The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 17, Number 4
Sep 1993


Literature

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Preservation of Library & Archival Materials: A Manual. Edited by Sherelyn Ogden. Northeast Document Conservation Center, Andover, MA, 1992. $20 + $3.50 postage & handling. Looseleaf format; composed of 37 technical leaflets on about 160 pages, grouped by section dividers under the following headings:

This introductory manual, developed and produced with support from the Institute of Museum Services, provides the "basic, practical information needed to enable non-conservator staff members of libraries and archives to plan and implement sound collection care programs or to incorporate preservation principles into existing collection care programs." Most of the material began life as informational handouts from NEDCC. They were updated and supplemented with additional leaflets to round out the manual. Most of the leaflets were written by staff members, but some were written by non-staff contributing authors.

The addresses of suppliers and sources are remarkably up to date, the advice is sound, and the choice of subjects to cover is well-considered. Some of the more unusual and useful leaflets are the ones on storage furniture (wood vs. metal shelving and drawers, testing new furniture for offgassing, sealants for wood), the book shoe (complete with history and diagrams), and conservation treatment options for various types of materials (what the curator needs to know).

The editing and proofreading is well done, though due to the publishing plan that allows updating of individual leaflets, there is no index. Since the leaflets are copyrighted, and may not be copied without written permission from the publisher, they may be more useful to the individual libraries and archives that own the manual than to information centers that are looking for a source of good handouts; however, NEDCC is committed to dissemination of information, and permission is readily given. For details call Sherelyn Ogden at 508/470-1010. (1H3)

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Records in Architectural Offices: Suggestions for the Organization, Storage, and Conservation of Architectural Office Archives, published by the Massachusetts Committee for the Preservation of Architectural Records. $12 + $3 shipping and handling, from Mass COPAR, PO Box 129, Cambridge, MA 02142. (2.6)

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Mass Deacidification: A Report to the Library Directors. Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), April 1992. 175 pp. $12 + $3 postage and handling from CIC, 302 E. John St., Suite 1705, Champaign, IL 61820 (217/333-8475). This was briefly described on p. 72 of the October 1992 issue of this Newsletter, where the work of the CIC Task Force on Mass Deacidification was summarized. The investigation, which included several test runs with Akzo (the diethyl zinc process) and FMC, explored the effect of the treatment and all the aspects of day-to-day operations. It gathered the information that CIC members needed for setting up their own deacidification programs, which several have done since. Northwestern University has a contract with Akzo and has been shipping loads of books to them every couple of weeks or so for the last year.

Although FMC has not been active lately on the mass deacidification scene, Akzo has refined its method and has about a dozen customers, and Paper Technologies, Inc. (PTI) is playing a larger role than it did last year, so the suppliers are there. Libraries that want to test the waters will find this detailed report helpful, with its discussion of organizational and logistical issues. There is a six-page discussion of selection issues, for instance, and 13 pages of facts on in-house processing costs.

There are three pages on alkaline and permanent paper, which provide background that is by and large reliable, but with a few exceptions. The 1984 ANSI standard for permanent paper is described as requiring a minimum pH of 7.0 (it is 7.5), and applying only to coated paper (it applied only to uncoated paper). Since that was written, however, as fate would have it, the ANSI standard has been revised to cover both coated and uncoated paper, and the core sheet in coated paper is permitted to have a pH as low as 7.0. (2D5)

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Workshop on Electronic Texts, 9-10 June 1992, Library of Congress: Proceedings. Edited by James Daly. Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540, 1992. 118 pp. This workshop was supported by a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the proceedings are actually summaries of the presentations, compiled by James Daly. Authors' abstracts are in an appendix. Another appendix gives the full address, including phone, fax and E-mail address, of presenters and observers. There were 32 presenters, 12 observers, and 25 LC staff attendees. Among the presenters were Anne Kenney, Patricia Battin, Michael Lesk, and LC staff connected with the American Memory project (Carl Fleischhauer and others).

