stains on Paper--Their Removal and Prevention," by Hanna Szczepanowska and Charles M. Lovett, Jr. Organic solvents and laser light are tested for ability to remove stains. Conditions for stain production are also being defined.

"The Preservation of Pre Tenth Century Paper," by Peter Lawson. Unnecessary and damaging lining of scrolls was carried out in the past at the British Library; alternative methods now used are described.

"The Preservation of Ancient Chinese Paper," by Zhou Bao Zhong. Methods of protecting from worms and of treating scrolls and books, mostly traditional, are described.

Conferences & Professional Publications

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Herbert P. Home, Reprint edition 1970, The Binding of Books: An Essay in the History of Gold-tooled Bindings. 2nd ad. A. W. Pollard, ed. 232 pp. Haskell House. On sale for $16.95 from The Scholar's Bookshelf, 51 Everett Dr., Princeton Junction, NJ 08550.

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"Solvents and Sensibility, Part I: No Teasing," by Sharon Blank and Chris Stavroudis, was presented at the AIC meeting not long ago, along with Part II, "Teas-Busters." They are printed in full in the WAAC Newsletter for May, and make the case for diagramming solubility by polarity alone, rather than by use of the Teas diagram, which uses polarity, hydrogen bonding and van der Waals forces. This revolutionary paper reflects new thinking in the field of conservation, pioneered by Richard Wolbers, and describes the basic concepts in a clear and lively way. Part III follows the first two parts, and is entitled "What the Butler Did; or, Some Tips on Formulations." Chris Stavroudis is the sole author for Part III; he is also selling Teas Busters T shirts for $20 apiece (check payable to WAAC), from No-Teasing Institute, 1272 N. Flores St., Los Angeles, CA 90069. There is a 12-item bibliography for Parts I-III.

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The restoration of David Lean's film Lawrence of Arabia is described in Library Conservation News No. 23 (April 1989). Although it was made only 25 years ago, it took five months to patch up the negative; parts were missing, and on other parts the sound was missing. This account of the restoration was taken from one in The Independent (a British newspaper) for Feb. 9.

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The Role of Science in Conservation Training, papers from the interim 1986 meeting of the ICON Committee for Conservation Working Group on Training in Conservation and Restoration, has been published. Copies may be purchased for AUS$10 postpaid, with checks made out to the ICOM-CC Working Group on Training (send to Dr. Colin Pearson, Cultural Heritage Science Division, Canberra College of Advanced Education, PO Box 1, Belconnen, ACT, 2615, Australia).

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"Depreciation: An Issue for Libraries," by Peggy Johnson. Technicalities Vol. 9 (5), May 1989, p. 5-7. Beginning in 1990, all not-for-profit organizations must recognize the cost of depreciation in general-purpose external financial statements, when those assets have previously been capitalized, except for assets worth preserving in perpetuity (like rare books). This may turn out to help preservation efforts by quantifying deterioration and pointing up the need to repair, replace or take other action. For a copy of this article, write Brian Alley (ad.), 2057 South Glenwood Ave., Springfield, IL 62704.

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"Characterization of Corrosion Products on old Protective Glass, Especially Daguerreotype Cover Glasses," by M. Susan Barger, Deane K. Smith, and William B. White. J. Materials Sci. 24 (1989) 1343-1356. Exhaustive analysis by SEM EDX, and XRD of cover glasses and the corrosion products on their inner surfaces allowed classification of corrosion products into four groups and ruled out a biological source for the formates commonly found among them. 63 ref a.

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The statewide preservation program in Michigan includes libraries, archives and museums, and is organized by the Michigan Alliance for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage, a new organization formed last October. Its first newsletter issue just appeared, bearing the same name as the organization. It has eight pages of local and national news; on the front page is a call for information about any similar programs, that is, with a mandate to preserve not just books, or books and papers, or library materials, but the state s entire cultural heritage. (PALMCOP in South Carolina is concerned only with books and papers.)

