The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 14, Number 8
Dec 1990


Literature

Professional Publications

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The Council on Library Resources has issued its annual report for 1989-90, telling what it has been doing for the last year. Some of it has to do with preservation grants:

  1. $10,000 to the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, to help prepare and produce materials for a campaign to raise funds for the preservation of the New York State Records an Appeal.
  2. $5000 to Brigham Young University for a prototype of a non-damaging book return unit.

There were also three smaller grants.

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"Pens for Museum Documentation," by Pauline Ramsay and David Thomson. Conservation News #43, Nov. 1990, P. 12-14. Sixty-nine pens were tested for resistance to light, water, acetone and IMS (industrial methylated spirits) at the Glasgow Art Gallery, continuing the work of Joyce Townsend and Velson Horie reported earlier this year. "The Pentel Document pen MR205 in black or blue and the GPO Standard PO SP15 pen proved the most suitable of the ball point pens for general all round writing use. The Artline Drawing System, Staedtler Marsmatic 700, Rotring Technical Drawing Ink and the Edding Profipen would be considered suitable for drawing work and labelling. The Artline Calligraphy pen would be particularly suitable for decorative labelling or posters."

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Survey on National Standards on Paper and Ink to be used by the Administration for Records Creation: A RAMP Study with Guidelines." UNESCO General Information Program and UNISIST, Paris, 1987. (PGI-86/WS/22) Prepared by D. L. Thomas. Free from Division of the General Information Programme; Documentation Centre; UNESCO; 7, Place de Fontenoy; 75700 Paris; France. Reports the result of a world survey of national archives. Each country's paper permanence standards are described in fair detail. Regarding inks, it says technology of production has run ahead of standards, and the best way to cope is to have a standard reference ink, like Sweden does, and specify that any ink used has to be at least as resistant to the effects of daylight, air, water and alcohol as the reference ink is.

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"The Effects of Radiation on the Strength of Medical Packaging Papers," by Norwood Keeney and John Walkinshaw. Tappi Journal Oct. 1990, p. 233-236. Samples were exposed to gamma radiation of 2, 4, 6, 8, 12 and 16 Mrad; burst, tear and tensile strengths showed drastic losses and brightness decreased about 10%. The authors attribute the deterioration to charges in the material chemistry rather than a loss and opening of interfiber bond areas. (gamma radiation is sometimes used for disinfestation of archival materials, but has the drawback that it weakens paper, especially if not used together with heat. This paper's value is that it quantifies the loss of strength and brightness.)

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The August Morocco Bound (received here in November) continues its excellent coverage of the history of bookbinding and practical aspects of bookbinding (rough edge gilding, using a plough, removing book plates, keeping bar-king boards from slipping, using Crompton tissue for paper repairs, finishing, and hollow bark with raised bands. (For address see AN p. 75.)

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The American Archivist v.53, for Winter 1990, has two contributions in the "Forum' section responding to, or inspired by, James M. O'Toole's article in the Winter 1989 issue, "On the Idea of Permanence." (James O'Toole is a skeptic about preservation. His position seems to be that nothing needs to be kept forever, and preservation measures are a lot of trouble yielding few benefits.) John Rothman, of the New York Times Company Archives, explains on p. 5-6 some of the kinds of artifactual value, and why they are important. William W. Moss, director of the Smithsonian Institution Archives, calls his four-page humorous contribution "Disposable Archives in the Interactive Global Village of Hypermedia." He starts out seriously enough, Staining the purpose of archives and the challenge of coping with the greatly increased flow of information into them. Maybe he is not using humor. It is hard to tell. He uses more and more poetic devices old and new, and more stream-of consciousness prose, as he goes along, until in the end he is quite incomprehensible. But perhaps his archivist readers will know what he means.