Although everyone at the workshop was interested in preserving and providing access to historical texts, their backgrounds and approaches were diverse. Theyincluded imaging, searchable coded texts, large-scale networks, CD-ROM, conversion from print to electronic form, and use of digital materials by scholars. Almost predictably at this stage, there was more emphasis on access and use than preservation.

Much of the value of this type of workshop is in the way it brings together the reports of experts on recent progress from related fields. The proceedings are rather like a group photograph at a family reunion, showing what everyone looked like on that day. The summaries of the presentations are well-written and lively; they are seasoned with the amazing facts, unpredictable insights and good stories that people at the forefront of any rapidly developing field can provide. The discussion that followed each presentation is also summarized, always a valuable feature in a volume of proceedings.

Patricia Battin's presentation concerned standards, which she sees as a two-edged sword in preservation. There are no real standards in the digital environment, she said. While they are essential to facilitate interconnectivity and access, if they are set too soon they can hinder creativity, expansion of capability, and broadening of access. We need to accept the concept of life cycles in place of permanency in the digital world. No attempt should be made to set library-specific standards; instead she recommended piggybacking on standards under development for the broad market. (2E3)

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State Library of New South Wales Counter-Disaster Manual. Edited by Jim Sinclair. June 1992. 192 pp, permanent paper, plastic comb binding. ISBN 0 7305 8904 8. $35.00 (Aust.) postpaid, from Conservation Access, State Library of N.S.W., Macquarie St., Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia. Checks should be made payable to Library Council of N.S.W. - Conservation Access.

The committee that prepared this manual was stirred to action by the fires at the National Library of Australia and the Los Angeles Public Library. Their draft manual appeared in 1985, and proved useful both in the NSW State Library and in other libraries. This is a revision based on experiences both at home (fire, earthquake and new-building problems) and abroad. It is organized in outline form, with numbers (e.g., 6.1 or 10.2.2.1.3) assigned to each part. There is a detailed table of contents, but no index. Instructions are clear and simple enough to be followed by nonspecialists, with reasonable success, and are quite specific for salvage of each type of material. There are flow charts for contacting people for recovery operations, minor and major disasters, short term actions, long term actions and salvage operations. Most of the literature cited was published in the U.S. It is clear that all items cited are in the NSW State Library, because the call number is furnished for each one. There are 37 people and departments on the distribution list for the manual.

The manual looks good. It has obviously not been cribbed from other manuals, but shows the signs of original work. Like any manual, it will do the most good if it is used with regular training sessions for library personnel, including building maintenance and security personnel. (2F3)

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Nonchemical Treatment Processes for Disinfestation of Insects and Fungi in Library Collections, by Johanna Wellheiser. K.G. Saur, Munich, Paris, London & New York, 1992. (IFLA Publications 60) ISBN 3-598-21788-9. 118 pp. K.G. Saur has since been bought by Reed Reference Publishing, New Providence, NJ, and the book may be purchased from them for $45 + $4.75 shipping and handling. Reed also has offices in Los Angeles, Munich, London and New York, but headquarters are in New Providence (800/521-8110).

The preparation of this book was made possible by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and the Council on Library Resources, and facilitated by the Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library. It is remarkably well-researched and organized, not for use as a guide in case of infestation, but as a description of processes currently available or under development, and a summary of our present state of knowledge. Here is how it is organized:

Agents of Infestation

Integrated Pest Management/Eradication

Review of Commonly-Used Chemical Treatments [These are listed as gaseous, liquid and solid fumigants, and other.]

Nonchemical Treatment Processes [Four main types: Low temperature, high-energy irradiation (gamma), low-energy irradiation (microwave), and modified atmospheres.]

