The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 13, Number 8
Dec 1989


Literature

Selected Contents of Significant Publications

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Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild Newsletter 7 no. 4, Winter 1989:

"Alternative Book Structures II," by Jill Willmott. A report, with clear and ingenious drawings, on Hedi Kyle's Workshop in Toronto, May 28-29.
"Linda Sutherland's Exhibition Stands [Cradles]," by Margaret Lock. Also well illustrated.

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Library Journal, Oct. 1, 1989:

The Library has Blown Up! by Dean Burgess. A frank postmortem of an electrical fire, decisions made, lessons learned. p. 59-61.
Extended Life for Popular Paperbacks, by John 0. Christensen. A systematic study of costs and benefits for prebound, unprotected and contact-film-covered paperbacks in the popular reading collection. Prebound and film-covered books lasted equally long, but those covered with contact film cost only 39% as much per circulation and were preferred by readers. p. 65-66
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International Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship v.8 #1, March 1989.

Conservation I. Disaster Planning Initiatives, by Norbert Baer and Jane Slate Siena
Conservation II. The Changing Role of the Private Conservator, by Barry R. Baumann

This journal costs $61/year; prepayment is necessary. It is published quarterly by Butterworth Scientific Limited, Westbury House, Bury St., P0 Box 63, Guildford GU2 5BH England. It is edited by Peter and Caroline Cannon-Brookes.

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Leather Conservation News v.5 #2.

Characterisation of Parchments and Animal Glues from Different Kinds of Animals by Thin Layer Isoelectric Focusing, by Th. B. Van Oosten. p. 1-6.
Highlights of the ICOM Leather Working Group Symposium, by Mary Lou Garbin and Paul S. Storch. p. 7-12.

(Available from the Conservation Laboratory, South Carolina State Museum, P0 Box 100107, Columbia, SC 29202-3107, 803/737-4980.)

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CAN, Oct. 1989.

Cornell University: A Developing Preservation Program, by John F. Dean. p. 4-5, 30-31.
Pamela W. Darling: Preservation Strategist, by George W. Cooke. p. 6-7, 31.

Conferences & Professional Publications

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Conservation Science Group [of the AICCM] Newsletter, Issue #1, appeared in November. This issue consisted of a letter from the Editor, a list of 37 research centers in the UK and their research topics, and 10 centers, mostly in Australia, that responded to a questionnaire, with their research interests. Write The Editor, CSG Newsletter, c/- State Conservation Centre of S.A., 70 Kintore Ave., Adelaide, S.A. 5000, Australia.

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The proceedings of the 1988 TAPPI Paper Preservation Symposium cost $75 plus shipping and handling, as opposed to $10 for the hook of abstracts and preprints the participants received at the symposium. But the proceedings are now said to be out of print. (A report of the symposium is in the February 1989 issue of this Newsletter.)

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Bibliography Newsletter is being issued again, with information and comment on the history of books and printing, descriptive bibliography, fine printing, rare book librarianship and the book arts. $20 from The Walrus Press, 102 Preston Forest Dr., Blacksburg, VA 24060.

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"Solving Plasticizer Migration Problems," by Lawrence Krutzel. Tappi Journal, Dec. 1989, p. 173-176. Low molecular weight polyethylenes were found to control the migration of plasticizers into or out of adhesives and sealants, and to aid bonding to plasticized PVC sheeting.

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"Practical Considerations for Conservation Bleaching," by Helen D. Burgess. Journal of the International Institute for Conservation--Canadian Group 13, 1989, p. 11-26. A practical handbook and literature review for conservators. Covers factors to consider before bleaching, e.g., the effect of the bleaches on chemical or physical damage to the fiber, bleaching efficiency, and color reversion; conservation and curatorial considerations; methodology for making up bleach solutions, as well as the handling and applying of the bleaches; working properties of the individual bleaches; and washing, neutralization, alkalization, and anti-chlor procedures carried out within the context of an overall treatment plan that includes bleaching. The decision-making process is emphasized.

This is a major article that should be in the library of everyone who bleaches paper or other cellulosic materials. Copies of the English or French version may be obtained by writing to Extension Services, Canadian Conservation Institute, Dept. of Communications, 1030 Innes Road, Ottawa, Ontario KlA OCR, Canada.

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The ACS Symposium Series No. 410, proceedings of the October meeting in Los Angeles (Historic Textile and Paper Materials II) is not a great bargain at $54.95. It only includes six papers on paper, which is half the number that were on the program. Omitted are papers by Ravines, Sebera, Shahani, Wilson, Kusko and Vitale. Kusko and Vitale failed to show up to read their papers, but it would have been nice to see them in the proceedings anyhow. Included are papers by Priest, Hon, Clements et al., Feller et al., Shahani et al., and Berndt.