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"The Availability of Manuscript Books to Scholarly Users," by Annemarie Weyl Carr (Southern Methodist University, Dallas), is a report of a panel at the annual meeting of the International Center of Medieval Art, organized to encourage dialog among users, curators and conservators on the topic of the use of rare materials. Training in the use of rare books was a major theme, because it is needed, but little done. Abigail Quandt showed slides of various aspects of deterioration of parchment, and the audience was impressed. (From Gazette du Livre Medievale No. 13, Autumn l988.)

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"Preservation: The Public Library Response," by Anne L. Reynolds, Nancy C. Schrock, and Joanna Walsh. Library Journal, Feb. 15, 1989. An analysis of types of deterioration found in the Wellesley Free Library's 225,000 volumes in the process of barcoding for automating, and in the subsequent formal survey. The need for preservation in public libraries is emphasized.

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Copies of the Preprints of the April 1988 meeting of the Scottish Society for Conservation and Restoration are available from SSCR Publications, MPG Secretarial Services, 136 Queensferry Rd., Edinburgh EH4 2BG, for 7.50 to nonmembers of the Society. This was the meeting on rubber and plastics and the papers are said to be very good.

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Natural Hazards Observer is a bimonthly publications of the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center (Institute of Behavioral Science, Campus Box 482, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0482). Not only is it a good source of information on natural disaster research, events, publications, workshops, and so on, 1) it is free within the U.S. and 2) reproduction with acknowledgement is permitted and encouraged. Very little of it has to do with preserving contents of museums, archives or libraries in times of natural disasters, so far at least; it concerns saving lives and property, and maintaining governmental function.

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Biodeterioration 7, selected papers presented at the Seventh International Biodeterioration Symposium, Cambridge, UK, 6-11 September 1987. Edited by D. R. Houghton et al. 848 p. Elsevier Applied Science (London, New York, Amsterdam). 98 or US$176.50. Some relevant papers are:

Actinomycetes and Biodeterioration in the Field of Fine Art Comparison of Possible Chemical and Microbial Factors

Influencing Paper Decay by Iron-Gall Inks Microbiology of Paper and Board Manufacture

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"The Reconstruction of Papyrus Manufacture: A Preliminary Investigation," by A. Wallert. Studies in Conservation 34 (1989) 1-8. Well illustrated.

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Topics in Photographic Preservation, Vol. 3, can be ordered from the American Institute for Conservation, 1400 16th St. MW, Suite 340, Washington, DC 20036 (202/232-6636) for $17.50 ($15 for AIC members). It includes 14 of the papers presented at the 1989 meeting and three from the 1988 meeting.

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Hand Papermaking Newsletter lists classes, publications, exhibits, competitions, classifieds, etc. and appears quarterly. It is mailed with the magazine Hand Papermaking in the summer and winter, and by itself spring and fall. It comes only with a subscription to the magazine.

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UKIC Grapevine is a new publication from the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation. It will come out six times a year. The first issue was March 1989. Three of its eight pages were ads.

Standards & Practical Guides

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Study on Integrated Pest Management for Libraries and Archives, prepared by Thomas A. Parker, for the General Information Programme and UNISIST. Paris: Unesco, 1988. 119 pp. (PGI-88/WS/20)

Like other RAMP studies, this is available free from Unesco, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. It is intended to be used as a guide in collections worldwide.

The trend away from automatic fumigation and toward nonpoisonous means of controlling pests needs help if it is to spread beyond the countries with research facilities and preservation funds. This publication should help. It covers mold as well as two, four and six-legged pests; it is strong on identifying genus or species by the type of damage caused and frass left behind; it does not minimize the problems with ethylene oxide, including its effect on materials; it warns against the use of poisonous fogs; tells how to use heat to kill insects, sticky traps to provide early warning, polyethylene bags for quarantined materials, and silica gel to control humidity within enclosures--BUT it recommends a fairly high relative humidity (50-60%, a level that would be very hard to get up to in some parts of the world, and one that would lead to mold problems unless RH can be held reliably within that range); implies (p. 93) that cockroaches are attracted to light (are they?); says nothing about extermination by freezing; gives no addresses for the suppliers mentioned; and has no index. The bibliography has 27 items, two of which are from ancient Greece and several of which are from the conservation literature.