Other Nonchemical Treatment, Control and Prevention Methods [mechanical, heat, special containers, biological controls, environmental control, facility management and collection management and maintenance]

The book is full of otherwise hard-to-find information and answers to questions that we might ask if we knew that answers existed. There is a list on p. 22 of institutions in Canada and the U.S. that now use freezing as an extermination method; on p. 32, there is a discussion of freezing to kill mold (no effect on spores, though repeated cycles using very low temperatures kill part of the exposed population of bacteria, yeasts and fungi); on p. 43, minimal effective doses of gamma radiation are discussed (4-18 kGy for fungi, 0.25-3 kGy for insects; dose effectiveness is affected by temperature and RH); on p. 82, insect-resistant packaging films are described; and microwave drying of paper after wet treatment or flooding at CNRS in France is discussed on p. 53-54. The author tells who is using which equipment and method, and gives cost estimates for each aspect of each method. A great deal of research has been done in this field, and all of the major relevant work is reviewed here. There is a glossary and a 27-page list of references. There is no index, but because the material is organized so well under headings and subheadings, it hardly seems necessary. (2H)

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Preprints, ICOM Committee for Conservation, 10th Triennial Meeting, Washington, DC, 22-27 Aug. 1993. 2 vols., 911 numbered pages. $120 from Allen Press, 1041 New Hampshire St., PO Box 368, Lawrence, KS 66044 (fax 913/843-1244); from ICCROM, 13, Via di San Michele, 00153 Rome, Italy (fax 39 [6] 588-4265); or from James & James, 5 Castle Rd., London NW1 8PR, UK (fax 44 [71] 284-3737). There were 16 papers in the Graphic Documents Working Group, four of which were by Americans or American teams. All but two were in English, and many of them were very good. Some of the topics they dealt with were the effect of pollutants on deacidified paper, bleaching of parchment, the German mass deacidification process, components of iron gall inks, pigment-coated papers (history, technology, effect of solvents), parchment leafcasting, and production and removal of color from oven-aged paper, as well as three treatment case studies.

Other working groups too had papers relevant to book and paper conservation: Lighting and Climate Control (Stefan Michalski's paper, "Relative Humidity: A Discussion of Correct/Incorrect Values," was described in the last issue); Control of Biodeterioration (for example, Vinod Daniel et al., "Nitrogen Fumigation A Viable Alternative"), Scientific Examination of Works of Art (Michael R. Schilling and William S. Ginell, "The Effects of Relative Humidity Changes on Dead Sea Scrolls Parchment Samples"), and Photographic Records (Joyce H. Townsend and Norman H. Tennent, "Color Transparencies: Studies on Light Fading and Storage Stability"). There were 146 papers in all. (3.3)

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Conservation of the Iberian and Latin American Cultural Heritage (Preprints of the IIC 14th International Congress in Madrid, Sept. 1992). £15 /$30 to IIC members, £22.50/$45 nonmembers, postage included, from IIC, 6 Buckingham St., London WC2N 6BA, UK. (3.3)

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Nouvelles de l'ARSAG et du Groupe Documents Graphiques du ComitŽ de Conservation de l'ICOM (Newsletter of ARSAG and the ICOM Committee for Conservation). ISSN 0765-0248. No. 9, July 1993. (arsag=Association pour la Recherche Scientifique sur les Arts Graphiques).

Most of the 38 pages of this newsletter issue are in French: the report of the last meeting, results of a questionnaire, reports of various conferences, summaries of individual papers, literature section and calendar. There is a longish English report, however, of the meeting of the ICOM Working Group on Graphic Documents in Jerusalem in October 1992, and two summaries of papers on parchment conservation; and the bibliographies and events listings are international. Membership for individuals is 100 FF; write A.R.S.A.G., 36, rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 75005 Paris, France. (3.3)

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Adhesive Testing at the Canadian Conservation InstituteÑAn Evaluation of Selected Poly(vinyl acetate) and Acrylic Adhesives, by Jane L. Down et al. (Environment and Deterioration Report No. 1603) Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa, 1992. 30 pp. + 22 tables. (3.73)

