The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 19, Number 2
May 1995


Literature

[Note: The classification number that follows each entry helps keep similar material together, and facilitates indexing by subject.]

*

Harvard Surveyor, condition survey methodology [i.e., software] for general book collections, came out last fall and was made available over the Internet by anonymous file transfer protocol in October.

Harvard Surveyor was recommended as the condition survey of choice by the ARL Preservation Program. The flyer says, "Based on the random sampling techniques first used at Yale and Stanford, Harvard Surveyor enables libraries to collect and analyze extensive information about the condition of their collections for use in preservation and project planning, resource management, and fund-raising.… [It] contains two software modules: one to produce lists of randomly-selected survey candidates, and a second to collect survey data for tabulation and analysis. Both are customized Macintosh programs developed specifically for use in condition surveys." It works on any Macintosh based on a 68030 microprocessor or better, with System 6.0.5 or later, 4 MB RAM (2.5 of which should be available for the program) and 5 MB hard disk space. It also requires additional software: ACI US's 4th Dimension Runtime, which with an educational discount costs $99. For information, write Harvard University Library Preservation Office, 25 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge, MA 02138; e-mail: surveyor@harvard.edu. Recommended.(1A1)

*

ARL 1993-94. Association of Research Libraries, Washington, DC, March 1994. 100 pp. ISSN 0147-2315. $65 ($25 for ARL members); add $5 for shipping & handling within US & Canada. Order from ARL Publications, Dept. #0692, Washington, DC 20073-0692. It is also available on disk and over the Internet by several different routes; inquire by e-mail (arlhq@cni.org).

The statistics presented in this volume, as always, are comprehensive and include statistics for preservation, which are not available elsewhere in such detail. (1A2)

*

Preservation Education Directory. 7th ed. Compiled and published by PLMS (Preservation of Library Materials Section), now incorporated into PARS (Preservation and Reformatting Section). Available for $8.50 from the ALA Order Dept., 520 N. Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60610 (800/545-2433; Press 7 for Books. Fax: 312/836-9958). ISBN 0-8389-7767-7.

This publication lists addresses and phone numbers of library school programs, brief descriptions of each preservation course along with prerequisites, listings for other courses that have a preservation component and the frequency (if known) with which each course is offered. It also gives information about continuing education and professional development courses, programs, workshops and internships offered through associations and institutions. (1D)

*

"Gabo Travel Scholarship 1993," a report from Frances Halahan. Conservation News No. 54, July 1994, p. 14-15. The author visited six countries in northern Europe to see how conservators are educated and how the training institutions relate to museums. She found that in all six countries, students were entitled to free tuition. Living expenses were not paid for, but grants were sometimes available. In some countries, students over 30 had to pay their own tuition. Most programs had a course of study concerned with works of art on paper, books, archives and photographs. Some accepted students only once every three or four years, and all required some kind of diploma study or dissertation. The consensus seemed to be that a conservator was not fully trained until they had completed their one-year postgrad internship.(1D6)

*

"Chemical Watermarking of Paper," by Stephanie Watkins. Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, Fall 1990, p. 117-132. The author describes methods of identifying watermarks and tells how they react to various conservation treatments. She found that the marks in naturally aged samples were beginning to disappear into the surrounding paper structure. Short-wave UV radiation at 180-280 nm is the easiest method of identification. All solvents used had the effect of moving or eliminating the watermarks, and washing the paper in alkaline solutions (a common practice) blurred the marks and made them indistinct under UV radiation. Bleaches and bleach neutralizers gave varying results. (From the Alkaline Paper Advocate, v.8 #1.) (1E4)

*

Preserving Natural Science Collections: Chronicle of Our Environmental Heritage, by W. Donald Duckworth, Hugh H. Genoways and Carolyn L. Rose. National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property, Washington, DC, 1993. The only obvious overlap between preservation of library and archival materials and preservation of natural science materials is in the forms of documentation in natural science collections. Twenty-six forms are listed on p. 25, including some forms unique to the field: accession records and permit files, files of detached specimen labels, sampling/dissection records and manuscript field notes.(1F)

*

Strategies to Preserve Michigan's Historical Records. Michigan State Historical Records Advisory board, 1994. Available from State Archives of Michigan, 717 West Allegan St., Lansing, MI 48918 (518/373-6362).(1G3)

*

Collections Care: Catalyst for Funds. National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property, Washington, DC, 1994. 20 pp. This was a handout at the annual meeting of NIC. Its purpose is "to show how collections care, preservation and conservation can be creatively used to garner support from the private sector--;foundations, corporations and individuals--;and state or local governments." Many people whose job involves fundraising for the conservation/preservation program have had to tackle the task without adequate instruction or preparation beforehand. This booklet, written by fundraisers who know how to raise funds, is for them. Here is a brief excerpt: "Don't quietly redisplay a treated work--;celebrate it! Draw attention to it. Schedule an event around the return of a cleaned and restored object and publicly thank the benefactor. Display the object with information about the specific treatment, along with before and after photos. Send out a press release.…"(1M)

*

"Asking Individuals for Money: A Few Rules for Board Members and Patrons Fundraising for Your Museum." Upper Midwest Collections Care Network v.1 #2, Early Spring 1995, p. 5. [This newsletter is published by the Upper Midwest Conservation Association, 2400 Third Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55404 (612/870-3120). This issue is identified as the "early spring 1995" issue on the front page, "winter" on pages 2-7, and "January/February 1994" on the last page.]

