The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 14, Number 4
Jul 1990


Literature

Conferences & Professional Publications

Edizioni per la Conservazione, an Italian monthly covered in the April issue on p. 34, was reviewed by Joseph Consoli and Susan Swartzburg in CAN No. 42. Their review said, in short, "Don't bother"

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"Recycling Capacity to Increase at Record Rates as Laws Proliferate," by Debra A. Garcia, Sr. News Editor. Pulp & Paper, May 1990, P. S1-S5, S11-S16, S25-S28. Full of information in text and tables, this report includes a two-page list of wastepaper processing projects at U.S. and Canadian mills, a two-page list of U.S. recycled newsprint legislation, and more. Technology, problems, and predictions are reviewed. At the end, in a section called "Hurdles Remain," five stubborn problems are listed, among them lower strength, loss of permanence, and environmental concerns. Permanence will suffer because of high mechanical pulp content.

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U.S. Government Printing Office. "Use of Alkaline Paper in Government Printing." April 1990. 18 pp. plus appendices. Subtitle: Report and Plan Prepared at the Direction of the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives.

In 1989, even before the USGPO started to switch to alkaline paper, they found that about 57% of the book publishing and related papers purchased for inhouse use or for supplying to government agencies came from alkaline mills. Only 40%. of the printing done for them on contract was an alkaline paper. No shortage of alkaline papers was foreseen. No difficulty has been experienced in finding recycled papers. The recycled papers purchased were more likely to be alkaline than other papers were.

For a copy of this report, write Office of the Public Printer, Room C 808, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20401.

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"Rare Government Documents: Identification and Protection," by Barbara Campbell. CAN No. 42, July 1990, p. 10-11. Because government documents are sent free to depository libraries, many people think they are replaceable, and few libraries take pains to protect then from theft, though many are rare, out of print, valuable and often stolen. The first step to protecting them is to identify them.

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"Phased Preservation: A Philosophical Concept and Practical Approach to Preservation," by Peter Waters. Special Libraries, 81(l), Winter 1990, p. 35-43. Describes phased preservation at LC and the point system for allocating staff time and resources, which will be implemented at the USSR Academy of Sciences Library in Leningrad.

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Study on Mass Conservation Techniques for Treatment of Library and Archives Material, a RAMP study prepared by the Regional Centre of the IFLA Core Program FAC, Deutsche Bücherei, Leipzig GDR, edited by Wolfgang Wächter under the supervision of Helmuth Rötsch, for the General Information Program and UNISIST. Paris: UNESCO), 1989 (PGI-89/WS/14). Includes descriptions of various deacidification techniques.

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"Permanent Paper for State Government Records," by Howard P. Lowell. NAGARA Clearinghouse 6(2), Spring 1990, p. 4-5. Summarizes the legislative picture, national and state, regarding paper for archival records; standards work under ASTM on recycled paper, which began with a meeting April 17; and the recycled paper issue, which is receiving much more attention than the permanent paper issue.

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Helen Shenton reports in Paper Conservation News for May (p. 5) that she visited the conservation department of the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze. The workshop established by Tony Cains after the 1966 flood is still there, with 50 conservators, many part time (down from 120). Much of the backlog of books was damaged by emergency measures, like the wiping of the edges of wet books, which made the contaminated water penetrate the textblock. She was told that none of the structural engineering schemes recommended after the flood have been put into practice.

On the same page is a report of "Dirt and Pictures Separated," a one-day UKIC meeting held on 2nd April, 1990. Much of it looks relevant to general conservation, e.g., the section on the mechanics of deposition of dirt. Preprints are available from the UKIC office: 37 Upper Addison Gardens, London W14 8AJ.

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The Guild of Book Workers Newsletter for June carries, on p. 9-10, a summary by Peter D. Verheyen of Betsy Palmer Eldridge's presentation on "Basic Paper Treatment for Printed Book Materials" at the Ninth Standards Seminar in Portland. Actually, this is only the first half of his report; the rest will appear in August. Very detailed and informative.

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Publication of The Bookbinder, journal of the Society of Bookbinders and Book Restorers, has been delayed because the roof blew off the printer's new building in the January gales in Great Britain.