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"Preservation Videography: A List of Preservation Videos Available through Inter-Library Loan in Colorado." 15 items, some with brief annotations, on book repair and enclosures, brittle books and paper, conservation binding, disasters and care and handling. Contact Karen Jones (303/275-2214) or Sharon Partridge (303/232-9507; fax 275-2225). (3A)

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"Millimetre Binding: A Report on John Hyltoft's Workshop," by Barbara Rosenberg. CBBAG Newsletter, 10 #4, Winter 1992, p. 3-6. The elegant and economical millimeter binding was created about the time of the Second World War by Henrik Park for thin, small books. The process is described in 25 numbered paragraphs and illustrated with diagrams, a service for readers since there are few if any descriptions of it elsewhere in English. (3A1)

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"Das Anfertigen von Buchschliessen" (Making Closures for Books), by Hermann Imfeld and Ulrich Schlüter. ArbeitsblŠtter des Arbeitskreises Nordrhein-WestfŠlischer Papierrestauratoren, 4. Ausgabe 1992. This issue can be ordered from the Arbeitskreis at: Archivberatungsstelle Rheinland, Abtei Brauweiler, Ehrenfriedstr. 19, W-5024 Pulheim 2, Germany. (3A3.1)

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"Clasps, Schliessen, Clausuren. A Guide to the Manufacture and the Literature of Clasps," by J. Franklin Mowery. Guild of Book Workers Journal, v. XXIX #2, Fall 1991 (published 1993), p. 1-58. The entire issue is taken up by this work, which was 10 years in the making. It is well illustrated with photographs and drawings that show examples of originals and the methods of making replacements.

Fritz Eberhardt, in a letter to the editor of the Guild of Book Workers Newsletter (August issue), has high praise for this treatise, and recommends that it be made available to librarians, collectors and curators "of all shapes and sizes, regardless of race, ethnic background, religion, or gender." (3A3.1)

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Scribes, Script and Books: The Book Arts from Antiquity to the Renaissance, by Leila Avram. Chicago: American Library Association, and London: The British Library, 1991. 308 black & white plates and 52 other illus., 356 pp. $60. ISBN 0-7123-0245-X.

This publication gets a good review from John L. Risseeuw in the Winter 1992 CBBAG Newsletter on p. 12 and 13, where it was reprinted from the Spring 1992 Publishing Research Quarterly. Risseeuw says it is careful and scholarly although it was written for the general reader, and predicts it will be enormously useful for students and others. (3A5)

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Rare and Valuable Government Documents: A Resource Packet on Identification, Preservation, and Security Issues for Government Documents Collections, compiled and edited by Jim Walsh, Barbara Hulyk and George Barnum. ALA Joint Committee on Government Documents as Rare Books, 1993. 120 pp. This is a preservation packet, distributed in the summer of 1993 to all U.S. GPO Depository Libraries. It is not for sale, but may be freely copied, and is expected to appear on the ERIC database this fall. (3A5.3)

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Boxes for the Protection of Rare Books, originally published by the Library of Congress in 1982, is being reissued with permission by Taurus Bookbindery in Berkeley. $23. Contact Klaus Rotzscher at Bookmaking Needs, 665 Third St., Suite 335, San Francisco, CA 94107 (415/546-4168, fax 546-1916). (3A8)

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"Evaluation of Paper Products: With Special Reference to Use with Photographic Materials," by Helen D. Burgess and Carolyn G. Leckie. Topics in Photographic Conservation, vol. 4, 1991, p. 96-105. This is not only a guide to selection of papers and boards for storing photographic materials, but a clear exposition of methods for identifying permanent paper and board in general, with background passages on the rationale of testing and accelerated aging. The reason for specifying very low levels of lignin in paper products to be used with photographs (0.1 to 0.3%) is that photographs are so sensitive to it: lignin gives off peroxides and tends to carry with it both chemically reactive sulphur from the pulping process and chlorine compounds from bleaching.