The six rules below are expanded upon in the text:

  1. People give money because they want to.
  2. People don't mind being asked to give.
  3. People don't give unless you ask them to give.
  4. Ask for a specific amount.
  5. People give money to people, not institutions.
  6. People want their money to do good.(1M)

*

"The Tale of the Terribly High-Tech Building," by Jeannette Woodward. American Libraries, April 1995, p. 308-310. A composite scenario of the painful experiences of several librarians working in real academic and public libraries. Much of this horror tale has to do with attempts to regulate the indoor environment. An excerpt: "We're discovering that upkeep of the mechanical and electronic systems in newer structures is far beyond the training of the individuals in charge of them. While furnaces and light fixtures used to be fairly standard, they now change drastically from year to year. A generation of computerized equipment is obsolete almost as quickly as it comes off the assembly line. One generation of computers cannot read data from another, nor can the individuals trained to service one type adjust easily to the demands of another." The last page has precautions and remedies, which include the precaution of copying and filing all the instructions, diagrams, manuals and installation guides you can get your hands on while the building or addition is under construction, then seeing that each new influx of technicians gets copies of the printed instructions for maintaining your equipment.(1N)

*

The second edition of the NEDCC's Preservation of Library and Archival Materials: A Manual came out last fall. All the leaflets have been updated,

and there are 11 new ones. People who already have the first edition can order a supplement, consisting of the 11 new leaflets and the nine that have been substantially updated, for only $8.50 postpaid. The complete new edition costs $40. Contact Pat McCarthy at the Northeast Document Conservation Center, 100 Brickstone Square, Andover, MA 01810 (508/470-1010). (2.4)

*

Guide to Environmental Protection of Collections, by Barbara Appelbaum. Sound View Press, Madison, CT, 1991. 272 pp. Available for $39 only through the publisher, Sound View Press, 170 Boston Post Rd., Madison, CT 06443 (203/245-2246). Visa and Mastercard are accepted. UPS shipping and handling free.

This volume was announced without commentary in the December 1991 Abbey Newsletter on p. 135d. The intent was to find a reviewer for it, but this did not work out.

Some general comments. This is a guide to preservation for nonconservators in private collections and institutions. It is clearly written, refreshingly direct and even eloquent sometimes. Example: "Non-conservators tend to think of objects as having a strong tendency to stay put: placed on a shelf, they will simply wait there unchanged until picked up again. But close study of objects tells us this is not true. This is one of the hardest notions for conservators to instill in the minds of those who care for collections. Most objects are in a continuous state of flux; they are expanding and contracting, fading, gathering dust; they are conglomerations of chemical reactions."

Part I explains the five major issues in environmental protection of collections: temperature and relative humidity, light, air quality, mold and pest control, and preventing physical damage. Part II, "Assessing the Needs of Collections," describes the needs and characteristics of the materials of which artifacts are made, including various papers and photographic films. Regarding leather dressing, she says, "…If you are tempted to apply leather dressing to an object, sit down until the urge goes away."

The section on relative humidity shows a combination of good sense regarding the desirability and possibility of controlling RH closely, and a museum-oriented tendency to ignore the degradative effect of high RH on paper, in favor of questionable physical explanations (e.g., the friction of one fiber on another as paper expands and contracts with RH).

For book and paper people, the section on environmental protection, which is the longest, may justify buying the book, especially if they do a lot of outreach work with customers, in their institutions or in the field. It demonstrates ways to communicate basic ideas, and its information is basically reliable, though it cannot be used as a bible.