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Spit has been used in conservation for a long time, probably since the beginning. There has even been some research on its effects. The August 1990 Studies in Conservation has a technical note an p. 153-155: "Human Saliva as a Cleaning Agent for Dirty Surfaces," by Paula Romao, Adilia Alarcao and Cesar Viana, who all work in Portugal. They tested it in caparison with other solvents and found that it really did have good cleaning power, which they attributed mainly to the alpha-amylase in it. Another reference turned up in the bibliography on enzymes from the October conference on enzyme treatments: Barbara O'Hoski, "An Investigation into the Composition and Properties of Saliva in Relation to the Surface Cleaning of Oil Paintings." This was a paper presented at the Ottawa Regional Group (of IIC-CG?) meeting, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Dec. 16, 1976.

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The proceedings of the First National Conference on Book Arts in the USA have been published, and are available for $14 before Dec. 31, + postage & handling $2, from Center for Book Arts, 626 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 (212/460-9768). New York residents have to add $1.15 tax.

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Two sad stories have been published about the destruction of libraries in time of war or civil unrest. The June 18 issue of the LC Information Bulletin describes the almost total loss of the Central University Library in Bucharest, Romania. With 300,000 volumes, it had been Romania's largest library. When Ceausescu's secret police holed up in it, the building took a lot of gunfire and was set on fire. Donations are being accepted by the ALA/Romanian Relief Fund to rebuild the library.

"Dateline: Kampala, Uganda," by Peggy Johnson (in Technicalities, Oct. 1990, p. 5-8) describes the early promise of Uganda and the chaos that ensued when Idi Amin came to power in 1971. The library at Makerere University in Kampala, once an important center of research and education for Africa, was looted and largely destroyed; there has been virtually no maintenance attention for 20 years; salaries are abysmal, but librarians try to carry on.

Museum News for November/December 1990 has a letter to the editor from the director of the San Houston Museum, telling readers that under international law, the forces are required to protect and respect the cultural property in an area where hostilities are taking place. Within the Army, he says, this responsibility is assigned to the Arts, Monuments, and Archives teams of civil affairs units, which are willing to work with the institution to set up an emergency response plan and possibly assist in recovery operations. Anyone interested in doing this is invited to contact him: John M. Manguso, Headquarters, Fifth United States Army and Fort San Houston, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-5000.

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Proceedings of the International Symposium: The Stability and Conservation of Photographic Images: Chemical, Electronic and Mechanical. Bangkok, Thailand Nov. 3-5, 1986. Co-organized by the SPSE, Chulalongkorn University's Department of Photographic Science and Printing Technology, and Kodak (Thailand) Ltd. $35 + $3.50 P&H ($4.50 outside the U.S.) from SPSE, 7003 Kilworth Lane, Springfield, VA 22151 (703/642-9090). 210 pp.

There were 25 papers on all kinds of photographic and electronic images, including hologram , from 22 speakers who came from nine countries. Many of the papers were clear and simple summaries of the state of the art. Speakers included Charleton C. Bard, Leonard Ravich, Klaus Hendriks, and Alan Calmes. Recommended.

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"Humidity Dependence of Deterioration in Acetate and Nitrate Base Film," by P.Z. Adelstein, J.M. Reilly, D.W. Nishimura and C. Erbland. Paper #8 in the 132nd SMPTE Technical Conference and Equipment Exhibit, Oct. 13-17, 1990, New York City: "Film and Television-One World?" The proceedings of the meeting are not available as a single volume, but the entire packet of loose papers can be ordered for $95 (single papers $3 each) from Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, 595 W. Hartsdale Ave., White Plains, NY 10607 (914/761-1100).

The Adelstein et al. paper reports some of the results from a very large research program on six kinds of film bases, involving accelerated aging at five temperatures and four relative humidities, and measurement of several base properties, as well as emulsion properties. In this paper they say expected film life improved 2 to 10 times when the film was incubated at 20% RH rather than 50% RH--but in a subsequent phone call, James Reilly said that they feel that estimate was too conservative. It should be 4 to 10 times. This applies both to the emulsion and the film base. The first sign of base degradation appeared to be base acidity. Nitrate film did not become unstable when it was in good condition and stored at lowered RH, so it need not be given automatic first priority for copying. For maximum permanence, an RH of 20% to 30% is recommended.

