The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 17, Number 7
Dec 1993


The classification numbers at the end of each entry indicate the subject under which the original is filed, and permit sorting of entries from different issues into a single list to make a classified annotated bibliography. Alphabetical and classified indexes will be published for 1994.

1=General matters related to preservation and conservation
3=Conservation; materials
4=Entities (specific organizations and people)
5=Information & automation
6=Related fields (chemistry, etc.)


Over the past two and a half years, the Commission on Preservation and Access (CPA) has been responding to the preservation community's expressed need to identify and encourage research on selected topics related to preservation. The 20-member CPA Preservation Science Council has identified six projects, and issued descriptions of three of them:

Effect of Lignin on Paper Permanence

Temperature and RH Dependence of Paper Deterioration

Phase I of Research to Support the Archival Management of Materials Created on Magnetic Media

All three include a statement of the problem, and justification for the project; two also include "deliverables," and project or experimental design. The background furnished in each document varies by the nature of the project. None of the projects has been "adopted" by researchers yet, but the CPA is circulating the documents widely, hoping to stimulate interest and action.

The seven-member committee that worked on the lignin project apparently did not know about the research project planned by the ASTM Institute for Standards Research (ISR). An ISR invitational seminar to plan a comprehensive research program is planned for July 6-8. It will cover many, but not all, of the points in the project description.

The description of the temperature and RH project has a section on "Research to Date," but cites only one paper, and says that the scientific information gathered to date has proved "inconsistent and inadequate for the purpose of achieving national consensus." The authors want more practical guidance; they want to be able to demonstrate cost/benefit ratios for different conditions, so that they can justify, for example, the expenses of adequate HVAC systems. They are also impatient to see publication of the ANSI national standard on storage environments, after more than 10 years in the works. (It is apparently stalemated in committee for the foreseeable future.) The projected study design includes five different kinds of paper: one groundwood paper, three sulfite papers, and one CTMP paper. It is not clear why kraft paper was excluded, since nearly all printing and writing paper today is made of kraft pulp.

The project description for magnetic media lists six large research libraries and three major audiovisual archives and professional associations that consider magnetic media among their most pressing problems, and goes on to list 18 types of problems associated with magnetic media. It admits that research on these and other problems has been, and is being, carried out, but rightly says, "One of the key issues is our inability to interpret or translate the results of research and to apply those results to solving problems in our institutions. . . . Information that may be useful to librarians and archivists is buried in the technical journals and industry literature which is generally beyond the communications mainstream of the library and archives communities."

[Comment: They have a point. The Department of Agriculture has an outreach program to turn research results into practical recommendations for farmers, so there is a precedent for this function. Ed.] (1A3)


How to Choose the Proper Sample Size, by Gary G. Brush. (ASQC Statistics Division, Basic References in Quality Control: Statistical Techniques, Vol. 12) 1988. 115 pages. ISBN 0-87389-050-7. Soft cover. Item T3512. $30.50 + $4 postage and handling to nonmembers of the American Society for Quality Control; call 800/248-1946, or write ASQC Customer Service Department, PO Box 3066, Milwaukee, WI 53201-3066. (1A5)


A Primer on Disaster Preparedness, Management, and Response: Paper-based Materials. Selected reprints issued by Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and Records Administration, Library of Congress, and National Park Service, Oct. 1993. Loose-leaf format, [38] pages.

Each of the four institutions has agreed to distribute copies to colleagues, as long as the supply lasts. Contents are not copyrighted, and can be reproduced at will. In fact, recipients are encouraged to distribute copies as widely as needed, and to suggest other topics for consideration. Ideas (and, presumably, requests for copies) can be sent to: Preservation Directorate, Library of Congress, LMG 21, 101 Independence Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20540-4500.

The Library of Congress contributed 13 pages of extracts from the unpublished revised text of Peter Waters' booklet, Procedures for Salvage of Water-Damaged Library Materials. The revision is dated July 1993. The Smithsonian contributed its 12-page staff disaster preparedness procedures, the Archives its 2-page Emergency Salvage of Flood Damaged Family Papers, and the National Park Service its 3-page Conserve O Gram, "Mold and Mildew: Prevention of Microorganism Growth in Museum Collections." (2F3)


"Mit Mikrowellen gegen holzzerstörende Organismen?" by W. & A. Unger. Restauro, 6 (Nov.-Dec.) 1993, p. 383. Several firms have begun to offer a new way to control insects and mold in wooden statues: microwaves. One of the challenges is to achieve the same dose throughout the object. (2H3.3)


Nearly the whole issue (18 pages) of the Binders' Guild Newsletter for January is taken up with the topic of sharpening edge tools. It reprints Frank Hippman's three-part article on the subject from the Society of Bookbinders Newsletter and a passage from Edith Diehl's manual, and refers to a previous article in the BGN by Tom Conroy. (3.77)


Ancient and Medieval Book Materials and Techniques (Erice, 18-25 Sept. 1992). Edited by Marilena Maniaci and Paola F. Munafò. 2 v. (Studi e Testi 357-358) Città del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1993. v.1: ISBN 357-882100650/6. v.2: ISBN 358-882100651/4. Many illustrations, some in color. 400,000 lira (about $243). Printed on alkaline paper. On verso of t.p.: "This work is the result of the collaboration between the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and the Istituto centrale per la patologia del libro." Probably the work can be ordered from either organization, but the order card that comes in the book bears the simple address "Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 00120 Città del Vaticano."

