The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 14, Number 2
Apr 1990


Literature

Selected Contents

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Conservation of Library Materials is the Newsletter of the Special Interest Group of the Australian Library and Information Association. No. 5 came out in August, and shows itself to be useful and informative. Contents:

"Fumigation." Covers thymol, OPP, EtO, gamma radiation, freezing, 002, vacuum and low oxygen treatment, and humidity control. 15 references from 5 countries.

"Disaster Preparedness Meeting," a report.

"In the Literature": The Paper Conservator, v. 10-12, and the Allerton Institute Conference.

A review of Arthur Johnson's The Practical Guide to Book Repair and Conservation, not favorable because the advice is misleading and the facts are outdated. This review is over three pages long and has a 20-item bibliography.

Departments dealing with news notes, people, events and positions vacant.

Subscriptions are $5 (Australian) per year and can be ordered from Torn Taylor, Secretary-Treasurer ALIA Conservation Group, 9 Penshurst St., Willoughby, NSW, 2068, Australia.

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Paper Conservation News has yielded to the growing volume of news to report, and swelled from four to 16 pages. The December 1989 issue has some substantial contributions:

A report of the Society of Archivists Annual Instruction Meeting for Archive Conservators, 1989; of the International Coronelli [globe conservation] Symposium in Hungary; and of the International Leather and Parchment Symposium (Part 2 of Helen Shenton's report). Simon Green briefly reports the 1989 Paper and Book Intensive at Ghost Ranch.

A feature story on Helene Donnelly, proprietor of Data and Archival Damage Control Centre (DADCC), who won the BBC Radio 4 Enterprise Award for new small businesses. DADCC has a staff of five and specializes in disaster response and salvage.

Conferences & Professional Publications

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The proceedings from Symposium 88 (AN, Dec. 1988 issue, P. 144) should be ready this spring. They will be mailed free of charge to all speakers and to delegates who paid the full registration fee. The price to others has not been determined yet.

Copies of the abstracts are still available for $10; check should be made out to Symposium 88.

The proceedings were taped in 19 cassettes, which are available as a set for $150 Canadian; check should be made out to Receiver General for Canada and be sent in with order.

Send orders and inquiries to Extension Services, CCI, Dept. of Publications, 1030 Innes Rd., Ottawa, Ont., Canada K1A OC8.

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Garland Publishing has announced publication of a 19-volume facsimile series entitled "The History of Bookbinding and Design," with Sidney Huttner as general editor. The books in this series reprint hard-to-find English and American bookbinding publications, them:

The Whole Art of Bookbinding (English & American editions), 1811 and 1824.

Two Early Nineteenth-Century Bookbinding Manuals (by G.

Martin and George Cowie), 1823 and 1828.

Bibliopegia, by John Hannett [with Brassington's Memoir of Hannett], 1835 and 1848.

The Progress of the Marbling Art, by Joseph Halfer, 1893.

Modern Bookbinding Practically Considered, by William Matthews.

The Bookbinding Craft and Industry, by Thomas Harrison.

The number of pages in these volumes ranges from 100 to 488, and the price per volume ranges from $25 to $125 (for Oldham's book on Shrewsbury School library bindings, with oversize pages).

The volumes are available separately, or as a 19-volume set for $875. Write for brochure and order form: Garland Publishing, 136 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, or call 800-627-6273. By the way, the books are printed on acid-free paper and "bound with the highest quality library-standard bindings."

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Alan C. Oliver. Dampness in Buildings. Nichols Publishing, 1988. 221 pp.

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"Humidity and Building Materials in the Museum Setting." The Construction Specifier, Oct. 1989, P. 98-104. Reprinted from the Historical Preservation Education Foundation's Interiors Conference, Philadelphia, 1988, Proceedings. Deals with the problems created by maintenance of 507. RH inside museums in cold climates: condensation and decay within the walls.

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Terry Rempel Mroz, "Technique: The Livre de Raison." Le Journal, Association des Relieurs du Quebec 1989, p. 47-54. While in Arles last May and June, the author examined and documented books bound in limp vellum or leather with tackets, from the 16th and 17th centuries. Generously illustrated, including a diagram of the lacing pattern and the method of tying on thread inside the signature. These books were not slim books of poetry; they were hefty, and in good condition.

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Gerald P. Mielke, "Hot Melts for Bookbinding: Past, Present, and Projected." Tappi Journal Dec. 1989, p. 85-89. Hot melt adhesives that can be recycled easily, that will not give way in the presence of solvents from the ink, and that will last longer. "Polyurethane post-curing adhesives are likely candidates to provide longevity..." A good historical summary and overview of current materials and problem.