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Betty Walsh's 11" x 17" table, "Salvage at a Glance," has been republished in the March IIC-CG Newsletter, along with a list of the 10 publications used to compile it. The table gives priority, handling precautions, packing method, and drying method, for all kinds of materials.

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A resource packet to aid in the preparation of disaster plans is now available from the Conservation/Preservation Program office at the New York State Library, for $5.00. Although it was prepared as part of the New York State program, it is available to out-of-staters. (People who are attending the June 9 workshop will get one free.) Send check, made out to "The University of The State of New York," to Roxane McPeters, The New York State Library, 10-C-47 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230 (518/ 474-6971).

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The Practical Guide to Book Repair and Conservation, by Arthur W. Johnson. London: Thames & Hudson, 1988. The Binders' Guild Newsletter for March 1989 has a detailed review of the bookbinding aspects. It meets the high BGN standards for clarity of the explanations and instructions. The conservation parts make some people nervous, though, because they are sometimes old-fashioned or inaccurate. But many readers will testify that it is hard to be 100% accurate in matters of conservation, even for professional conservators. The author deserves credit for addressing conservation issues in bookbinding. He could hardly do more without changing his profession, which no one really wants him to do.

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The following two documents may be ordered either in microfiche (MF) or paper copy (PC) from the ERIC Document Reproduction Service, 3900 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria, VA 22304-5110. Prices shown do not include postage. Call 800-227-3742 to place orders or get information.

"Opportunities in the United States for Education in Book and Paper Conservation and Preservation," by Jill R. J. Holden. 25 pp. ED 291 413. MF: 78. PC: $1.85.

"The Preservation of Library Materials: A CUL [Columbia University Libraries] Handbook. Guidelines and Procedures." 4th ad. By Elaine Harger and others. New York: Columbia Univ. Libraries, 1987. 117 pp. ED 292 469. MF: 78. PC: $9.25. [This was announced in June 1987 of AN on p. 66, but the price from Columbia was $15.]

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Two commercial organizations have issued guide booklets on conservation mounting, matting and framing of works of art on paper. Sotheby's was written by Jane McAusland, a fellow of TIC, and is eight pages long. Copies may be available on request from Sotheby's, 34-35 New Bond St., London W1A 2AA. The other was written with the aid of Don Pierce, former president of PPFA, and is distributed by the Crescent Cardboard Company, 100 W. Willow Rd., Wheeling, IL 60090. It is 29 pages long and freely illustrated to show each kind of trouble or technique. This is an ideal way for suppliers and conservators to cooperate, but it could be improved upon by involving committees of conservation organizations rather than individuals, so that a professional consensus could be represented to the broad public. In the case of the Crescent booklet, certain misstatements (especially on technical matters) and unclear passages night have been avoided. The brittleness of old paper, for instance, is attributed to dryness rather than chemical degradation, and no distinction is made between groundwood papers and papers made of wood pulp.

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Prevention and Treatment of Mould in Library Collections with an Emphasis on Tropical Countries: A RAMP Study, by Mary Wood Lee. Paris, Unesco, 1988 (PGI-88/WS/9). Order from Unesco, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France.

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Booklab, a new type of bindery halfway between the conservation lab and the library bindery, has a series of informational booklets which they send out free to anyone: Book-Notes 1-11, plus a catalog of services and products.

  1. Advantages of Protective Enclosures: Polyester Encapsulation
  2. Salvage of Library Materials from Water or Insect Damage
  3. Collection Maintenance Repair for Publishers' Cased Books
  4. Safe Handling and Exhibition of Books
  5. Advantages of Protective Enclosures: The Drop-Spine Box
  6. Survey, Assessment and Planning for Library Conservation
  7. A Glossary for the Structure and Action of Bookbindings
  8. A Sewn Boards Binding for Library & Limited Edition Work
  9. The Forms of Conservation Binding
  10. Series Bibliography for BookNotes 1-9
  11. Preservation Photocopying

Since BookLab is operated by two leading conservators, and offers a wide range of services including consulting and surveys, it can also be thought of as a regional conservation center. Address: BookLab, Inc., 8403 Cross Park Dr., Suite 2E, Austin, TX 78754 (512/837-0479).