This neat and elegant pair of paperbound volumes contains the edited proceedings of the Erice conference, the preprints for which were described in the August 1993 Abbey Newsletter on p. 45-46. Seven of the 22 papers and the "Closing Words" are in English, but the rest are in French, the international language of codicology. The authors are from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, England, the Netherlands, Spain, and Canada, but none from the U.S. Most of the authors are from Italy.

There is a great deal of material on parchment (mostly in Vol. I) and illuminations (in Vol. II), with detailed analyses of specific documents: the index of manuscripts cited is 18 pages long.

Some of the papers that discuss ancient inks are:

"Particle-Induced X-Ray Emission with an External Beam: A Non-Destructive Technique for Material Analysis in the Study of Ancient Manuscripts," by P. Del Carmine et al.

"Recherches sur la composition des encres utilisées dans les manuscrits grecs et latins de l'Italie méridionale au XIe siècle," by P. Canart et al.

"La description des matériaux des manuscrits Hébreux: Vingt-cinq ans d'expérience," by Monique Zerdoun Bat-Yehouda--Colette Sirat

Paper is discussed in the following papers:

"Les papiers non filigranés. Etat présent des recherches et perspectives d'avenir," by J. Irigoin

"Une enquête sur le papier de type 'arabe occidental' ou 'espagnol non filigrané'," by P. Canart et al.

"L'utilisation du papier dans le livre italien à la fin du Moyen Âge," by P. Busonero et al.

"La description des matériaux des manuscrits Hébreux: Vingt-cinq ans d'expérience," by Monique Zerdoun Bat-Yehouda--Colette Sirat

The papers about bookbindings are in the second volume:

"Le recensement des reliures anciennes conservées dans les collections publiques de France. Réflexions sur une méthode de travail," by D. Grosdidier de Matons, Ph. Hoffmann and J. Vezin

"English Monastic Bookbindings in the Twelfth Century," by Chris Clarkson

"A Census of Medieval Bookbindings: Early Examples," by C. Federici and F. Pascalicchio

"A Research on Structural Elements of Byzantine Bookbindings," by K. Houlis

And, finally, a 90-page comparative study of the structure of the codex in Italy in the eleventh century, by Francesco Bianchi et al., comparing various features (e.g., proportions) according to the manuscript's country of origin. (3A5.3)

Video Preservation: Securing the Future of the Past, by Deirdre Boyle (New York: Media Alliance, 1993). This publication is available from the Society of American Archivists for $24 (nonmembers) or $20 (members), plus $5.75 shipping; call SAA Publications at 312/922-0140, ext. 21. The announcement in Archival Outlook does not say how many pages it has, but it apparently includes a lot of material, including information on common questions, ideas for funding, a report on collaborative preservation techniques, a survey of video collections, a list of facilities that clean and remaster videotape, a symposium report, a glossary and a bibliography. (3G1)

The Council on Library Resources, established in 1956 "to address the problems of libraries," has played a seminal role in preservation, as its annual report for 1993 makes clear. On page 19, the Council's new emphasis on total quality management (TQM) is described. This is relevant to preservation in the sense that good library management makes good preservation possible. On p. 23, the Council's support of NISO standards work is mentioned; on p. 24, of the Vosper fellows (Mark Roosa, Marc Walckiers, Johanna Wellheiser, Michele Cloonan, Wendy Smith and others). Preservation projects receiving support from the Council are described on p. 27: a collection management and condition survey of materials in college libraries (by Janet Gertz, Charlotte Brown and others); Lois Olcott Price's manuscript on the fabrication and preservation of American architectural drawings to 1930; and USAIN's national program to preserve agricultural literature, using a plan drafted by Nancy Gwinn. Three publications resulting from Council-sponsored preservation projects are among those listed on p. 30-32; and four ongoing preservation grants are among those listed on p. 36-40.

The history of the Council is told in a 16-page insert on lavender-colored paper, entitled "The Council on Library Resources: Shaping a Foundation for the Future." Pages 13 to 16 are a "Selected Chronology of Projects." Eleven of the projects are important events in library preservation: 1957, First grant to William J. Barrow and the Barrow Laboratory; 1961, CLR begins long-term support of ANSI Committee Z39, with its subcommittee on paper permanence; 1965, Establishment of the National Register of Microform Masters; 1966, Grant to enable Richard Smith to develop a nonaqueous deacidification method; 1973, New England Document Conservation Center established with CLR funding; 1985-88, Standard on permanent paper published; initial funding for MAPS; the CLR Committee on Preservation and Access publishes Brittle Books, and becomes a separate commission; IFLA core program for Preservation and Conservation launched with CLR help; CLR cosponsors production of Slow Fires; and CLR funds establishment of the IFLA Fellows program to support IFLA's international programs, including preservation. (4B)