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SPSE's Third International Symposium on Image Conservation (June 17-20, 1990, Rochester) had 31 papers by speakers both familiar and unfamiliar. $35 + $3.50 postage & handling from SPSE, 7003 Kilworth Lane, Springfield, VA 22151.

The proceedings of the Second Corrosion in 1985 are on sale for $15 (down from $20).

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Topics in Photographic Preservation, v.3, 1989, has been published and is available for $20.50 from the American Institute of Conservation, Suite 340, 1400 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20036. Papers deal with photo enclosures, water-damaged photographs, microwaves for drying, adhesive testing, "yellow sticky tabs," toning solutions and other topics.

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"Intellectual Access to Graphic Information" is the title of the Spring 1990 issue of Library Trends, which is edited by Mark E. Rorvig. Most of it consists of descriptions of computerized systems that can handle images, but the first article describes the Art and Architecture Thesaurus and how it has been put together: "Developing a New Thesaurus for Art and Architecture," by Toni Peterson, P. 644-658.

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The edited proceedings of the October 1988 TAPPI Paper Preservation Symposium have appeared, and are available for a reasonable price: $58 for TAPPI members, $88 others. The 35 papers are grouped into the following categories:

Congressional voices (3 papers)
Preservation concerns (10 papers)
Testing and monitoring of paper aging (6 papers)
Alkaline papers (5 papers)
Book preservation technologies (11 papers)

The title is Paper Preservation: Current Issues & Recent Developments, and the editor is Phil Luner. Order number is 01 01 R175; ISBN 0-89852-500-4. order from TAPPI Press, PO Box 105113, Atlanta, GA 30348-5113 (1-800/332-8686).

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Paper--Art & Technology, Based on presentations given at the International Paper Conference held in San Francisco, March 1978. Paulette Long, Editor. World Print Council, San Francisco, 1979. Still in print. $13 + $2 postage & handling from: Attn: Paulette Long, World Print Council, 1275 Greenwich St. #504, San Francisco, CA 94109 (415/931-3182).

Reliable and well-written, this book explains the technical mysteries of paper clearly without compromising accuracy.

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Papermaking in England 1488-1988, by Dr. Richard Hills. 249 pp. $35 & P&H from The Athlone Press, 171 First Ave., Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716 (201/872-1441). Printed an acidic paper made by Tullis Russell & Co.

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"Indoor Air Quality," by Raelyn Clark. ASTM Standardization News, Nov. 1990, P. 44-50. Toxins, bacteria, gases and fine particulates build up inside tight buildings as a result of stoves, building materials, paints, copy machines, cafeterias, underground garages and consumer products. Radon is one of the most hazardous and prevalent contaminants. Congress is proposing legislation (H.R. 1530 and S. 637) calling for more research, demonstrations, surveys and studies, and would authorize $48,500,000 a year to do this work and create health advisories. Implementation is problematical and the bill is controversial, though the EPA has said that indoor air pollution is a much more dangerous concern than hazardous waste, based on population risks. ASTM could help by drawing up standards.

The bill is called the 1989 Indoor Air Quality Act.

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"The Library Environment and the Preservation of Library Materials," by Carolyn L. Harris and Paul N. Banks. Facilities Manager, Fall 1990, P. 21-24. An article written at the instigation of the Commission on Preservation and Access to increase communication between physical plant and library and archives staffs. Copies of the magazine are available for $5.00 from APPA, Attn: Publications, 1446 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314-3492.