Bibliographies & Other Lists

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A complete and up-to-date list of alkaline papers on the market has just been published: the 1989/90 Fine Paper Directory. Actually, it lists all printing and writing papers, whether they are alkaline or not, and identifies the alkaline ones with a double asterisk. Papers are listed by brand name and by type (e.g., No. 1 Web Coated Offset Gloss Finish - Mill Brand). Types are defined not only by intended use but by quality, and thus by implication, by price. This should be an aid to publishers who are looking for an alkaline grade equivalent to the acid grade of paper they had been using. Much other information is included: manufacturers, suppliers, the JCP specs and some papers that meet each set of specs, etc. 548 pp. $80 from Grade Finders, Inc., 662 Exton Commons, Exton, PA 19341 (215/524-7070).

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Oak Knoll Books (414 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720, 302/328-7232) sent out its catalog or list # M511 in June, with a lot of books listed on the topic of bookbinding and related topics (e.g., bookworms, marbled paper).

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Basic Preservation Bibliography, an alphabetical list of 40 references, annotated, with addresses for ordering, has also a list of bookbinding manuals and a list of serial publications. Available for a self-addressed stamped (45) envelope from Susan Swartzburg, 1050 George St. #4L, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

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Funding for Museums, Archives, & Special Collections lists 550 sources of financial support. 384 p. ISBN 0-89774-347-4. $48 from Oryx Press, Suite 103, 2214 N. Central at Encanto, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1483 (602/254-6156). All relevant information is given: eligibility requirements, application details, fiscal information, program description, etc.

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Bibliography: Theses, Dissertations, Research Reports in Conservation, a Preliminary Report. Compiled by the ICOM Committee for Conservation Working Group on Training in Restoration and Conservation. 1987. 188 p. ISBN 963-

7108-009. This is the Working Group's initial attempt to collect, on a worldwide basis, the results of research carried out by students of major conservation training institutes. No indexes. The announcement in ICOM News does not give a price. Order from National Centre of Museums, P.O.B. 54, H-1476 Budapest 1000, Hungary.

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"Training in Conservation: A Guide to Full-Time Training Courses in the United Kingdom" is a new publication, by the Conservation Unit. In addition to listing training opportunities, the 64-page booklet describes the different kinds of work available in conservation, provides details of related courses and advice on sources of funding, and lists professional bodies and other relevant organizations. 2. Order from the Museums and Galleries Commission, 7 St. James Square, London SW1Y 4JU, UK.

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The Canadian Conservation Institute has a list of its publications with an order form. All publications are supplied free of charge unless otherwise indicated. They include technical bulletins, "notes," research reviews and of offprints by staff, on environmental control, paper and books, care of photographic materials and other topics. For a copy, write CCI, 1030 Innes Rd., Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0C8, Canada (613/998-3721).

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The best calendars of book arts events are in:

Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG) Newsletter. Quarterly.
Fine Print 2. Three times yearly.
Guild of Book Workers Newsletter. Six times yearly.

Addresses are in "Useful Addresses" sheet sent to subscribers in January or February every year from this office.

For A Wider Audience

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A description of the Library of Congress's Motion Picture Preservation Laboratory is in the May 22 LC Information Bulletin. This lab duplicates nitrate films, a dangerous work that is now done in Dayton, Ohio, where the whole lab moved in 1981.

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"Books into Dust: Our Vanishing Written Record." Harvard Alumni Gazette, January 1989, p. 20-22. Based on interviews with Lofton Wilson, Sidney Verba and Doris Freitag.

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"Spreading the Word," by Susan Warner Keene. Ontario Craft, Fall 1988. p. 26-30. Covers the professional life and work of Betsy Palmer Eldridge in book conservation and fine binding, and the growth of a community of book workers in the Toronto area, in which she has been a big factor.

In the same issue is a well-illustrated review of the CBBAG' a fifth anniversary exhibition, The Art of the Book.