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Handbook of Adhesives, 3rd ed. I. Skeist, ad. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989. 950 pp. $94.95.

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"Free Trade/Fine Books: The Economics of Book Arts Materials," by Bryan R. Johnson. Book Arts Review, Sum. 1989, p. 4-7. The effect on the craft of restrictions on imports, a shrinking international pool of materials and a growing protectionism.

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The proceedings of the convention, "La Legatura dei Libri Antichi tra Conoscenza, Valorizzazione e Tutela" (Parma, Nov. 6-18, 1989) will be available in May or June for 50,000 lire (about $37). Presumably the papers will be published in the language of delivery, and there were some in English. Write Annalisa Ganzerli - c/o lab. Allegri: Via Pedemontana, 58/a - Panocchia (PR) - Italy.

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"Paper Industry Moves Into Alkaline Age," by Louise W. Laughton. New Library Scene, v.8 #5, Oct. 1989, p. 1, 5. Based on interviews, like a newspaper story, and like most newspaper stories, it gets a few facts wrong. International Paper, for instance, began its conversion to alkaline in 1986, not 1976, and expects to complete it in 1991, not 1989. Alkaline paper is not usually between pH 7 and pH 8: nowadays the average is closer to 9.0. But it does include interviews with knowledgeable people, and it addresses the topics people are most interested in, including recycling.

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"RLG Contributes to National Preservation Effort," Research Libraries Group News, p. 3-6, Issue No. 20 [received Nov. 1989]. A good summary of the nature and accomplishments, and plans, of RLG, including the recent broadening of its interests beyond microfilming.

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"King Lear in Boards," by Claire Van Vliet. Fine Print, July 1989, p. 114-118. A well-illustrated description of an edition binding for a 144-page edition of King Lear, with wooden boards and exposed sewing. A chemise protects the sewing.

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The Miniature Book Society's Newsletter, which itself is not miniature, is printed on archival recycled paper: 60 lb. Halopaque, from Cross Pointe. The society was chartered in 1983 in Ohio, with the purpose of encouraging the appreciation and preservation of miniature books, and to provide a forum for exchanging ideas on the topic. It holds a yearly Conclave, with a one-day Miniature Book Fair, and has a travelling exhibit. Membership is $10. Write The Rev. Joseph L. Curran, Treasurer, Box 127, Sudbury, MA 01776.

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Modern Art: The Restoration and Techniques of Modern Paper and Paints is the proceedings of a May 1989 conference organized by the United Kingdom of Conservation and the Museum of London. There are seven papers, of which three are on pigments and screen printing. The rest are:

Modern Paper, by Derek Priest. Summarizes pulping methods, bleaching, fillers, sizing and other aspects. 3 pp.
Pigment Coated Printing Papers, by Ruth Prosser. Covers China clay, blanc fixe (barium sulphate), Satin White (probably a sulpho-aluminate), calcium carbonate, titanium pigments including titanium dioxide, talcs and so on; also the adhesives used (10 types) and other additives. Bibliography: 19 ref s.
Collage and Other Novel Uses of Paper, by Roy Perry
Conservation of a Paper Banner, by Gillian Roy The book is 6.50 postpaid from UKIC, 37 Upper Addison Gardens, Holland Park, London 1414 8AJ, England.

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The Disaster Recovery Journal, described on p. 111 of this volume, is not such a big bargain at present, though it may evolve into something. It is superficial and repetitive, and almost exclusively concerned with preserving and salvaging computer data, with the aid of a number of commercial services that specialize in this, to judge by the number of ads they have placed in the journal. There are some good points, e.g. an ad for "Quake/Grip Fasteners" that keep your computer from jumping off the table in an earthquake: $99 for a starter kit of what looks like Velcro fasteners. There is obviously money to be made in this field, but it is not clear how libraries and archives can benefit by the attention being given to it by the big companies.

Moreover, the journal is not well edited. The articles overlap in scope and topic, are sometimes seriously inaccurate, are not very helpful, and are all continued on another page. It seems as if the articles are an excuse for sending out ads on the remaining pages of the issue. Outer margins are 1/4" and typesetting is amateurish, but the coated paper has an alkaline base sheet. The article on p. 22 of the July-Sept. 1989 issue, on "Library Disaster Recovery Planning" is by an amateur. The best place to get information on disaster planning for cultural institutions is still the library preservation literature.

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"Vapor Phase Hydrogen Peroxide Sterilization," by R.K. O'Leary et al. In Book, International Nonwoven Fabrics Conference, 1988, pp. 105-119. The AATA abstract says, "A new sterilization system based on a vapor phase of H202 was approved by the U.S. EPA. This system provides a rapid, low temperature technique which, because of its low toxicity, eliminates much of the potential public health hazard associated with sterilants such as formaldehyde and ethylene oxide. This new technique also opens the door to in situ and in vivo sterilization."