The article covers all the aspects of preservation that concern both the facilities manager and the curator, and contains much sound information, but is so condensed that it is vague and misleading in places. For instance, control of silverfish and cockroaches (but no other pests) is recommended by preventive extermination when necessary in an integrated pest control program. This sounds like an invitation to spray regularly, which is what they do too much of already. High temperature and humidity are given as the cause of mold, but there is no indication of how high is too high. (The best way to communicate with technical people is to be specific, providing numbers and facts where possible.) Sprinklers are described not as effective fire suppression mechanism, but as controversial systems; it gives the impression that we are ambivalent about them, and do not rely heavily on them to protect our collections. This serves notice, in effect, that we won't complain much if maintenance work on them is neglected.

Standards & Practical Guides

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"The Preservation and Restoration of Paper Records and Books: A RAMP Study with Guidelines," by Carmen Crespo and Vicente Vinas. Available without charge from Division of the General Information Programme, UNESCO, 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75700 Paris. 115 pp. 1985.

Chapter 1, a general and historical introduction, damages the credibility of the authors by its inaccuracy. Its description of the manufacture of paper from mechanical pulp has the mechanical pulp being washed and drained in the hollander beater, where chlorine bleach and "alum-rosin based size" are added. It calls lignin an acid, and makes no mention of peroxide bleach for groundwood pulp.

The rest of this manual is more realistic, but still not state of the art. Its descriptions of storage containers, insect control and paper bleaching are reminiscent of 1972 vintage conservation.

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ACRL Guidelines for the Security of Rare Book, Manuscript, and Other Special Collections is available for $1 MO a self-addressed, stamped envelope from the ACRL Office, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611.

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Preservation Organization & Staffing, by Jutta Reed-Scott. ARL Office of Management Services SPEC Kit #160. (A SPEC Kit is a book compiled from documents from different libraries.) Includes organization charts, position descriptions and planning documents. $30 ($20 to ARL members) from ARL, 1527 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036. 135 pp. Published Jan. 1990.

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"Ideas for Preservation Fund Raising" is a support package for libraries and archives developed by the Commission on Preservation and Access. $10 from the Commission, 1785 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 313, Washington, DC 20036. Make cheeks out to Commission on Preservation and Access.

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"Planning, Equipping and Staffing an Archival Preservation and Conservation Service--A RAMP Study with Guidelines," by Michael Roper. Paris, UNESCO, 1989 (PGI-89/WS/4). 78 PP.

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Ephemera: Its Collections, Conservation and Use, by Chris E. Makepeace. 1985. 256 pp. $59.95 from Gower Publishing, Old Post Road, Brookfield, VT 05036 (802/276-3162). The author's specialty is ephemera and history, not conservation.

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A Manual of Sound Archive Administration, by Alan Ward. 288 pp. $59.95 from Gower Publishing, Old Post Road, Brookfield, VT 05036 (802/276-3162). Chapter 6 is on conservation. The author is Coordinator for the National Sound Archive, London.

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Revised editions have appeared of the following publications: Chemicals in Conservation, by Amanda Clydesdale; £24 plus postage from Paul Wilthew, SSRC Treasurer, West Latch, Haddington, East Lothian, EH41 4JN, Scotland. The Life of a Photograph: Archival Processing, Matting, Framing and Storage, by Laurence Keefe and Dennis Inch; 939.95 from Butterworths; 400 pp. The National Fire Protection Association has a revised draft of its fire protection standards for libraries and museums, which it expects to adopt in April; for information call NFPA, 800/344-3555.

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Preserving Knowledge: The Case for Alkaline Paper.. Revised August 1990. Published by the Association of Research Libraries, in collaboration with the American Library Association, Commission on Preservation and Access, and National Humanities Alliance. Soft cover, about 70 pages, reprinting 27 articles and fact sheets under the following headings:

Overview and Background
Paper Industry Developments
Library Community Initiatives
Author and Publisher Support
Federal and State Government Responses
Standards
Fact Sheets

This publication, a revision and enlargement of an information packet of the same name published in 1988, has been distributed to key individuals in the scholarly and library communities, the publishing industry, the paper industry, and local and federal government offices. $9 to members, $18 nonmembers. Prepaid orders nay be sent to Association of Research Libraries, 1527 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036.

