The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 13, Number 8
Dec 1989


Book Preservation Month in Rochester

Elizabeth Morse, conservator at the Strong Museum in Rochester, New York, sent in a proclamation that was read September 26 in the presence of the County Executive and representatives from the University of Rochester, the Friends of Rochester Public Libraries and the Strong Museum. It is reproduced below.

Flour City - Flower City - City of Rochester, N.Y.

OFFICE OF THE MAYOR

By these Presents, Greetings:

WHEREAS: the nation has been forewarned of an impending disaster, that is to say, the slow fires of destruction through the deterioration of the precious paper containing the human record and entire societal learnings of man, and
WHEREAS: concerns that the larger proportion of scholarly materials nears the point of unsalvageability unless known preservation techniques are adopted soon; it has been noted that more than one half of all works will be lost to eternity, and much of the material cannot ever be replaced, and
WHEREAS: our libraries, and many of the other cultural depositories in Rochester and Monroe County, have joined together to begin the war on decay, through the use of known professional techniques for the preservation of our precious materials, and
WHEREAS: this war on decay will be waged by encouraging future printing upon non-acidic paper, use of the process of deacidification of paper, through the use of microfilming, and through techniques such as mending, repairing, replacing missing covers, spines and pages, and
WHEREAS: the Friends of the University of Rochester Libraries, the Friends of the Rochester Public Libraries, and the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum have joined hands to alert the community and the greater nation of its distress and have professed that the scholarly community will not allow this loss under these or any other conditions.

NOW, THEREFORE, WE, Thomas P. Ryan, Jr., Mayor of the City of Rochester and Thomas R. Frey, Monroe County Executive do hereby proclaim October 1989 as

BOOK PRESERVATION MONTH

in the City of Rochester and the County of Monroe and urge all area residents to join in the events scheduled this month to raise the consciousness of the entire community to the major problems facing libraries throughout the world.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to

be affixed the Seal of the City of Rochester, at the City Hall on this 26th day of September in the year 1989

Signed: Thomas P. Ryan Mayor, Rochester, New York

One of the events referred to in the proclamation was a special program at the Rochester Public Library, given at 2:00 pm on October 17 and 21, entitled "Our Books are Dying." The announcement says, "Books are self-destructing due to their components and method of manufacture. Books are being destroyed by improper use and storage. Conservation and preservation efforts are under way around New York State as well as here in Rochester. Learn the causes of the potential death of books, what is being done to prevent it and what you can do for your own book collections."

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