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Sally Roggia replies to Jerome Brezner's published advocacy of microwaving books returned to the library (as a method of controlling insect pests) in a letter to the editor in the December Library Journal. She argues that zapping every book that circulates is an example of overkill: a potentially harmful method applied en masse to address a very small problem. For the vast majority of libraries, only two pest control methods are needed: securing the building to keep the insects out, and freezing infested books. The recommended extermination policy would do more harm than the insects would, because books are made up of such various materials that are not easy to identify.

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"Time is Running Out: An Investigation of the LSCA Title III Project Funded by the State Library of Florida," by John N. DePew. Flash (Newsletter of the State Library of Florida), Oct. 1989, p. 8-9. The State Library is making available funds from LSCA III to help get the state preservation program airborn by surveying preservation needs and resources in public as well as academic libraries in Florida. An inventory of options is also being developed. There is an advisory committee, and Lisa Fox of SOLINET is consulting on the design and analysis of the program. A mail questionnaire was sent out, and is being followed up by telephone and site visits. (For copies of the article and more information, contact SOLINET or John DePew, 904/644-5775.)

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E.W. Palmer's A Course in Bookbinding, Part One, 1927, gets an extensive, informative, illustrated review in Binders' Guild Newsletter XII no. 8, p. 4-18, by the Editor, Jim Dorsey. He says, "The overall appraisal of this book? Excellent! If a beginner had to proceed without a teacher, there may not be a batter book we have so far reviewed. As a review text it would undoubtedly be a little tedious, but that' s not the main aim of this series, looking into texts for the beginner."

Following the review is a table, rating 12 beginners manuals on 12 criteria (drawings, base binding, standard binding, equipment, titling, repair, side sewing, adhesive binding, leather, decoration headbands, and suitability for beginners. Overall ratings range from 1 (Kafka) to 7 (Perry, Johnson and Palmer).

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"Postage Stamps and Plastic Films," by W. Griebenow, B. Werthmann and R. Borowski. Papier 43 no. 7, July 1989, p. 333-339 (in German). Selected postage stamps were stored for five years, under conditions similar to those to be expected in a stamp album, between plastic films and glassine paper for comparison. The films comprised pre-analyzed polystyrol, PVC, hard and softened PVC, softened cellulose-2,5-acetate and cellulose triacetate, polyethylene and polypropylene. The interactions between stamps and films were evaluated visually every six months by daylight and ultraviolet light. Only the films based on polystyrol, PVC with an ester-like component and hard PVC showed, like the glassine, no effects on themselves or the stamps. All the others caused transference of fluorescent dyes from stamps to film. With one exception the stability of print on the stamps was good. [Abstract from Pira Paper and Board Abstracts, Oct. 1989.]

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"A Comparison of Selected UV Filtering Materials for the Reduction of Fading," by Patricia Cox Crews. JAIC 28 #2, Fall 1989, p. 117-125. The use of UV filters of polyester film with a reflective silver coating is recommended when filters with a strong yellow tint distort color to an objectionable degree, but when greater protection of artifacts is desired than that afforded by almost colorless UT filters. An alternative is to lower the overall level of illumination.

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"Het Behoud van ons Nationale Geheugen" (The Preservation of our National Memory) is a 72-page booklet reporting the results of a survey of about 100 Dutch libraries on the conditions of their collections. The survey was carried out by an advisory council set up by Act of Parliament in 1987 to advise the government on all matters concerning libraries and information services. Twenty institutions indicated that 25%-80% of their collections are in imminent danger. Recommendations are included in the 4-page English-language "Summary and Recommendations." The address of the advisory council, RABIN, is P0 Box 95341, 2509 CH The Hague, The Netherlands (tel. (31) 70 47 13 44).

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"Fire Fighters," by J. Andrew Wilson. Museum News, Nov./ Dec. 1989: 68-72. Facts on the efficacy of sprinkler systems, including cases of fires in buildings with and without them.

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Early European Papers/Contemporary Conservation Papers: A Report on Research Undertaken from Fall 1984 through Fall 1987, by Timothy D. Barrett. Published as Vol. 13 of The Paper Conservator, 1989. 107 pp. Single issue available for $18.00 from Secretary, Institute of Paper Conservation, Leigh Lodge, Leigh, Worcestershire WR6 5LB, England, for IPC members, and $27.00 for nonmembers. A major work, designed to answer the following questions: How were the early European book papers made? What specific materials, procedures and tools were used? Is it possible to make papers today using the old methods? The work was funded by the NEA and the Kress Foundation, and assistance was received from the Institute of Paper Chemistry, Western Michigan University and numerous other individuals and institutions.