Meg Loew Craft reviewed this book in JAIC v.33, 1994. Sally Shelton reviewed it in Collection Forum, 9(1), 1993, p. 61-63, and had good words for it, but called attention to certain omissions (e.g., bone) and typographical errors, and warned readers not to depend on it as a sole guide. (2.4)

*

Nineteen videos on preventive conservation in museums, for personnel and volunteers, have been issued by the Canadian Conservation Institute, including the following:

1. Introduction to Preventive Conservation
2. Light and Lighting
3. Relative Humidity and Temperature
4. Pollutants
5. Integrated Pest Management
8. Protecting Objects on Exhibition
9. Disaster Contingency Planning
14. The Care of Works of Art on Paper

Cost: $75 each plus shipping or $1000 for the set. There is a manual and a bibliography; a choice of video formats is offered. Contact: Université du Québec à Montréal, Audio Visual Dept., Production Services, Box 8888, Station Centreville, Montréal, Québec H3C 3P8.(2.4)

*

"Preservation Activities in Bulgaria: The State of Affairs and Possibilities for Cooperation," by Sonja K. Jordan. Commission on Preservation and Access, Washington, DC, Feb. 1995. This 11-page report of a visit to Bulgaria, March 1-20, 1994, is distributed as a separate by the CPA. The history, organization and present situation of the Bulgarian library system is described. In summarizing, the author says that the material resources, facilities and technical equipment of Bulgarian libraries are lagging by 50 years, but there are strong points to the system that can be built on to advantage.(2.7)

*

Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners & Facility Managers. U.S. EPA & NIOSH, 1992. 229 pp. in looseleaf binder. $24 from Preservation Resource Group (301/309-2222). Catalog no.: GOV010. Blurb: "This official guide gives you the latest information about indoor air quality problems and how to prevent or correct them. Packed with valuable information on how to develop an indoor air quality building profile, create management plans, identify causes and solutions, identify appropriate control strategies. Special sections covering air quality sampling, HVAC systems, mold and moisture problems, sources for information. 15 practical checklists and forms." (2C1)

*

"UV-Belastung durch Elektronenblitze und Kopiergeräte: Die Wirkung des Lichtes auf Papier und auf Textilobjekte (UV Damage due to Electronic Flashguns and Photocopiers)," by J.G. Neevel. Restauro 2/95 (March-April), p. 98-101. There is a long English-language summary on p. 128-129, which says they measured the light exposures in the UV and visible ranges of 12 flashbulbs and 14 photocopiers to evaluate their effect on artifacts. The UV exposures were compared to those from one hour's illumination at 50 lux by a tungsten incandescent lamp. Between 9 and 220 flashes could be made at one meter to reach this dose. Photocopiers put out about half this dose.(2C1.4)

*

"Gesundheitsvorsorge in Archiven. Zur Gefährdung durch Schimmelpilz-Kontamination im Umgang mit Archivgut" ("Health Precautions in Archives. The Hazards of Mold Contamination from Archival Materials"), by Hanns Peter Neuheuser and Martin Schata. Der Archivar, Feb. 1994, Heft 1.(from Literature column of Restauro, 5/94, p. 367. 2C1.8)

*

"Ozone: Friend or Foe?" FACTS Report [Newsletter of the Guild for Fine Art Care & Treatment Standards], V.1 #3, Oct. 1994, p. 1, 5-9. This gives information on the role of ozone in the stratosphere and at ground level; its effect on people, especially at higher concentrations; ozone-generating air purifiers, how they are said to remove odors, and a recent court battle over their safety.(2C1.8)

*

"Haiti: An Essential Heritage," by Sally A. Buchanan. Wilson Library Bulletin, April 1995, p. 68-69. A description of a consulting and training visit to the library of a religious order in Haiti, underwritten by Unesco.(2C2.6)

*

Two books appeared in the UK last year co-published by the Museums & Galleries Commission and other organizations. They are announced next to each other in the March 1995 Paper Conservation News, just as given below, with the publisher's blurb as the only commentary.

May Cassar has supplied ordering information. The first book can be ordered from Her Majesty's Stationery Office (fax 44-171-873-8200); or from the Museums & Galleries Commission. Send the MGC order to the Finance Officer, with a check made out to the Museums & Galleries Commission at 16 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1H 9AA, England. Prepayment is required; checks from outside the UK should be drawn on a UK bank or on an international bank draft. Eurochecks are accepted.

The second book can be ordered from Routledge, Inc., in New York or England. In England, the fax number is 44-171-583-9855.

MUSEUMS ENVIRONMENT ENERGY. Edited by May Cassar. Museums & Galleries Commission and HMSO, 1994. Paperback, 100 pp., 246 x 156 mm, b&w illustrations, ISBN 0 11 2905196, £15.00. Fax 800 248 4724

Blurb states: "The cost of energy usage by museums, a significant portion of which is spent on environmental control, may not escape close scrutiny when the squeeze on resources tightens. This publication demonstrates the need for museums to strike a balance between environmental control and energy efficiency. Presenting both conventional and alternative solutions to refute the argument that saving energy means switching off an appliance, it includes two case-studies which illustrate how museums of different size and scale of operation have succeeded in practice in improving environmental control and energy efficiency. Other papers are the proceedings of a conference on environmental control in museums and galleries."