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Bookbinders International Newsletter, vol. 1 #1, appeared in January 1990. Four of its five pages consisted of an international calendar of bookbinding-related events. It should appear three times a year. The institutions that join B.I. will get it, but there appears to be no way for individuals to get it. Write Paul Gourley, Editor, University of Alabama, Box 870252, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0252, USA.

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Early vs. Modern Handmade Papers: Observations of a Twentieth Century Papermaker, by Timothy Barrett. A limited edition of 150, illustrated, printed letterpress, signed by the author, with five samples of paper made by early methods. Described by the publisher as a "manifesto-like essay" but its relation to the full report published in The Paper Conservator is not clear. (That report was described in the December 1989 issue on P. 152 of this newsletter.) $100 from Silver Buckle Press, College Library, 600 N. Park St., Madison, WI 53706.

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"The Emergence of the Book," by Glenn A. Anderson. College & Research Libraries, March 1988, P. 111-116. The codex was first used for Christian writings, to distinguish them from Jewish and pagan writings, and then adopted by the larger culture. It was not a consequence of increasing use of parchment, as formerly thought. Archaeological evidence of the last century is summarized.

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The Bibliography Newsletter (BiN) for October-December 1989 (received June 1990) reviews three of the six volumes in the Garland "History of Bookbinding & Design" series that have appeared so far. The editor plans to review the whole series in groups. This will be a service to prospective purchasers of these sometims little-known books. The three reprints covered so far are:

Henry Parry - The Art of Bookbinding (1818)
William Matthews - Modern Bookbinding Practically Considered (1889)
S.T. Prideaux - An Historical Sketch of Bookbinding (1893)

BiN is published by The Walrus Press, 32 Trimountain Ave., PO Box 280, South Range, MI 49963, and subscriptions are $20.

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The May 1990 Morocco Bound (quarterly journal for craft bookbinders, published in Australia by the Guild of Craft Bookbinders) has three historical articles: a reprint of the Cobden-Sanderson journals from Aug. 21, 1884, to March 9, 1885, probably selected entries; "Scribes, Scriveners, Paper and Print," by R.F. Abbey, about the nuts and bolts of making manuscript books; and "Memories of the New South Wales Government Printing Office," by Allan Stratton, illustrated with 11 photographs. Write the Editor, c/o Guild of Craft Bookbinders, PO Box 111, Glebe, N.S.W. 2037, Australia.

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Klaus B. Hendriks. The Stability and Preservation of Recorded Images. Reprinted as a separate from Imaging Processes and Materials, Neblette's Eighth Edition, edited by John Sturge, Vivian Walworth and Allan Shepp. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989. Chapter 20 (p. 637-684).

This eighth edition is the first to include a chapter on preservation and stability. Gary Saretsky reviewed it in the July 1990 CAN very favorably, drawing attention to the chapter's format as a literature review, not only of photographic, but of electrostatic and electronically stored images. There are over 500 items in the bibliography. The information in this chapter is so densely packed that it really needs its own table of contents and index.

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Microbial Deterioration of Paper Material--A Literature Review, by Dr. Shashi Dhawan. Lucknow: Government of India, Department of Culture, National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property, Dec. 1986. 18 pp. The bibliography is very international and technical. Excerpts:

It has sometimes been observed that books become mouldy even at a RH of 50-60% which is the recommended RH for keeping paper material.... Book mould therefore is produced first of all by the type of spores requiring very moderate amounts of moisture or by those which are capable of germinating at relatively low humidity.... Strzelczyk and Leznicka (1981) studied succession of micro-organisms on the XVIIth and XIXth century paper and observed that in the XVIIth century paper the first fungi to appear utilized first of all the glutin glue used in the manufacture of paper, e.g. Verticillium sp. This fungus is known to have poor cellulose degrading ability (Gupta and Heale, 1970). Next fungi to appear m the sample had a full set of cellulolytic enzymes (Chaetomium, Trichoderma and Pennicillium sp.). The genera to appear the last were adapted to the utilization of the products of cellulose degradation (Rhizopus and Clodosporim sp.).