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Edizioni per la Conservazione, a monthly on cultural and Environmental conservation,-with summaries in Italian, English and French. From Fasc. I, 3/4:

A. Petrucci, "Memoria, società e scrittura"
F. Gallo, "Biologia e biblioteche"
D. H. Petersen, "Acid paper: The facts and the outlook"
M. Logan, "Recycled paper: A possible alternative"
L. Vito, "Un archivio in polvere"

Its first year was 1989. Subscription fee is given in "Lit" which, if this means "Italian Lira," adds up to $4.80/year. No complete address is given for the editor or publisher, but they all seem to be in Italy.

The answer is found in Library Conservation News no. 25 (Oct. 1989). It says, "The editor is Luciano Sahla Momo, and the address for subscriptions is via sant'Agata de'Goti 2, 1-00184, Rome, Italy."

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The proceedings of the first International Symposium an Newspaper Preservation and Access have been published in two volumes by K.G. Saur. The conference covered new technology, microfilming, general management of newspaper collections, etc. K.G. Saur is at 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010 (212/337-7023).

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The Gazette du Livre Medieval for autumn 1989 has, on p. 32, a section in its listing of new publications called "Conservation et Restauration," which includes nine publications in five languages, mostly on bookbinding and conservation. Only one is in English: Mary Wood Lee's "Prevention and Treatment of Mould in Library Collections with an Emphasis an Tropical Countries: A RAMP Study." Paris: UNESCO, 1988.

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AIC Book and Paper Group Annual, vol. 8, 1989, is out. Contents:

FTIR Analysis of Coated Papers, by Mary Baker, Dianne van der Reyden and Nancie Ravenel
The Need for a Re-Evaluation of the Use of Alum in Book Conservation and the Book Arts, by Tom Conroy
Rome Wasn't Built in a Day: Design of an Archival Conservation Laboratory, by Jane Klinger Freeman
Treatment Techniques for the Vellum Covered Furniture of Carlo Bugatti, by Jesse Munn
Photocopier Hazards and a Conservation Case Study, by Kitty Nicholson
Potential Applications of Isinglass Adhesive for Paper Conservation, by Tatyana Petukhova
Old Master Drawings: An Approach to Conservation, by Marjorie Shelley
The Technical Examination of an Eighteenth-Century Wallpaper from the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion, Portsmuth, New Hampshire, by Amy Snodgrass and Eugene Farrell

Copies can be ordered from the AIC.

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Ageing/Degradation of Paper: A Literature Survey, by Christer Fellers et al. Report No. 1E, FoU-projektet für papperskonservering. ISSN 0284-5636. Stockholm, Sept. 1989. Address: Riksarkivet (National Archives), Box 12541, S-102 29 Stockholm, Sweden. 139 pages. With great economy of words, each aspect of aging is covered in its own section --usually starting out simply and clearly, and getting more technical as it proceeds. A very good summary of research, which supplies answers to a lot of longstanding questions.

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"Fire Protection for the Library," by John Morris. The Construction Specifier 42 #10, October 1989, p. 133j4-l. Covers the history of library fires and policies of fire protection, including the realization about 1975 that sprinklers made sense (though they are not universally accepted even now); bookstack construction and its effect on spread of fire; elements of a fire protection plan in library construction, including fire-retardant paint and the construction of book drops; types of automatic suppression systems, and a comparison of Halon and water; special problem like mobile shelving; and a description of new libraries with automatic suppression systems. This article needs to be made widely available to preservation people in cultural institutions, somehow.

Standards & Practical Guides

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The Care and Preservation of Philatelic Materials, by T. J. Collings and R. F. Schoolley-West. $12.95 from the American Philatelic Society, PO Box 8000, State College, Pennsylvania 16803. One review has appeared; the reviewer was lukewarm.

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Conservation Treatment Procedures: A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Maintenance and Repair of Library Materials, 2nd ed., by Carolyn Clark Morrow and Carole Dyal, is still in print. It was published in October 1986 and can be ordered for $32 from Libraries Unlimited, PO Box 263, Littleton, 00 80160-0263 (303/770-1220).

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A Guide to Museum Pest Control. Lynda A. Zycherman and J. Richard Schrock, eds. Published jointly by Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and the Association of Systematics Collections, Nov. 1988. $36. 205 pp; index; classified annotated bibliography. Contains information on every aspect of pest control in museum.