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: GUIDELINES FOR MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES. By May Cassar. Routledge and the Museums & Galleries Commission, 1994. Hardback, 208 pp., 16 illustrations. ISBN 0 415 10559 5, £30.00.

Blurb states: "The book focuses on the conservation needs of collections, highlighting both the role of the building and the organization in achieving environmental control. This approach creates both cost-effective and sustainable museum environments. The author takes a pragmatic view of the needs of objects housed in historic buildings, the buildings themselves and those who visit and work in them, and recommends a control strategy which balances the needs of all three. She also strives to explain the logic of environmental management answering the 'why,' 'to what benefit,' 'where' and 'how much?' questions which have thus far often remained unasked."(2C3)

*

"Status Report on the Worldwide Molecular Sieve Trade Test Results," by A. Tulsi Ram, Diane M. Carroll, Paige Miller and Harry D. Heuer. This was a paper made available at the annual conference of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) in Boston, November 15-19, 1994. Uses numerous charts to describe the results of tests on the use of molecular sieves under actual storage conditions to combat the vinegar syndrome. The tests were conducted at nine archives worldwide, including the Library of Congress, George Eastman House, and National Archives of Canada, as well as in France, Belgium, Japan and Australia. Available from the Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, NY.(From the AMIA Newsletter, Jan. 1995. 2C3)

*

"The Catalogue and the Card," by Nicholas Barker. The Book Collector 43:3, Autumn 1994, p. 329-350. This is a response to Nicholson Baker's 23-page article entitled "Discards" in the April 4, 1994, New Yorker. (The two names are similar and easy to confuse.) Baker describes the daunting nature of the job of transcribing old catalog cards into a computerized database that will become Harvard's online library catalog. The people who have been hired for this job are not librarians, but clerical temps at a firm called Retrocon. Baker himself has several years' experience at this kind of work on OCLC. He wonders how many errors are being made, and whether readers will find what they are looking for when the online catalog is complete. Subject searches are much harder to do online than in the old card catalog.

Many of the cards (hundreds of thousands) have been given away after transcription to an artist named Tom Johnston, who was trying to decide what to do with them at the time this article was published. (This article was excerpted at length in the Binders' Guild Newsletter for October 1994, on p. 6-12.)

Nicholas Barker, editor of the Book Collector, felt he had to respond, if only because so many people thought he had written the Baker article himself and wrote in to scold or praise him for it. He says Baker was unfair, beastly unfair. His reply, however, offers few additional facts to Baker's description of what Harvard and other libraries are doing to their catalogs.(2E4)

*

"The Electric Paperless Prototype," by Kevin Kelly. Wired 2.06. The editor's blurb under the title says, "Everybody's favorite digital fantasy of living a paperless life got a two-year tryout in the glass ark of Biosphere 2. Kevin Kelly visits and finds it's still a fantasy."

For two years, the eight people in the Biosphere experiment in Arizona tried to live an information-intensive life without paper, because one of the experiment's principles was that nothing was to be brought into or taken out of the sealed enclosure. They were in contact with the outside world by radio, e-mail, video and telephone, and they kept records of most things they did, usually electronically. But paper and pencil were used for field notebooks, and they had a book library which author Kelly says reminded him of the odd lots of books you find shelved in vacation cottages.

They did forgo paper in the bathroom. They did not print out the 10,000 faxes they received, but projected them onto the screen of a computer. And of course they were not able to put their signature on any paper forms; they had to have someone on the outside with power of attorney.

During the second year, they were allowed to receive medical journals and research documents for their own scientific papers and classes (some of them were working on degrees). They wanted the TV Guide too, but never got it, because it was too much work for the support center to fax each week. A few Biospherians asked to have books faxed or e-mailed in as ASCII, but these were not very convenient to read, and it took a long time to download them. They missed having newspapers and magazines.

Their most common complaint was that they couldn't find stuff after they had filed it, which is not surprising when you consider that each person generated about 4 gigabytes of information during the two years. The two developments they felt most need for were a way to make field notes that did not involve the hands so much, and better information management.(2E4)

*

Disaster Response and Prevention for Computers and Data, by Miriam Kahn. MBK Consulting, 60 N. Harding Rd., Columbus, OH 43209-1524 (614/239-8977, e-mail 710011 .2573@compuserve.com). $45 + $5 S&H. This is a companion volume to First Steps for Handling & Drying Water Damaged Materials. The blurb says it "provides basic information for responding to a disaster involving water damaged computers, hardware and software. This manual is the end-result of a seminar on disaster prevention for corporate libraries and information centers." (2F3)

*

"An Introduction to Automatic Fire Sprinklers," by Nick Artim. WAAC Newsletter v.17 #2, May 1995, p. 23-28. This is the second part of an overview of sprinkler systems, components, operations, and common anxieties. Part I was in WAAC Newsletter for Sept. 1994 (v.16 #3). Diagrams help to show how dry pipe and pre-action systems work. The advantages and disadvantages of wet pipe, dry pipe and pre-action systems are systematically discussed, as are common misconceptions about sprinklers.