"More than a Library for Congress: Making LC the Nation's Library," by Marilyn Gell Mason. Library JournalNov. 1, 1993, p. 40-43. Growth of knowledge and expansion of technology offer opportunities to make the holdings of LC widely available, but this cannot happen as long as Congress keeps LC in its present role, with present funding. Electronic dissemination of information has become more important now that LC has closed its stacks. (4B)


The January 1994 issue of CAN is the last produced from Oklahoma before moving to Austin. It has 40 pages, and includes fairly long biographies of George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg. (4F1)


The full copy of articles abstracted in Paper and Board Abstracts by Pira and announced in the Abbey Newsletter can usually be obtained (for $9 per article) from Pira in England. They can be ordered by phone, mail, fax, telex, or online, and paid for by check or credit card. The phone number is 011 44 372 376161 and the fax number is 011 44 372 360104. (011 is the number that gets you outside the U.S.; 44 is the United Kingdom. "Pira" means "Printing Industry Research Association.) (5B5)


SPEC Kits directly relevant to preservation, published in the last five years, are:

SP190  Changing Role of Book Repair     4/93

SP164  Remote Storage                   5/90

SP160  Preservation Organization Staff  1/90

SP152  Brittle Books                    3/89

Other SPEC Kits that preservation people may want to consult are on internship, residency and fellowship; the virtual library; interlibrary loan trends; academic status for librarians; insuring library collections and buildings; expert systems; student employment; and numerous others. A list is available from ARL. The SPEC Kits cost $40 each, prepaid ($25 for ARL member libraries), and can be ordered from the Association of Research Libraries, Office of Management Services, Department #0692, Washington, DC 20073-0692. ("SPEC" stands for "Systems and Procedures Exchange Center," and the kits are bound assemblages of photocopied inhouse documents contributed by member libraries.) (5E)


A combined index for volumes 15 and 16 of the Abbey Newsletter has been compiled, and can be sent out on request from the Abbey Publications office. It is 12 pages long. (5G)


In the "Health & Safety" column for the ceramic and glass conservators in Conservation News (Newsletter of the UKIC) #51, July 1993, p. 31, Brian Smith has a nice summary of information on protection against occupational dermatitis of the hands, with names and sources of products recommended (gloves, barrier creams and after-care creams). (6F2)


The Center for Safety in the Arts has a number of data sheets relevant to work in conservation labs. They cover emergency response to spills, respirators, lab emergency plans, hazards of dyes and pigments, health and safety programs, nitrocellulose film hazards, pest control procedures, solvents in art conservation, storage and disposal of conservation chemicals, and ventilation. The Center is at 5 Beekman St., New York, NY 10038 (212/227-6220) (6F2)


Overexposure: Health Hazards in Photography, by Susan D. Shaw and Monona Rossol. 2nd ed. Allworth Press, 10 East 23rd St., New York, NY 10010. $18.95 + $3 for shipping and handling. New York State residents must add sales tax. The first edition was in 1983; this includes new photoprocesses and materials, current research on the health effects of photochemicals, and recent laws and regulations on the use and disposal of darkroom chemicals. It also includes complete guidelines for setting up or modifying a photo lab for good ventilation and other aspects of safety. (6F2)

Health Hazards Manual for Artists. Fourth revised and augmented edition, by Michael McCann. 128 pages. ISBN 1-55821-306-6. $11.95 in paperback from Lyons & Burford, 31 W. 21 St., New York, NY 10010 (212/620-9580; fax 929-1836). The catalog listing says "April," which probably means that it will not be available till April 1994. (6F2)


"Various Causes for the Darkening of Paper," by H.S. (Doug) Dugal and Salman Aziz. Progress in Paper Recycling, Feb. 1993, p. 88. This is a neat little summary, by two experts from Integrated paper Services in Appleton, of the very complex phenomenon of paper darkening. Some factors: wave length of light (under 340 nm, paper yellows; over that, it bleaches); oxidation of cellulose and hemicelluloses, which causes them to absorb light; extractives (substances that can be dissolved out); lignin and lignin products (including quinones and ferulic acid); and the presence of fines, transitional metal ions, sizing agents, coatings, and optical brighteners. And of course, paper containing mechanical pulp will darken if recycled under alkaline conditions, unless it is pulped with hydrogen peroxide, then treated with a reducing agent. Progress in Paper Recycling is in Appleton, WI (414/832-9101). [From the Nov. Alkaline Paper Advocate.] (3B1.4)


A paper about prevention of cellulose deterioration during ozone bleaching is summarized in Pulp & Paper Canada 94:11 (1993), p. 92. The title is not given, but the authors are C. Chirat, M.T. Viardin and D. Lachenal, and it was published in a recent issue of Paperi ja Puu. Tying up metal ions by pretreatment with EDTA at high temperature (90° C) dramatically enhanced delignification without any adverse effect on the cellulose that was at low consistency (less pulp per volume of water). At high consistency, oxalic acid also helped. For more information, call the editorial offices of Pulp & Paper Canada, phone 514/339-1399 or 800/339-1327; fax 514/339-1396. (3B1.5; from the Alkaline Paper Advocate, Nov. 1993)

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