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Kenneth Harris et al. National Archives Preservation Research Priorities: Past and Present. Technical Information Paper - TIP 07 NTIS PB90-206210. Washington, National Archives, 1990.

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The guide to the Library Binding Institute Standard for Library Binding is out, and it costs $17.50. Order from ALA Publishing Services, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL. 60611. ISBN 8389-33912.

Bibliographies & Other Lists

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"Enzyme Treatments: The Science " the Applications in Conserving Artistic and Historic Works. A Selected Bibliography 1940-1990," prepared by Elizabeth Morse for the seminar sponsored by Technology & Conservation and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum, Oct. 26-28, 1990. This seminar was important, filled with reports of ongoing research, and attended by 207 people from various branches of conservation. Since most speakers were planning to publish their research elsewhere later on, the proceedings will not be published and were not even recorded. This bibliography, and the program with speakers' topics and names (to appear in a later issue of this Newsletter) will be the best record of the event.

The bibliography is 17 pages long, with 170 references grouped under seven headings, as follows:

1. General enzyme references - 29
2. General conservation references 5
3. Object conservation - 8
4. Painting conservation - 26
5. Paper conservation - 51
6. Photographic conservation - 3
7. Textile conservation - 48
A. General/Treatment
B. Desizing

Copies of this bibliography are available for $2.75 from Abbey Publications.

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Solvents and nonsolvents for 26 polymers, including PVA, are listed on p. 202 of the November Tappi Journal. For PVA it gives benzene, chloroform methanol, acetone, and butyl acetate as solvents, and diethyl ether, petroleum ether and butanol as nonsolvents. Other polymers listed, besides PVA, are cellulose, cellulose triacetate, polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC, methyl cellulose, polyamides and uncrosslinked polyurethanes. Copies free for SASE from Abbey office.

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Collections Care: A Selected Bibliography. Based on the Collections Care Information Service, a project of the National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property (NIC), supported by the IMS and the Bay Foundation. 119 pp. $15 for nonmembers of NIC, + $5 postage, from NIC, 3299 K St., NW, Suite 403, Washington, DC 20007 (202/625-1495). The field of book and paper conservation is fully represented. The references, annotated by national experts and followed by information for ordering (often from NIC, which wants to facilitate their distribution), are grouped under the following headings:

General information: Planning and documentation Basic collections care
Architectural conservation
Collections management: Law, ethics and policies
Collections storage Emergency preparedness and response
Environmental control: Illumination
Environmental control: Pest management
Environmental control: Pollution
Environmental control: Temperature and relative humidity
Exhibitions and packing for shipment
Informatics of documentation
Safety & health

Each section is introduced by an outstanding conservator familiar with that subject area. The literature is professional, not popular or watered down.

A related publication, Collections Care: A Basic Reference Shelflist, contains 1600 entries (four times as many as this one) and is available from the same source for $25 + postage. It may not be organized the same way as this one.

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Siegl's Fachbuchkatalog: Restaurierung, Konservierung, Denkmalpflege is a bookseller's catalog. About half of the books it lists that are of interest to book and paper conservators are in English. 88 pp. For a copy, write Anton Siegl, Fachbuchhandlung GmbH, Postfach 80 17 03, 8000 München 80, W. Germany.

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The British Library, Humanities and Social Sciences, New Titles 1991, lists the following books, among others:

Scribes, Scripts and Books, by Leila Avrin (£35.50)- 1991
The Doves Bindery, by Marianne Tidcombe (£75) - 1991
Bookbinders of Victorian London 1837-1901, by Maurice Packer (£40) - 1991
The Bookbindings of T.J. Cobden-Sanderson, by Marianne Tidcombe (£6O) - 1984

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"Preservation Education Directory," 6th ed., tells where preservation is being taught in library schools in the U.S. ISBN 0-8389-7422-8. $5 from ALA Order Dept., 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611.