A very promising alternative to Halon 1301 gas is described on p. 27: micromist systems. These use very high pressure (1000 psi) to generate fine drops of water less than 20 micrometers in diameter, with the result that incredibly small amounts of water can put out fires, even those burning in inaccessible locations not easily reached by sprinklers. The method is not yet on the market, but it looks very good. For more information contact Kathy Slack at the Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co., Inc., 410/778-0484, fax 778-0857. The company puts out a newsletter to report developments and test results. Other sprinkler companies are developing misting systems as well.(2F7)

*

"Seduction and Betrayal: An Insider's View of Insider Theft of Rare Materials," by Daniel Traister. Wilson Library Bulletin 69:1 (Sept. 1994), 30-33. A case study of theft by a trusted employee, consequences, and considerations by the library community.(2G)

*

Conservation News, the newsletter of the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation, carried a good substantive report of a meeting of museum scientists on the subject of pest control in its March 1994 issue on p. 23-24, by Joyce Townsend. It was the Conservation Scientists' Group meeting, BUGS (Beating Unwanted GuestS), organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum on Nov. 18, 1993. Speakers were David Pinniger of the Central Science Laboratory, Slough; Valerie Blyth, of the Textile Conservation Section of the V&A; Lynda Hillyer, also at the V&A; Bob Child of the National Museum of Wales; and Roy Vickery of the Natural History Museum.

David Pinniger discussed pheromones, saying those for some insects will increase the catch in sticky traps, but that they have not been produced yet for the commonest museum pests. Temperature control is a way of controlling insects, too, he said, because when it is warmer they breed faster. Low oxygen atmospheres for disinfestation were discussed (60% carbon dioxide, or 99% nitrogen, even argon); and freezing (two cycles to -18°C or one cycle to -30°C; 1-2 weeks at -35°C or at least four weeks at -20°C).(2H)

*

Building Mycology. J. Singh, ed. 1994. 352 pp, hard cover. $115. Available from Preservation Resource Group (PRG), PO Box 1768, Rockville, MD 20849 (301/309-2222, fax 279-7885). PRG does not say in its catalog who the publisher is. The blurb says, "This book deals with the study of fungi in and around the building environment, having direct and indirect effect on the health of the building, its materials, structures and occupants. Provides a multiauthor, international authoritative survey of present knowledge." Give the catalog number with order: ROU009.(2H1.1)

*

"Fungicidal Efficacy of Selected Chemicals in Thymol Cabinets," by Ralph A. Gustafson et al. JAIC 29 (1990), 153-168. This was published five years ago, but was not announced in the Abbey Newsletter at the time. It is still worth mentioning, because it reports on fungicides that will work in thymol cabinets. Eight fungicides were tested: ortho-phenylphenol, thymol, paradichlorobenzene, paraformaldehyde, naphthalene, propyl paraben, butyl paraben and salicylic acid, all of which are described as toxic. Four molds isolated from archive books were used as test organisms. Only thymol and paraformaldehyde worked at all on the test organisms, and none of them killed indigenous mold on moldy books.

Back issues of this newsletter (e.g., October 1991, front page) that have discussed the problem of finding a good fungicide indicate that ethylene oxide and gamma radiation can kill mold in paper-based collections, though both of them weaken the paper somewhat, and must be performed by qualified specialists. Other methods offer few advantages, though they may be good for special situations. The Sterilair treats only the air, not the material; it draws it in and heats it to 350°C, which cooks all airborne fungi floating in it. UV radiation also sterilizes only the air and the surfaces that receive the radiation. Ozone degrades the materials in the room, by oxidizing them; it is a health risk and a fire risk.(2H2.4)

*

"Causes and Prevention of Deterioration in Book Materials," compiled by Robert P. Walton. New York Public Library, 1929. This is a 39-page indexed bibliography on paper and leather (in separate sections), originally published in the Bulletin of the New York Public Library, April 1929. Entries are dated 60 AD (Pliny the Younger's comments on papyrus) to 1929, and are arranged in date order. The abstracts and commentaries are long and informative. About half of the references are from the library literature, and the rest from the paper industry or government.

