The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 18, Number 1
Apr 1994


Note: Each entry is followed by a classification number, an aid to indexing by subject in the yearly index


Recent bibliographies in preservation, mentioned at ALA Midwinter in January, were 1) Hilary Kaplan's bibliography in the American Archivist, 2) a supplement to that bibliography, which ran in Infinity, the newsletter of the SAA Preservation Section, 3) the reference list in SAA's Preserving Archives and Manuscripts, just out, and 4) Wes Boomgaarden's 30-page bibliography in the 1994 ALA publication Guide to Technical Services Resources (Peggy Johnson, ed. 313 pp. $70). (2.1)


Guide to Preservation in Acquisition Processing, by Marsha J. Hamilton. Publications Committee of the Acquisition of Library Materials Section, Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, ALA, Chicago and London 1993. Acquisition Guidelines # 8. 34 pp. $6. ISBN 0-8389-0611-7.

This little booklet is well organized and well written. The author was breaking new ground when she took up this subject, because nobody before her had ever explained just how preservation related to acquisition processing, although everyone said that preservation relates to everything else in the library. Accordingly, she sought broad input from experts, who are credited in the preface.

The material is organized under these main headings:

There is a 29-item annotated reading list. (2D2)


Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works on Paper. (Proceedings of Symposium 88, Ottawa, Oct. 3-7, 1988, organized by the Canadian Conservation Institute, Government of Canada). Edited by Helen D. Burgess. CCI, Ottawa, 1994. 304 pp. ISBN 0-662-59418-5. $45 CDN, plus $9.15 for GST and postage and handling.. [For price in U.S. dollars, contact Extension Services, CCI, 1030 Innes Rd., Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C8, Canada (613/998-3721; Fax 998-4721).] Printed on permanent paper (Mohawk Satin) and sewn in signatures, with a soft cover.

This excellent volume of proceedings has been long awaited. In the April 1990 issue of this Newsletter, it said on p. 33 that the proceedings "should be ready this spring." Well, obstacles like the recession and a reorganization of cultural agencies in the government intervened, but here it is. It was also announced in that April 1990 issue that the proceedings would be mailed free of charge to all speakers and to delegates who paid the full registration fee.

The conference itself, Symposium 88, was reported in the December 1988 Abbey Newsletter on p. 144-146.

Papers included those by Nancy Carlson-Schrock on a condition survey of architectural records; Cathy Craig-Bullen's survey of the leafcaster market; Jane Dalley's case study involving pressure-sensitive tape removal; Bob Futernick's description of 11 alternative techniques in paper conservation; Keiko Keyes' well-illustrated practical methods of treating moisture-sensitive works on paper using moisture (yes, moisture); John Krill's history of English paper around 1800; Mark Stevenson's description of print restoration practices of the past; 14 scientific papers on treatment methods and on paper itself, all valuable; and two good panels on ethical questions, represented by the panelists' presentations but not the discussions afterward. There is no index. (3.3)


Book and Paper Group Annual, v. 12, 1993. Compiled by Robert Espinosa. Published by the Book & Paper Group of the American Institute for Conservation, 1993. 84 pp. 15 papers, of which 14 were presented at the 1993 AIC meeting. This was the first time the Annual has been compiled entirely from copy submitted on computer disks.

Jonathan Derow defends the use of Klucel G as a consolidant, and takes another look at the Feller & Wilt study. Michele E. Hamill describes the conservation practices at the Library of Congress for architectural drawings. Antoinette Owen and Rachel Danzing describe in a seven-page paper the history and treatment of the papyrus collection at the Brooklyn Museum. Four co-authors from the Library of Congress have a paper on the "Endsheet Project," which involves the development of quality handmade paper suitable for endsheets in old books; they had searched for them widely, like many bookbinders have done, and found them very scarce. Research continues. Stephanie Watkins' history of dry mounting is the only paper not given at the conference. She reproduces advertisements dating from 1902 to 1907. Marilyn Kemp Weidner's "Treatment of Water Sensitive and Friable Media Using Suction and Ultrasonic Mist" is well-illustrated with drawings and photographs, and lists equipment and accessories, with sources. (3.3)


Les Documents Graphiques et Photographiques: Analyse et Conservation. Paris: Archives Nationales, 1993. 252 pp. FF180 + P&H.

This reports the work of the Centre de Recherches sur la Conservation des Documents Graphiques, 1991-93. All the papers are in French, but they are abstracted in English. Here are some that look interesting:

"Printing Ink Stability," by Martine Maraval and Françoise Flieder. They found 15 black inks to be stable chemically and resistant to fading, but the 11 colored inks were less stable, mainly because some of them faded in light.