The authors draw attention to the fact that unbuffered rag board does not qualify as permanent by the ANSI standard for paper permanence. This is mentioned to illustrate the principle that standards should not be used for purposes they are not intended. They give two pages of practical advice (with a list of vague catch phrases that can deceive the unwary buyer) for buying permanent paper products, and then two pages of simple instructions for making and using a special film to get the Russell Effect, which like the Photographic Activity Test can be used to test the suitability of storage materials. When placed in contact with the prepared sensitive film, materials will form an image if they are oxidizing. (3A9.6)

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"Exposure of Deacidified and Untreated Paper to Ambient Levels of Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Dioxide: Nature and Yields of Reaction Products," by Edwin L. Williams II and Daniel Grosjean. J. Amer. Inst. Cons. 31 #2, Summer 1992, p. 199-212. Newsprint and coated bleached chemical pulp paper were exposed to moderate levels of two pollutant gases, SO2 and NO2, under three conditions: untreated, deacidified aqueously, and deacidified nonaqueously. Exposure was at room temperature, shielded from light, at an RH of 60 ± 10%, for up to 29 weeks. Uptake was measured and reaction products were noted. As to which pollutant was absorbed more readily, the authors seem to contradict themselves: they say, "Overall, the paper samples had a substantially larger capacity for uptake of SO2 than for uptake of NO2." This seems fairly straightforward, but it is hard to reconcile with the next statement, which says that it took five times longer for the paper to take up a certain proportion of the SO2 than of the NO2.

The alkaline reserve was not used up in the tests of deacidified samples. It was presumed to be still able to protect the cellulose, but the salt formed as a result of the interaction (in this case, magnesium sulfate) may not be beneficial. Reaction products found were sulfate, nitrate, and nitrite. Newsprint and deacidified paper absorbed more gases than the untreated chemical pulp paper. Oxides of nitrogen (NOx) are seen as a bigger threat than SO2, since they are increasing in the environment and are hard to filter out with existing air filtration methods. (3B1.23)

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"Tintenfrass im Papier: Die Migration der Eisenionen bei konservatorischen Nassverfahren" (Ink Corrosion in Paper: Migration of Iron Salts During Conservation Wet Treatment), by Friederike Heller et al., Restauro 2/93, p. 115-121. A method was found to detect the migration of iron salts while the paper was treated with neutralizing solutions. Inks that were much more acid than the paper did not bleed much, but inks that had pHs close to that of the paper, or higher, did bleed: 40% of the iron salts diffused into the surrounding paper. The recommendation is to treat such papers on the vacuum table. If the ink and paper are about the same pH (within 0.5%), the iron salts can be reduced by boiling the paper in tap water for about 20 minutes. (3B1.9)

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"Chemical Processes in the Bleaching of Paper in Library and Archival Collections," by Michal Durovic and Jiri Zelinger. Restaurator 14 #2, 1993, p. 78-101. This study summarizes the existing knowledge of chromophore systems in historical and modern papers and methods of removing them in the conservation lab by bleaching. (Chromophores are parts of molecules that absorb UV or visible light, thus producing a color in the compound.) Lignin has chromophores of various sorts; chromophores also exist in cellulose, hemicellulose, nonlignin polyphenols and resins. Some of them may act as precursors of oxidation or hydrolysis, so it extends the life of the paper to remove them, provided the right bleach is used. Microorganisms also produce color compounds. 61 refs. (3B2.36)

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"Borhydride--wertvolle Mittel zur Restaurierung von Papier" (Borohydride: A Valuable Aid in Paper Restoration), by Wladislaw Sobucki. Restauro 4/1993, p. 260-263. (In German) Naturally aged paper was bleached by three methods: with sodium borohydride alone, with chloramine-T using sodium borohydride as an antichlor, and chloramine-T using sodium thiosulfate as an antichlor. Then it was deacidified and "structurally supported" with methyl cellulose, and aged in the oven. The borohydride improved the aging qualities of the paper, whether it was used alone or as an antichlor. It was not very effective as a bleach. (3B2.36)