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Taylor Made Co. (PO Box 406, Lima, PA 19037, 215/459-3099) is offering reprints of a 1966 fold-out chart from Modern Packaging Magazine that shows how to identify the different films (polyethylene, etc.). The price list shows that one copy mailed is $1.00; two are $1.25; 10 are $5; and so on.

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Standard Test Method for Determination of Calcium Carbonate Content of Paper, ASTM D 4988-89, was published in November 1989. It is essentially the same method described by George B. Kelly, Jr., in his 1972 paper, "Practical Aspects of Deacidification" (Bull. AIC 13 #1, p. 16-28), and reprinted in the April 1989 issue of the Alkaline Paper Advocate.

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Manuel de Conservation et de Restauration du Papier, by Anne Lienardy and Philippe Van Damme. Available from Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique; Parc du Cinquantenaire, 1; 1040 Brussels, Belgium, for 600 BF (about $15.60). 250 pp. It has four sections: nature of materials (paper, parchment and leather, and ink), agents of deterioration, preventive measures, and treatment (deacidification, bleaching and "colles"). Coverage seems skimpy.

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Writing Your Own Contracts: A Guide for Independent Contractors and Consultants. By Cynthia Kolnick. Published by Cynthia Kolnick, Richmond , CA, 1986. Mainly addressed to freelance writers, but parts are relevant to conservators.

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"Techniques - Knot-Tack Sewing in the 15th Century." Binders' Guild Newsletter, Sept. 1989. Jim Dorsey tracked a legible copy of this article in German, and his wife, who is German, translated it. The author, Eleonore Klee, published the original in Codices Manuscripti in 1978, heft 3. The translation, with introduction and illustrations, appears on p. 7-13 of the September issue of BGN, and a clarification of the sewing structure appeared in the October issue on p. 14, submitted by a reader. A very nice piece of detective work, made possible by Betty Lou Chaika, Jim and Didi Dorsey, Pam Spitzmueller, Jenny Hille, and Cliff Wurfel.

NIOSH Health Guidelines. Guidelines for working safely with 65 hazardous chemicals, in 2 vols. Supplements the 1981 NIOSH/OSHA Occupational Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards. Contact NIOSH Publications, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45242 (513/533-8287). Pub ms. 88-118, Supp. I-OHG and 89-104, Supp. II-OHG.

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The New York State Conservation Consultancy, 2199 Saw Mill River Road, Elmsford, NY 10523, has 19 "Conservation Bulletins," which can be purchased as a set for $15 ($10 for New York State nonprofit institutions), including:

Basic Principles of Storage
Storage of Archival Documents and Works of Art on Paper
Control of Temperature and Humidity in Small Institutions
Storage and Care of Photographs
Warning Signs--When Photographs need Conservation Order from the Consultancy.

The bulletins can also be ordered individually.

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Keeping Your Past: A Basic Guide to the Care & Preservation of Personal Papers. Kansas City Area Archivists, 1987. 25 pp. $5 from Kansas City Area Archivists, Western Historical Manuscripts Collection--Kansas City, University of Missouri, Newcomb Hall, Room 302, 5100 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110-2499.

This little manual was compiled by a local group to satisfy a local need for information, and like all such manuals it fills an essential need, but at the same time, it has problem with accuracy and helpfulness because preservation is fairly technical and the field is developing rapidly. It gives counsels of perfection ("Purchasing products which are lignin-free is the only way to avoid this deterioration [caused by lignin, even in buffered paper]"); omits important points like deterioration of photographic materials from poor storage enclosures and air pollution (p. 16); recommends occasional questionable practices, like encapsulating rare materials without either deacidifying them first or enclosing a sheet of buffered paper with them (although it does recommend that all deacidification should be done by a conservator); recommends use of materials like large white blotters and polyester webbing which are not generally available in small amounts or at prices that sound reasonable to individuals; gets facts wrong, blaming the use of wood fiber for today's brittle paper (p. 2); gives long-obsolete addresses for Conservation Resources International and TALAS; and does not say what each supplier can furnish.

Still, a manual by a local group is usually better than one imported from a national center, because the personal contact between the local group members and those they counsel is important. The people have to be able to ask questions and get answers, and discuss the pros and cons, and look for better solutions to common problem. This sort of interchange does not take place when all that happens is the distribution of material produced elsewhere.

Perhaps the best arrangement is a liaison with a regional or national center whose function is to help local groups reach out to the private citizens and families who now hold the historical records that will eventually come into the archives.

This booklet has sold very well, and was into its third printing last August. Before it goes into its fourth printing, it would be nice if the KCAA could get some help from one or more conservators on revising it and bringing it up to date. This shouldn't be too hard to do.

