The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 18, Number 1
Apr 1994


Supplies & Services

Best Copiers of 1993

Buyers Laboratory Inc is an independent evaluator of office products and procedures. Each year it picks the best products tested during the previous year for its "Picks of the Year" awards. The Instant Printer for March 1994 lists the Picks of the Year for copiers. Presumably they were not chosen for their usefulness in preservation programs, but this information may be of value:

Sharp SD-3075: Most Outstanding Copier Overall
Sharp SF-2022: Most Outstanding Low-Volume Copier
Minolta EP 5320 Pro Series/EP 5420 Pro Series: Most Outstanding Copier Value
Canon CJ10/CJ7 color bubble-jet copiers: Most Outstanding Technical Achievement
Mita DC 8585: Honorable Mention 2E2

Disaster Recovery Services for Businesses

The Disaster Recovery Journal for Jan.-Mar. 1994 lists 72 services that can keep companies operational during a disaster, or bring them back as quickly as possible. They focus on computers, records, security, staff training, "hotsites," offsite storage and backup systems. Some of them offer decontamination of equipment exposed to smoke, water, chemicals, etc.; data restoration; rental of diesel generators and dehumidifiers; bar code scanning systems; relocation of media libraries, and environmental monitoring systems. The DRJ is at PO Box 510110, St. Louis, MO 63151 (314/894-0276; Fax: 894-7474). (2F3.4)

Modifying Home Freezers for Pest Control

Lisa Mibach, the new column editor for the "Technical Exchange" in the WAAC Newsletter, tells in the January issue how she bought and adapted a home freezer on short order to cope with an infestation emergency. She had read Ann Pinzl's account in the SPNHC Newsletter (Aug. 1993) of how she had a Westinghouse chest freezer adapted to get down to -29°C. (Local technicians bypassed the cold control and made three other changes.)

Mibach bought a GE chest freezer, and a local appliance repairer adapted it to go down to -35°C by removing the back panel and pulling out two pins to bypass the thermostat. That was the only change he made. He told her she should be able to run it for three or four months at a time without damage. (2H3.2)

A Source of Inexpensive Meters

ExTech Instruments, of Waltham, Massachusetts (617/ 890-7440) provides inexpensive meters for temperature, RH, pH, and conductivity, according to Lisa Mibach in the WAAC Newsletter for January. Bill Lull of Garrison/Lull told her about it. ExTech also has a "multimeter light reading adaptor" and an electronic lab scale, accurate to a tenth of a gram or a gram (2 models), from $89. It can read in ounces or grams. (3.77)

A (Relatively) New Adhesive for Binding

Polyurethane reactive (PUR) adhesives were introduced a few years ago and have been recommended for consideration by Werner Rebsamen, former Technical Director of the Library Binding Institute. The LBI (Library Binding Institute) has been investigating PURs, according to a short article in issue #6 of The Title Page, newsletter of ICI (Information Conservation Inc., a library binding company). The LBI is currently testing a batch of periodicals that were adhesive bound using PURs. This is what is now known about PURs:

  1. They bond cross-grain, coated stock. Page attachment appears to be better than anything tested so far.
  2. Openability is good, maybe better than with PVAs (polyvinyl acetates).
  3. Both page-pull and flex-test values are increased with PURs.
  4. Once cured, PURs resist extreme temperaturess (from -45° to 200°). Longevity is excellent.

The article does not say how longevity was tested.

The newsletter gives the telephone numbers of ICI's eight library binderies, but does not say where the head office is, or where the newsletter is published. Call General Bookbinding Co. in Ohio (800-444-5117) or Southeast Library Bindery, Inc., in North Carolina (800/444-7534). (3.73)

Filmoplast: Pressure-Sensitive vs. Heat-Set

Filmoplast P, a pressure-sensitive tape designed for conservation use, was mentioned in this Newsletter in 1979, 1982 and 1988. In the February 1979 issue, a sample of it was put over the word "Sample" as a kind of natural aging experiment. In 1982 (p. 16), a caveat on Filmoplast was given, which said "A short length of Filmoplast, applied over the word "Filmoplast" in the Editor's Talas catalog sometime between 1975 and 1980, has already caused the printer's ink to blur and spread. This is a problem and a risk with all pressure-sensitive tapes, no matter how acid-free and stable they are. Another problem, even with tapes that age well without browning and become sticky, is that they may become very hard to remove in later years."

The Journal of the AIC for Spring 1988 carried a note by Meredith Mickelson on how Filmoplast-P on two photographs turned yellow in six years (both adhesive and carrier), but did not harm the photographs. This was summarized in the September issue of Abbey Newsletter.

The January 1994 WAAC Newsletter carries a technical note by Carrie Ann Calay about how the color of a lithograph and aquatint was changed by the Filmoplast P-90 V-hinges on the back.

Neschen, the company that makes Filmoplast, has to be credited for trying hard to make a safe pressure-sensitive tape. If they couldn't do it, probably no one else can either.

Neschen has a new heat-set tissue, however, that can be used for the same purposes. It is a bit more trouble to use, but does not have the drawbacks of pressure-sensitive tape. It has been tested at Françoise Flieder's lab in France. The adhesive is an acrylic copolymer (methyl methacrylate and butyl acrylate, 25/75). They found that it improved the strength of the paper both before and after aging, but that it caused yellowing after aging. The report emphasizes that delamination is difficult and cannot be done cleanly. Delamination of old documents would be impossible, because of the heat that has to be applied. This seems to say that it is safer, but irreversible or only partly reversible.

The lab at the National Library of Australia has also tested Filmoplast R, comparing it to Crompton Tissue, and concludes that it is a suitable alternative to Crompton Tissue. Results are reported in the AICCM National Newsletter, Sept. 1993:

The conservation staff at Queensland State Archives has been using it and find that it is quite transparent; the adhesive adheres consistently and remains flexible and intact when handled; the support paper is lightweight enough for repair of thin tissue papers; it can be shaped to the contour of a tear without the aid of a light table; the adhesive is easily activated with a variety of tacking irons operating at different temperatures; and it does not migrate up through the support paper and stick to the tacking iron. (3B2.57)

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