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"Observations on the Drying of Paper: Five Drying Methods and the the Drying Process," by Jane E. Sugarman and Timothy J.Vitale. J. Amer. Inst. Cons. 31 #2, Summer 1992, p. 175-197. The early restraint method, one of five tested on 12 historic papers, was most successful at retaining the original surface texture, and it fixed the paper into a defined shape before it went through the bonding and shrinkage process. Seven stages of drying are described. Stage 5, onset of physical distortion, occurred in all papers at 63 ± 3% solids, which correlated with the start of hydrogen bonding between fibers. (3B2.38)

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"A Study of the Removal and Prevention of Fungal Stains on Paper," by Hanna Szczepanowska and Charles M. Lovett Jr. J. Amer. Inst. Cons. 31 #2, Summer 1992, p. 147-160. Four common species of fungi were grown on paper in the lab, producing their charactristic stains, and solvent treatment and laser irradiation were evaluated for removing them. Two of the solvents are quite effective, but have different action on stains of different species. The authors also investigated the effect of pH, temperature and light on fungal growth and stain production. All four species grew better in light than in the dark. One species grew and developed stains at all pH levels from 5 to 8; the other three produced no stain at or above pH 7. All of them grew well at 25°C, but at 37°C one of them produced more stain and two produced no stain at all. (3B2.39)

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"Using Acrylates and Acrylate-Methyl-Cellulose Mixtures in Lamination of Papers," by Beatrix Kastaly and Erika Turkovics. MŸt‡rgyvŽdelem (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum) 1991, p. 113-116 (in Hungarian). Experiments were carried out in the National Széchényi Library to find an acrylate-methacrylate copolymer, available in Hungary, to reinforce papers by lamination, instead of polyethylene. They tested five copolymers and measured their effects on the pH, flexural strength and whiteness of papers, and the important characteristics of different papers warm laminated with Japanese vellum coated with copolymers. They worked out the technology of cold lamination activated by a mixture of ethyl alcohol and water. Plextol and two other Hungarian-made copolymers turned out to be a suitable lamination material. The first author is at the National Széchényi Library, H-1054 Budapest, Hold u. 6, Hungary. (From the authors' abstract.) (3B2.57)

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"Mineral Reinforcement of Linear Low-Density Polyethylene Film, Bags, and Liners," by Frank A. Ruiz. Tappi Journal 76 #1, Jan. 1993, p. 174-177. A way has been found to fill ("reinforce") polyethylene with 0-20% calcium carbonate. It actually increases the ductile/impact strength and effectively eliminates film blocking, without affecting stiffness or tear strength. It does reduce gloss and increases opacity. (3B3.44)

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"The Great Whatman." (Anonymous, although written in the first person.) The Book Collector 42 #2, Summer 1993, p. 161-184. This is an extensive, informative review of Balston's biography of James Whatman, the 18th-century papermaker. It incorporates a short review of Peter Bower's book on Turner's papers, as a kind of coda. The references to these two books are

The Elder James Whatman, England's Greatest Paper Maker (1702-1759). By J. N. Balston. (J. N. Balston, 1992) 2 vols. ISBN 0 9519505 2 5 (set). £95.

Turner's Papers: A Study of the Manufacture, Selection and Use of his Drawing Papers 1787-1820. By Peter Bower. (London: The Tate Gallery, 1990) 135 pp. ISBN 1 85437 051 1 (cloth), 049 9 (paper).

Balston writes about Whatman with scrupulous attention to facts, both technical and social, which makes his biography a gold mine of information on the history of papermaking. The reviewer says it is a "splendid, engaging (if sometimes maddening), far-ranging book, the first to marry an equally profound knowledge of the history and of the technique of making paper." Whatman the Elder was not only the first papermaker to make wove paper, and probably the inventor as well, but he made the art of papermaking, which was fairly haphazard at the time, considerably more exact--clearing the ground, so to speak, for mechanized papermaking. (3B4)

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