Unlike most bibliographies, this one makes pretty good reading. In 1891, when wood pulp had not been in use much more than 20 years, a librarian named Rossiter Johnson wrote the article "Inferior Paper a Menace to the Permanency of Literature," and predicted that "centuries hence some bibliographer will construct an ingenious theory to explain why no books were printed between 1870 and 19--;, the date at which we accomplish the destruction of the forests and begin again on cotton."(3.1)

*

"Datenbank mit Literaturnachweisen zur Buch- und Papierrestaurierung" ("Datafile of References from the Literature of Book and Paper Conservation") Restauro 1/95, p. 21. This is a notice that the Lower Saxony state library and the University of Göttingen Library are making the 1995 version of the datafile "BuP" (Book and Paper Restoration) available to all interested parties. There are about 6200 articles from about 50 international newsletters, as well as monographs from the "Book and Manuscript" collection in Göttingen. [Apologies for any inaccuracies in the translation -;Ed.] (3.1)

*

Material Published by Members of the Library of Congress Preservation Directorate: A Bibliography, by Carole Zimmermann. Foreword by Diane Nester Kresh. Library of Congress, Preservation Directorate, Washington, DC, 1994. 37 pp. Permanent paper. The Office will send out copies on request.

205 items are listed, published between 1972 and 1994, including standards, chapters of the Paper Conservation Catalog and other group productions, in which past or present staff had a hand. This bibliography fills a need. Perhaps similar bibliographies can be issued at intervals in the future. There is an index. (3.4)

*

Research Abstracts from the Central Research Laboratory for Objects of Art and Science in Amsterdam. Available from the Central Research Laboratory, Gabriël Metsustraat 8, 1071 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands (tel. +673 5162, fax +675 1661). [This was announced in Paper Conservation News for March 1995, so perhaps it was published in 1994.] This is very likely in Dutch, but there are English summaries. Papers include "Standard Specifications for Paper and Board, File Folders and Boxes," "The Durability of Tracing Paper for Storage of Prints," "The Aging of Paper in Stacks," "The Effect of Sterilair Devices on Airborne Fungal Spores," and "Research into the Degree of Aging of Cellulose Paper using FTIR." (3.4)

*

"Safekeeping: Australian Developments in Document Storage," by Virginia Cook. National Preservation Office Quarterly Suppl. [to National Library of Australia News], Feb. 1995, p. 9-11. The author is a journalist, describing the efforts of Ina Koneczna of the Australian Archives to make archival paper and board available for storage of documents and records. Cook says that Koneczna, the Australian Archives' Senior Preservation Policy Adviser, was "the driving force behind the launch of Australian-made, low-cost, acid-free preservation materials." Ina "successfully convinced the Shoalhaven Paper Mill (Australian Paper) and Visy Board (Pratt Industries) they could produce competitively priced and archival quality, acid-free papers, boards and containers," and they are now all available from a domestic source. Savings to users will be significant, because comparable imported materials were often of inferior quality and almost five times more expensive. This accomplishment is described as a world first.

No one, apparently, told the author about the immense amount of lobbying, promoting and information-gathering that was done by the Archival Paper Action Committee, beginning in 1987. They wrote every congressman, worked successfully to establish standards, contacted all the papermakers, and got the conservators, librarians, archivists, and other groups, formally involved. They published a list of permanent papers available in the country, a short list because there weren't many of them. They prepared the ground and sowed the seeds.

The National Library of Australia also helped prepare the ground for the Archives' accomplishment. Beginning in 1990 or before, when the price of library binding went up sharply, it established a policy of designing and using polypropylene boxes for journals, loose documents, pamphlets, newspapers and other materials, instead of binding them. It even had a staff member whose job, at least part of it, was to design enclosures. Shrink-wrapping became one of the options for material needing enclosure. This was all well publicized, before and after the National Preservation Plan was set up from the Library. These boxes are said to be well accepted now throughout the library community.

The results of all these efforts, and of the efforts of Ina Koneczna at the Archives, came together last June, when the Minister for Communications and the Arts launched a set of Australian-made, low-cost, acid-free storage boxes and enclosures.(3.6)

*

Computer Technology for ConservatorsÑThe 2nd Wave, from the IIC-CG Workshop held in Halifax in 1993 is now available from IIC-CG, PO Box 9195, Ottawa ON K1G 3T9, Canada, for $20 +$2 postage.(3.8)

*

Non-Adhesive Binding, by Keith Smith. v.1: Books Without Paste or Glue, 3rd ed. v.2: 1- 2- & 3-Section Sewings. Both volumes appear to have 320 pages, according to the ad in the GBW Newsletter for April, and to cost $30 + shipping. The second volume is new. Contact Keith Smith, 22 Cayuga St., Rochester, NY 14620-2153 (tel. or fax 716/473-6776). (3A3.1)

*

"Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance: A Method for Binding Vellum Leaves," by Michael Wilcox. CBBAG Newsletter, Summer 1995, p. 3-13. The structure described here by Canada's premier fine binder was devised for a thick book of inflexible vellum leaves, to be on permanent display, with a different page displayed each day. There are six pages of diagrams.(On p. 34 of this same issue of this newsletter is a notice that the author was the subject of an article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal for February 7.) (3A3.1)

*

Making the Medieval Book: Techniques of Production. Linda L. Brownrigg, ed. 1994. This publication was announced in the last issue (p.19b) with a rather skimpy reference and no ordering information.