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"Scientists Eye Ancient African Plant as Better Source of Pulp for Paper," New York Times, C4, Dec. 13, 1988. By Jane E. Brody. Kenaf is a quick-growing plant that looks like sugar cane or sorghum, and may one day be widely used for newsprint and a wide variety of other products. It has been used here on a small scale for over 50 years, but what makes it news is that the Department of Agriculture selected it as the most promising source of pulp to supplement wood, and has brought it most of the way through the development stage; a kenaf mill should be operating in Queensland, Australia, by the end of 1990, and another should be ready near McAllen, Texas, a year later. What makes it an attractive fiber source are, among other things, its apparent stability (it is said not to yellow) and its minimal impact on the environment (unlike wood, kenaf can be pulped with heat and pressure, using only minor chemical treatment; and it would save trees). It also has good tear strength, which is hard to achieve in modern alkaline papers. There are certain problems, none insuperable: it needs special equipment to harvest and store it, it needs much more storage room, and it will have to compete with other semitropical crops for the limited farmland available. The next step is up to the producers, and the marketplace.

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"Preservation and Conservation of Sound Recordings," the 10-page information package that was a handout at the National Archives' conference on audiovisual collections (June issue of AN, p. 39), is NOT available from Elwood McKee as stated. Write Gerald Gibson, MBRS, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540.

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"Preserving Knowledge: The Case for Alkaline Paper" is ARL Briefing Package No. 3, Nov. 1988, sponsored by ARL, the Commission on Preservation and Access, and the National Humanities Alliance. It brings together copies of papers and publications, 15 in all, from different sources, most of them familiar to readers of the Abbey Newsletter. It is available for $7.00 from ARL, 1527 New Hampshire Ave., MW, Washington, DC 20036.

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"The Self-Destructing Book," by John F. Dean. Encyclopaedia Britannica Yearbook of Science and the Future, 1989. p. 212-225. A well-written history of the problem and of efforts to deal with it. The bibliography is short but well-chosen.

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"Paper: Here Today... Gone Tomorrow" is a brochure issued by the AICCM, describing the brittle paper problem and advocating the use of alkaline paper, lobbying of publishers and governments to use it, and setting of standards for permanence. Thirty suppliers (not mills) in six Australian states are listed, with telephone numbers and addresses.

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"At Risk: Treasures of the Law," by E. R. Shipp. New York Times, Metropolitan News section, Sept. 9, 1988. "Over the last 150 years, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York has collected more than 120 million pages of legal briefs from appellate cases, preserving the words and evolving ideas of the Cardozos, the Brandeises and the lawyers whose names have been forgotten by history. But now, as many of these pages crumble with age, the bar association is faced with the possibility of abandoning the most extensive collection of such materials outside the Library of Congress, unless it finds the economic means to preserve them." It would cost millions of dollars to microfilm them, and so far the Law Library Microform Consortium has been unable to find the money.

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Fire! The Library is Burning, by Barry D. Cytron. Lerner Publications, 1988. 56 p. $9.95. ISBN 0-8225-0525-8. Norman Stevens, who submitted this reference, also provided a short review:

This intriguing book is probably the first book written specifically for children (Grades 4 & up) with a preservation theme. Cytron does a thoughtful job of describing the fire that destroyed the Jewish Theological Seminary Library in 1966 and the aftermath of that disaster. He concentrates, in particular, on community efforts to save the fire and water damaged books, including a variety of specific steps that were taken (e.g., freeze drying by General Foods). Above all Cytron emphasizes the importance of the collection, as well as the need to give priority attention to unique and unusual items, to the Seminary and Jewish culture. (Cytron, who was a student at the Seminary at the time of the fire and participated in the salvage efforts, concludes with the story of the rebuilding of the library and the continued usefulness of the material that was saved. Numerous black and white photographs, especially a fascinating frontispiece showing the rendering of the Biblical phrase "And the bush was not consumed" that was on the outside of the Library when it was destroyed, help bring home to children the damage that a fire can do to a library, the efforts needed to save materials, and the importance of books to society. It may not find a wide audience but Cytron and Lerner have made an important contribution to the cause of education about preservation. More books for children on other aspects of the conservation and preservation of library materials would be most welcome.

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