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Encyclopedia of Printing, Photographic and Photomechanical Processes. 2 v.; total of 1500 processes. $38/vol. From Luis Nadeau, Luis Nadeau Atelier, PO Box 1570, Station A, Fredericton, NB E3B 5G2, Canada (506/452-7662; fax 506/4502718). Recommended by Hilary Kaplan.

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Kirk-Othmer Concise Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. A 1,300-page abridgement of the 26-volune 3rd ed. Published 1985. Available for $59.95 + tax & P&H, from Wiley Professional Books-by-Mail, John Wiley & Sons, PO Box 6793, Dept. 0663, Somerset, NJ 08875-9977. Available till June on a 15-day trial basis at no charge. Paperbound.

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Preservation and Access Technology. The Relationship between Digital and Other Media Conversion Processes: A Structured Glossary of Technical Terms. This is a report of the CPA's Technology Assessment Advisory committee, the second in a series of three. Words are arranged by subject, with an alphabetical index in the back. Main subjects are: The original document, The selection process, The preserved copy, and Sources of information. Definitions do not necessarily reflect contemporary usage: for instance, instead of the tem "word" they use "text object," and "graphs" are defined as "line art objects consisting of representations of the interrelationships of data in pictorial form." The definition of "durability" is not good-. "Durability refers to certain lasting qualities with respect to folding and tear resistance." However, the term related to digital and other conversion processes may be better thought out. The book should be a help to people from the book and paper world who want to communicate with technical types.

Nonbook Materials

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The videotapes of the four presentations at the GBW seminar on Standards of Excellence (which were said to be truly excellent) are available for $25 + postage & handling from Istor Productions, 7549 N. Fenwick, Portland, OR 97217. Write for catalog of tapes from previous seminars. This year they were on:

Technique & Logic in German Bookbinding (Frank Mowery)
Edge-to-Edge Doublures (Monique Lallier)
The Use of Linen in Rebacking Leather Bound Books (James Brockman)
French Onlays (Kirstin Tina Miura)

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Symposium tapes from the May symposium in Chicago, "Grant Writing, Fundraising and Management Strategy for Conservation Programs," are available for $35. Contact Barry R. Bauman, Director-Painting Conservator, Chicago Conservation Center, 730 N. Franklin, Suite 701, Chicago, IL 60610.

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Preservation Problem of Electronic Text and Data, by Michael Day. 192 pp. ISBN 0 948040 05. £1O from EMBLA Publications Officer, Pilkington Library, Loughborough University, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, England.

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The tapes of sessions at the SAA meeting in August are available for $16 each prepaid, from Convention Recordings International, Inc., PO Box 1778, Largo, FL 34649-1778 (813/581-2196). The sessions are listed in the November SAA Newsletter.. Those relating to preservation are:

4. The Sound of Silence: Preservation Problem of Archival Sound Recordings. Chaired by Elizabeth Schaaf.
8. Preservation: Why Bother? Point-Counterpoint. Philip Mason, Ch.
14. Schools of Thought: Training Preservation Personnel for Archives. Edward Weldon, Ch.
39. oversize Records: Options for Preservation. Karen Garlick, Ch.
50W. Preservation Microfilming Workshop. Mary Elizabeth Ruwell, Ch.
58. Plan or Perish: Developing Disaster Contingency Plans. Pearl Holford, Ch.
68. After the Disaster: Case Studies of Recovery Efforts. Gregor Trinkaus-Randall, Ch.

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"Basic Conservation Procedures," a 25-mirmte videotape that includes two slide-tape programs ("Storage and Handling: and "Environmental Controls"), is available for $42.75 from University Products (800/628-1912) and can be borrowed from the Nebraska State Historical Society, 1500 R St. Box 82554, Lincoln, NE 68501 (402/471-4777) for $8 outside Nebraska, free within Nebraska. A review copy has been seen at the Newsletter office; it is a good buy.