The subtitle in the publisher's flyer is Proceedings of the Second Conference of The Seminar in the History of the Book to 1500. The price is $98 plus $5 p&p (which probably equates to the £62 given in the other source, and must apply to the hardcover volume). It is available in paperback for an unstated price. The date is given as 1995. There is an American publisher (Anderson-Lovelace) and an English publisher (Red Gull Press). Anderson-Lovelace is at 13040 Alta Tierra Rd., Los Altos Hills, CA 94022. ISBN: 0-9626372-1-1. There are 13 papers in this volume in addition to a bibliography of medieval painting treatises and an index of books. Most of the papers deal with page design, division of labor and other aspects of book production which are not directly related to structure or binding materials, but which would help conservators weigh the relative importance of different features of medieval books being treated in the lab.(3A5.3)

*

"Spines Reinforced with Metal Rods in Sixteenth Century Limp Parchment Bindings," by W.K. Guirrep and J.A. Szirmai. Quaerendo XIX, 1 & 2 (1989), p. 117-140. This was passed around at the Guild of Book Workers seminar in Dallas, and aroused a good deal of interest.(3A5.5)

*

The New Bookbinder, Journal of Designer Bookbinders, v.14, 1994, has a strong emphasis on history of 20th Century bookbinding. There is a long interview of Edgar Mansfield by Trevor Jones. A 21-page article entitled "Influences" is a sort of joint interview with different binders about the bindings that influenced them most in their own work. The volume is full of excellent color illustrations as usual.(3A5.6)

*

"Bücher in Ausstellungen: Anregungen für eine schonende Präsentation," by Michaela Brand. Restauro, 5/94, p. 324-327. This is an illustrated summary and evaluation of designs for book cradles for exhibitions. It covers Chris Clarkson's "new system," custom cradles constructed of board, rolls of felt or Mylar to help the book lie in a "V-form," and plexiglass cradles.(3A8.3)

*

"Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Paper and Binding (AALL Preservation Committee)," by Katherine Hedin. AALL Newsletter (American Association of Law Libraries) Nov. 1994, p. 6-9. The Working Group surveyed law book publishers and reprinters to see how closely they were following accepted paper and binding standards, and to encourage the use of accepted standards. Most were found to be using permanent or alkaline paper, but not to be using the compliance statement and symbol. Most law libraries were dissatisfied with the quality of binding methods and materials. The Working Group made a number of recommendations, which are presented here.(3A9.1)

*

"Xerographic Toner Adhesion Method." Vers. 9, April 13, 1995. Sequa Chemicals, Inc., One Sequa Dr., Chester, SC 29706-0070 (800/669-5236). 6 loose pages. In order to test how the surface sizing they use for their paper affects adhesion of toner on photocopies, Sequa Chemicals is developing its own performance test, which stresses toner (ink) adhesion and crease resistance. This document is a handout, picked up at a poster session at TAPPI Papermakers Conference earlier this year. In view of the need for ways to assess the permanence of photocopies, and the shortage of widely used test methods, it makes sense to note this inhouse method, which the developers are enthusiastic about. (3A9.2)

*

"Permanent Paper: Progress Report II," by Robert W. Frase. IFLA Journal 21 (1995) #1, p. 44-47. Since the author's last report in 1991, there have been developments in preventive conservation through the use of permanent paper, including the publication of the ANSI/NISO and the ISO standards for coated and uncoated permanent paper; two new directories of papers meeting these new standards, one for Europe and one for the U.S. and Canada; and a survey of the knowledge and use of permanent papers by European publishers.(3A9.4)

*

The March issue of Paper Conservation News is full of information. It starts with an interview of Jonathan Ashley-Smith, Head of Conservation at the Victoria and Albert Museum, by Edward Simpson. One of Simpson's questions is, "What do you think about B S 5454?"(This is the British Standard for environmental storage of paper records. It specifies an incredibly high relative humidity of 55-65%.) Ashley-Smith prefers 30-40%, but is required to follow the standard. He thinks it is time to revise B S 5454.

Simpson also asks whether he agrees with the conclusion of Erhardt and Mecklenburg's Ottawa paper, and Ashley-Smith says, in part, "It's hard not to. The key sentence is: 'Within the range of moderate RH values (30-60%), high RH tends to minimize mechanical damage and low RH tends to minimize chemical change.' …We can make some adjustments depending on whether the collection is 'archival' or 'active'. That is, depending on how much we can afford to neglect the effects of mechanical damage."

The interview covers conservation training, hiring and promotion, storage facilities, disaster prevention, his forthcoming book on risk assessment in conservation, and various management matters that relate to conservation.