"Influence of Optical Brighteners on Paper Permanence," by Françoise LeClerc and Françoise Flieder. During aging, the brightened papers yellow more than the others but they still look whiter. The physical and chemical properties of the papers were not changed by the brighteners, except in rag blotting papers.

"A Study on Photocopies Stability," by Françoise LeClerc, Monique Duhamel and Nicole Valette. This was a study on aging and abrasion resistance of xerographic copies in order to find which machine produced the most permanent copies. Eight copiers and one laser printer were tested, and the best for legibility and permanence of image were the laser printer, Kodak Ektaprint 300, Mita 1657, Canon NP 8580, Kodak Ektaprint 90 and OCE. (3.4)


Automating Preservation Management in ARL Libraries (SPEC Kit #198). Compiled by Jutta Reed-Scott and Patricia Brennan. Association of Research Libraries, Dec. 1993. $40; $25 to ARL members. 175 pp. ISSN 0160-3582.

The flyer from ARL does not mention the word "computers" but it uses the words "technology," "databases" and "preservation management systems," so it is mostly about how computers are used in preservation management. Like other SPEC Kits (Systems and Procedures Exchange Center Kits), it is a compilation of policy, organization and procedure descriptions sent in by ARL member libraries, and will be like a snapshot of this aspect of the field. (3.8)


The New Bookbinder, Journal of Designer Bookbinders, v. 13, 1993. Most of the papers concern design and art binding, but three are on structural topics that will interest book conservators:

The Limp Vellum Binding: A Modification - Robert Espinosa
Alternative Book-Structures - Philip Smith
A Vellum Over Boards Binding - James Brockman (3A1.1)


Last fall there was a query about deferred binding of paperbacks in other libraries, and this stimulated an extended discussion on the Cons DistList. Well, it was extended for the Cons DistList, which serves a small field: five comments on November 17, and probably other comments at other times. All respondents had criteria for binding (or not binding) paperbacks, but they varied from library to library. At Northwestern they did an experiment: they took fifty unbound paperbacks that they thought would get heavy use and put them in the stacks or in reserve. Every six months they check up on them, and so far they are holding up well, except for some abrasion and slight page curling on those used more than ten times. To get a copy of this discussion, get on e-mail (Conservation DistList: ... and ask Walter Henry for "Instance 7:40." [Note to CoOL readers: the correct address for DistList matters is] (3A4)


Second Report to Congress on the Joint Resolution to Establish a National Policy on Permanent Papers: Report of the Joint Committee on the Library. 103rd Congress, 2nd Session. USGPO, 1994. 10 pp. Available from Supt. of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402. ISBN 0-16-043907-8. It has also been made available in full on the Cons DistList, and on the Internet from the Library of Congress. This report was submitted by the Librarian of Congress, the Acting Archivist of the U.S. and the Public Printer, speaking for what are called the three "lead agencies." It reports several steps taken in 1992 and 1993 toward establishing a governmentwide alkaline paper standard. It appears that the lead agencies are doing most of the work, while the Joint Committee on Printing, which writes the paper standards that government agencies are required to use, has been slow to revise standards in the direction of permanence. It merely added an alkaline option to several grades of paper. Three issues for future consideration are noted, among them the possible difficulty in monitoring the Federal Government's progress in increasing the use of permanent paper if Government printing is decentralized. (3A9.5)


See Correction in next issue

Library of Congress Specifications for Mat/Mounting Board is a little eight-page booklet, printed in blue, grey and black on heavy paper and distributed free by Nielsen & Bainbridge. It is up to date, and these specifications are indeed used at the Library of Congress, but N&B forgot to tell their readers a few important things: 1) The specs are revised yearly, 2) they apply only to colored board (not even to cream colored board) that LC buys for a specific use, and 3) they are not complete, since the spec for pH of the adhesive was not mentioned. Nevertheless, the world is hungry for information about LC specs, especially about archival board, since there are no standards that cover them.

The "Glossary of Terminology" provided by N&B is so inaccurate that it would have been better to omit it. They got the name of ASTM wrong, called a standard a testing procedure, and said that sizing was a substance added to paper that fills in spaces between fibers. (3A9.8)


"Memories Linger but the Tapes Fade," by Lawrence M. Fisher. New York Times, Sunday Nov. 28, 1993; page number unknown; in "Technology" column, top half of first page of a section of the paper. This is about deterioration and preservation of home videotapes. It was given out, along with a one-page handout by Jim Lindner on the same topic, at the ALA Midwinter meeting by a representative of Vidipax, a New York Company that restores, converts and salvages videotapes (800/653-8434). (3G1)

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