For a Wider Audience

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Preserving your Paper Collectibles, by Demaris C. Smith. 184 pp., paperbound. $14.95 from Betterway Publications, PO Box 219, Crozet, VA 22932 (804/823-5661). There are 11 chapters on various kinds of collectibles, with a section on preservation in each chapter. This author obviously exerted herself to research her topic thoroughly, but it is just as obvious that her specialty is collecting, not preservation. Given this handicap, she wrote a remarkably accurate historical and technical introduction, with only a couple of errors (of omission or commission) per page-but readers who care about their collections deserve better than that. The little sections on preservation in each chapter are on about the same level as the technical and historical introduction-i.e., inadequate. The chapter on comic books, for instance, says nothing about keeping them from light and air (which are the most important causes of deterioration for groundwood papers).

Why does every author of such books feel their publication needs a historical and a technical introduction? Both types of introduction are very hard if not impossible to write well, unless the author has had professional training in the subject. They should ask specialists to write them, or reprint a stock chapter from an existing publication, with the permission of the publisher. This would avoid polluting the reader's mind with errors and inaccuracies that only have to be unlearned later.

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A facsimile of the Book of Kells is being prepared by Fine Art Facsimile of Lucerne, Switzerland. It will be expensive, to judge by the price of $95 they have put on two sample pages, which came with a 16-page brochure. A $15 video, showing how the facsimile edition was produced, is available too. Credit card holders may place their order by phone in Switzerland, 41/41/511571. Or write The Librarian, Trinity College, Library, Dublin 2, Ireland.

It is not wise to be too scornful of facsimiles. After all, the Renaissance was ushered in by a new awareness of Greek art, and a passion for copying it in Italy. More recently, the Arts and Crafts Movement led many craftsmen to adopt the supposed values and methods of working, even the styles and symbolism, of medieval craftsmen. A case could be made that what matters is not the product, but how well the heightened esthetic sensibilities of the viewer or public demanding the art are satisfied, because it is this sensibility that will nourish the next generation of artists and craftsmen.

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Three separate readers have noticed and sent in a big black ad from International Paper, showing a microphotograph of the limestone that is supposedly in their Springhill paper. It certainly is striking. There is one problem, though: International Paper doesn't use ground limestone in their papers. They use precipitated calcium carbonate, which looks different and is not even made from limestone, but from carbon dioxide, water and quicklime (CaO). The ad says:

You're looking at a way to beat the ravages of age. It's limestone, source of calcium carbonate, a major ingredient in our Springhill Opaque offset paper. Ordinary paper is acid based, so it starts to turn brown and brittle in a couple of years [sic]. Springhill Opaque is alkaline so it will stay white and supple for a century or more. Limestone chemically converted into pure consistent microcrystals of calcium carbonate makes the difference. We think it's one of the brightest moves we've ever made.

You can't just brush off this mistake, because other advertising and educational material put out by the same company makes a point of saying that they chose to use precipitated calcium carbonate because it is less abrasive and makes the paper more opaque. What lesson can International Paper and other companies draw from this big goof? Probably everyone would suggest a different lesson. Certainly if someone had educated the advertising staff about the company's ongoing conversion to alkaline production, the ad would have corresponded better to reality.

International Paper's limestone ad deserves credit, though, for stressing permanence, and will make a lot more people aware that longer-lasting paper is out there. Another IP ad for the same line of papers (Springhill) is even better. It appears in the In-Plant Printer and shows a standing, open case with a piece of paper in it, and the message, "we don't price our paper according to shelf life.... Good thing.... Alkaline paper withstands yellowing and deterioration four times longer than acid paper…"

Even a supplier, GK Carbonate (which supplies precipitated calcium carbonate to paper mills), is advertising permanence. It had a full-page ad in PIMA Magazine, picturing an illuminated manuscript, with the legend, "An object of beauty should be a joy forever..."

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The Whole Earth Review for Fall 1989 has an ad for archival storage materials available from a real archival supplier, University Products. Richard Peek, who sent in a photocopy of the ad, speculates whether this is a sign that the grass roots preservation effort is spreading to the counterculture.

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