The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 15, Number 2
Apr 1991


Effectiveness of Commercial Mass Deacidification Studied

The Metropolitan Toronto Chairman's Committee for Preserving Documentary Heritage (CCPDH) announced in February the start of a study to assess the effectiveness of commercial mass deacidification processes on the permanence of various materials. The study will be conducted at the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) of Communications Canada, under the direction of Helen Burgess, Senior Conservation Scientist for Conservation Processes Research. The study will consist of four parts:

Evaluation of the treatment of paper fibers
Influence of prior degradation from pollutants or oxidation Evaluation of media and other materials
Evaluation of protein materials.
Publication details of the study results are to be announced at a later date.

The CCPDH was established in July 1990 by Alan Torks, Chairman of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto in recognition of the brittle book crisis facing libraries and archives. Its ultimate goal is the establishment of a mass deacidification facility at the end of five years. The work is funded by a number of Canadian libraries and other institutions, and by Akzo Chemicals and FMC Corporation.

More Preservation Resolutions for White House Conference

The resolution passed at New York state's conference was printed in the last issue. Since then, resolutions from other to governor's conferences" in Connecticut, Florida and Maryland have been received.

Connecticut's "Policy Recommendation 14P" recommends that "the 1991 General Assembly of the State of Connecticut shall establish by law and fund a State Office for the Preservation of Library and Archival Materials which shall be responsible for preservation training; coordinating statewide preservation activities; and planning and managing a competitive grant funding program, utilizing peer review. Through this program libraries, archives, historical societies, museums and other repositories can apply annually for funds to preserve significant library and archival resources by means of education, conservation treatment, microfilming, and other actions."

Florida's "Consent Resolution #20" urges passage of legislation requiring use of alkaline paper for "all state records and publications, with the exception of those to be updated or amended an a regular basis." Maryland's "Resolution #3" describes the major preservation challenges in repositories (acidic paper, non-paper media, inadequate environment for storage, disasters, and preservation of newspapers and local records stored in public libraries, and recommends that a task force be appointed to formulate a statewide preservation plan.

State Laws on Use of Alkaline Paperr

Medievalists to Hear Papers on Early Books

At the 26th International Congress on Medieval Studies May 9-12, in Kalamazoo (see "Events"), there will be two sessions dealing with books:

Session 115, May 10: Medieval Depictions of Scribes, East and West. (Organizer: R.A. Rosenfeld, Univ. Toronto)

Session 248, May 11: The Use and Abuse of Books. (Organizer: Martha W. Driver, Pace University)

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