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"Nuke 'em! Library Pest Control Using a Microwave," by Jerome Bruner and Philip Luner. Library Journal, Sept. 15, 1989, p. 60-63. Elements of integrated pest management are recommended, but described as inadequate without using the microwave on returned books, which are seen as a source of infestation, somehow. Now libraries will start microwaving their books for a while, and we will see the problems that emerge whenever a potentially damaging procedure is introduced into library routine without due consideration for the nature of the physical book or the complexity of library operations. Preservation people are generally leery of this procedure.

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"The Problems of Preservation in a Polar Climate: The Conservation of Sir Douglas Mawson's Huts at Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica," by Janet Hughes. AICCM Bulletin vol. 14 #3-4, Dec. 1988. p. 1-31. A great deal of deterioration of these huts has occurred since 1914, due to the sandblast effect of high winds and ice crystals, and repeated freezing and thawing, which filled much of the huts with ice, not to mention the high humidity and mold and rust. Magazines left on the shelf are in poor condition. Maybe Antarctica is not the place after all to send books if you want to keep them for a thousand years.

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The Paper Conservation Catalog is a unique publication of the paper conservators in the AIC Book and Paper Group, recording current practice without endorsing or recommending any of the treatments described. It will nut be unique very long, though, because the other specialty groups in AIC have plans to issue their own catalogs after this pattern. A different set of topics is addressed each year, and published as an "edition." When it is finished, it will make up a single well-organized book, with all the "editions" interfiled. Everyone in book and paper conservation should be getting these as they come out. No. 3-5 are still in print; buy them. $8 each plus postage. No. 6, 166 pages on adhesives and bleaching, is in press. Order from AIC, 202/232-6636.

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A statistical profile of preservation efforts in ARL libraries, including critical organizational, functional, and fiscal aspects, is available for $15 (nonmembers) from the Association of Research Libraries, 1527 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036. Ask for the report on the 1987-1988 Preservation Statistics Survey.

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"International Leather and Parchment Symposium," Part 1 of a report by Helen Shenton, of the May 1989 meeting of the ICOM Working Group on Leathercraft and Related Objects. Paper Conservation News, Sept. 1989, p. 12-13. [See also the report in Leather Conservation News, above.]

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"Edge Copier Comparison" (Xerox 5042, Selectec 1603, Selectec 1707, Océ 1725, Océ 1925). A comparison, in tabular form, on 31 features, including cost and angle of edge. RTSD Newsletter v.14, #5, 1989, p. 49.

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"The Danger of a Firefighting Wonder," by Keith Bradsher. NY Times, August 9, 1989. Reprinted in Mid-Atlantic Archivist, Fall 1989, p. 3-4. The use of halon in fire suppression systems will eventually be phased out because of its effect on the ozone layer.

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Les Documents Graphiques et Photographiques: Analyse et Conservation. Travaux du Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation des Documents Graphiques 1986-1987. Published 1988. Cost 140 F (about $22.40) from La Documentation Francaise, 124 rue Henri-Barbusse, 93308 Aubervilliers Cedex, Prance. Reports work on waterlogged leather, the effects of air pollution on papers deacidified by two aqueous methods, repair of transparent papers, repair of glass plate negatives, analysis of vegetable tans by chromatographic techniques, and treatment of negatives yellowed by mercuric iodide.

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"Opportunities in the United States for Education in Book and Paper Conservation and Preservation," by Jill R. J. Holden. Jan. 1988. 25 pp. Paper copy $4.10 from ERIC Document Reproduction Service, operated by Computer Microfilm Corporation, 3900 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria, VA 22304-6409. Fairly accurate and up to date; should be useful to people who want to get started, or to upgrade their skills, especially in book conservation. Slights the facilities on the West Coast.

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"State Government Records Programs: A Proposed National Agenda," issued as a separate by NAGARA in November 1989 after a period of thorough discussion and wide participation, includes within its four pages all aspects of good management, including preservation. It defines general objectives and expectations, provides a basis for interstate cooperation, and should stimulate discussion and action on the issues. It should also make it easier to find funds, and to cooperate with other cultural institutions in state preservation programs. Of the 11 elements of a national agenda, #7 is "Preservation of Archival Records," in which a number of standard preservation actions are recommended, including the use of acid-free paper for state government publications and records of enduring value. "Use of long-lasting paper," it says, "will help prevent the continuing growth of the preservation problem as new records are produced." For more information, contact Bruce W. Dearstyne, Executive Director of NAGARA, New York State Archives, Room 10A75 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230 (518/473-8037).

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