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Abstracts, International Conference on Biodeterioration of Cultural Property, 20-25 Feb. 1989, NRLC, Lucknow, India. (Received March 1990). Sponsored by ICCROM and INTACH. 61 pp. + index. 63 abstracts, for papers by Agrawal, Allsopp, Baynes-Cope, Arai and others from nine countries. One of the papers, by Hideo Arai and Toshiko Kenjo, "A Closed-System for Preventing Fungal Growth in Cultural Properties," advocates controlling RH locally by sealing the item with RH buffering paper into a bag of BO-vinylon film. Send inquiries about the availability of the Abstracts to Dr. Shashi Dhawan, Sr. Scientific Officer, National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property, Sector E/3, Aliganj Scheme, Lucknow-226 020, India.

Bibliographies & Other Lists

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ALA Graphics Catalog, Spring/Summer 1990. Includes the posters, bookmarks, toys, stickers and so on, sold by the American Library Association. It is only 27 pages long, but it inadvertently shows six ways to abuse books. On the front cover, a flower vase with water in it is sitting on two books; precarious piles are being carried on three other pages; two scattered piles of books are being chewed and lain upon by lions on p. 12; page 13, 18 and 19 show creatures standing on piles of books; and someone is dancing on a pile of books on p. 19.

Catalogs of books on bookbinding, papermaking and conservation have been received from:

  1. Antiquariaat Frits Knuf, PO Box 720, 4116 ZJ Buren, The Netherlands. Topic: paper. Received June 1990.
  2. Siegl's Fachbuchkatalog: Restaurierung, Konservierung, Denkmalpflege. Write Fachbuchhandlung, Anton Siegl, Postfach 80 17 03, 8000 München 80, West Germany.
  3. Oak Knoll Books, 414 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720 (302/328-7232). Topic: bookbinding. Received June 1990.
  4. Archetype Books, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY. One small section is on paper and books and photographs.
  5. Museum Bookshop Ltd., 36 Great Russell St., London, WC1. Has about 34 books on conservation relevant to books and paper.

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Directory of Information Sources on Scientific Research Related to the Preservation of Books, Paper, and Adhesives. Compiled and published by the Commission on Preservation and Access. Copies available while supplies last; it will also be made available through ERIC (800/227-3742), though the catalog number is not assigned yet, and they do not send out publications without a number. Describes the role of nine organizations or institutions; nine indexes, abstracts and databases; nine publications; and the Preservation Research and Testing Office at the Library of Congress, in the research and information picture.

Nonbook Materials

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Videotape, "Turning to Dust." Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a program in the series, "The Nature of Things," produced by David Murray. 60 minutes. Aired March 14, 1990 in @a, and is expected to be shown on cable channels in this country. VHS, Beta and 3/4" formats. Contact CBC Enterprises, Educational Sales, Box 500, Station A, Toronto, Ont. M5W 1E6 (416/975-3505).

This has a great opening: "Something terrible is happening to books all over the world. They're self-destructing." To illustrate the point, someone opens a book with crumbled brittle pages and blows the bits out onto the floor. But any librarian would see that those paper bits are not the sort one usually comes across in brittle books. They are a plant: someone has put them there as a dramatic device. This device is not bad in itself, but it is used at least four more times in the next hour, which is a bit off-putting.

There are a lot of familiar faces and names here: Marc Reeves, Anna Stenstrom, Hans Rütimann, Tim Barrett, Helen Burgess, Jim Reilly, Paul Banks, Lee Jones, and Barbara Goldsmith. The ways of coping with deteriorating paper and books are reviewed (boxing, filming, strengthening) as well as ways of preventing deterioration (environmental control, deacidification, use of alkaline paper), and there are up-to-date facts and interesting shots like the interior of an old limestone mine in Pennsylvania for storing microfilm.

The closing comments are as dramatic as the opening. They went something like this: "The collective memory of humankind is at stake. Books are where we keep the things we value--our past, our future, ourselves. But now they're proving mortal just like us."

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Set of seven posters, "The Seven Deadly Sins of Book Care," or, "Crimes Between the Covers," silkscreened limited edition produced by McRay Magleby and available for $10 each or $50 a set. Oblong in shape, they are attractive, curious, humorous and serious, with slightly altered medieval illustrations. Sin No. 1 is Pride: Attempting home repairs or not reporting accidental damage. Place orders with Randy Silverman Preservation Department, 6216 HBLL, Brigham Young University', Provo, UT 84602.

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