Nonbook Materials

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"Let the Record Show: Practical Uses for Historical Documents," a video from the New York State Archives and Records Administration (Cultural Education Center, Room 10A46, Albany, NY 12230), is available free on loan. Purchased copies are $40. This video was viewed in Provo, and the following comments were made by those present: Apparently it is for a lay audience, and we do need more ways of reaching them. But it should have used more moving images. The sound track was pretty good, but it seemed out of place with so many still pictures, especially when the person shown in the picture is heard speaking on the sound track. The message has inherent draw, but the video should have a climax. Effectiveness is mediocre. There are four examples of people who find the information they want in an archives but there should be fewer examples and more oomph.

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The Office of Management Services at ARL (202/232-8656) has a video loan program for member libraries and perhaps to other libraries. One of the videos is "Planng a Preservation Program."

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"ARSC/AAA: Fifteen Years of Cooperative Research," by Elwood McKee. ARSC Journal v.20 #1, Spr. 1989. This journal is printed an permanent paper and goes to members of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (PO Box 10162, Silver Spring, MD 20904) for $20/year. McKee's article, on p. 3-13, gives a history of the Associated Audio Archives Committee, the only part of ARSC that is more than peripherally concerned with preservation of sound recordings. The AAA Committee turns out more valuable work than many "working groups" many times its size.

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Here is the poster for the University of Michigan's annual Preservation Awareness Week:

Save The Human Record

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Books are not for Bashing is a videotape which looks at the ways in which patrons mishandle library materials. It approaches the subject in a humorous way and is directed at undergraduate students. The tape, which is 10 minutes long, can be integrated into a freshman orientation or bibliographic instruction program. It was produced by students, faculty and the Preservation Officer at Brown University. $40 (VHS) from The Preservation Office, Box A, Brown University Library, Providence, RI 02912.

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Handling Books in General Collections (79 slides, 10 min.) is an overview of proper and safe storage and handling of books by library readers and staff. $60 from Library of Congress; address order to Library of Congress, Sales Office, Washington, DC 20540.

For the Public

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Brochures, posters and bookmarks designed to heighten awareness of the brittle paper problem and enlist the public's help in book preservation efforts are available from the ALA, after a long gestation period. The "Going, Going, Gone" brochure explains the reason for the problem, and three humorous posters show vanishing copies of A Handful of Dust, Gone with the Wind, and Invisible Man. The bookmarks carry the Gone with the Wind theme. Brochures are $20 for 100, posters $3 each, and bookmarks $6 for 200. A single copy of the brochure will be sent for a self-addressed, staged envelope. Write to ALCTS/Save Books, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611.

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"The Natural History of the Book: Parts I-III." Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1982. Transcript of broadcasts Dec. 2-16, 1982, in the series or program "Ideas," hosted by Bob Oxley. The transcript is 31 pages long, and there is a five-page bibliography, classed under the following headings:

The manuscript book
The transition to the printed book The printed book
Modern publishing
Collecting and libraries
The future, and some general reflections

Those interviewed are Elizabeth Eisenstein, Thomas Tanselle, and Herbert Bailey. The transcript is available for $5.00 from CBC Transcripts, PO Box 4039, Sta. A, Toronto M5W 2P6, Ontario.

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The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance, by Henry Petroski. Knopf, Jan. 1990. This book started as a lead-in to a book on engineering, but it got out of hand. When the author went to look up the subject in the library, he found there was little or no previous research, so he had to do it himself.

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Barbara Goldsmith's testimony before a Congressional committee May 4, on the need for acid-free paper, was reprinted in the News column of Poets & Writers Magazine for Nov./Dec. 1989, p. 7-9. At the end she urges all readers to write their Congressmen endorsing Joint Resolution 226, establishing a national policy on permanent paper.

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"The Chase is on to Halt Paper Deterioration," by Elizabeth A. Brown. The Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 6, 1989, p. 13. Carolyn Morrow is pictured at Harvard Law School with a large bound newspaper, pre-Soviet Russian. The article is based on interviews with her, Richard Frieder, Jan Michaels, Edward Seeley (Cleveland Public Library), Richard Miller (Akzo Chemicals), and Keith Anderson (Mohawk Paper Mills). Not even as accurate as most newspaper articles, but it does say that some of the 20,000 Russian books that the Cleveland Public Library sent to BPA for deacidification have since returned to an unacceptable acid level, and some of the covers stuck together (but another source says the process has been modified to prevent this now). This should be confirmed at the source before it is accepted as true.

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