Other articles (some of which are summarized separately in this column) are:

Working for the Calcutta Tercentenary rust - Christine Mackay

Conservation Facilities in the City of Krakow - Jonathan Rhys-Lewis

Academic Conservation Courses in German-Speaking Countries - Pascale Regnault(Six are described.)

Conservation of Pith Paper - Penny Jenkins

IPC Library - Judith Chantry

Mechanisms of Image Deterioration in Early Photographs -Mike Ware (3B)

*

"Meeting Focuses on Paper Research," by Charlie Costain. CCI Newsletter #15, March 1995, p. 13-14. The Canadian Conservation Institute, from time to time, asks its clients for feedback, to make sure its research program continues to meet their needs. In May 1994, the CCI invited them to a meeting near the site of the IIC-CG conference to discuss research priorities. Some of the topics named were among the 34 active research projects already under way: the effect of lignin on the permanence of groundwood paper; evaluation of three commercial mass deacidification processes; and the effects of alkali on the long-term stability of cellulose. Some were new: 1) adhesives for use on paper and in bookbinding, including studies on natural product adhesives, removability, and interaction of adhesives with paper substrates; 2) exhibition and storage conditions for paper artifacts; 3) problems with contemporary paper-based materials (for art on paper), and 4) stabilizing iron gall inks.(3B1)

*

"The Effect of Oxidation on the Subsequent Oven Aging of Filter Paper," by P.M. Whitmore and J. Bogaard. Restaurator 16:1, 1995, p. 10-30. The work reported here explored the effect of oxidation that usually occurs during aging, e.g. from atmospheric and photochemical reactions. Previously oxidized sheets of paper aged more rapidly in the oven than comparable unoxidized sheets. Links in the cellulose chain seem to be made weaker, and acidity may be created as a result of oxidation. The degree of oxidation of the cellulose in a paper may be an important determinant of the overall degradation rate.(3B1.21)

*

"A Visit to America," by Diana Washington. Paper Conservation News 64, Dec. 1992, p. 9. The author, inspired by discussions with conservators at the IPC conference in Manchester, visited 19 conservation studios on the East Coast of the US to gather first-hand information on working practices and new ideas. She visited three private studios, three regional art conservation labs, 12 museum/library labs and one scientific research lab, and took copious notes. Her impressions: the general policy seems to favor stabilization over treatment; and there seems to be much cross-fertilization between the different conservation disciplines. The preferred bleaches, she says, where they are used at all, are light, hydrogen peroxide and sodium borohydride. "Chloramine T caused a wry smile when mentioned; no one admitted to using it." Deacidification is very rarely done; calcium hydroxide is preferred. (3B2)

*

"Ethical Considerations for the Conservation of Circus Posters," by Neil C. Cockerline. WAAC Newsletter v.17 #2, May 1995, p. 14-22. If the title of this article did not include the word "ethical," most people would probably say that this was a history of the production, nature and use of circus posters, providing insight into the place of these posters in American life for the last 200 years. 20 refs.(3B2.14)

*

"Current Developments in the Application of Laser Technology to the Treatment and Recording of Artworks," by John Larson. Conservation News #53, March 1994. This is a history and summary of the state of the art of cleaning with laser beams, and a statement of needed research. Most of it deals with the equipment used and with cleaning hard materials such as stone, but there is a bit on paper and leather: "Although it is reported that other materials, such as ivory, ceramic, paper, leather and even textiles have been cleaned with the Neodymium laser, it would be unwise to pretend that this is a cure for all. It is clear from our research so far, that other types of lasers such as 'excimer lasers' would be more appropriate for materials such as varnishes and consolidants.... Our research in Liverpool aims to identify the role of different lasers and will attempt to develop them into tools that will perform different functions." (3B2.31)

*

"Elektrochemische Entsäurung bei Tintenfraß," by Karl Trobas. This five-page offprint from an unidentified book appeared in the Abbey office May 9, 1995. It must have been sent by the author, because a message was typed at the end, using red ribbon in places for emphasis: "Mit dem Elektrolyse-Gerät EM 2 'System Trobas' konnten bereits 1978 Grünfraßschäden wieder restauriert werden. Der Entzug der schŠdlichen Kupferionen aus dem Papier gelang bis zu 95,5%! Das hat die Untersuchung mit einem Atomic Absorption Spektralphotometer e r w i e s e n !" Since 1978, he says, he has been able to restore materials damaged by copper pigments. As many as 95.5% of the copper ions have been successfully removed from the paper. Research with an atomic absorption spectrophotometer has proved it.

This article, however, is not about copper but iron-gall ink. Electrolytic treatment raised the pH of the area damaged by the iron-gall ink from 4.0 to 7.1 in 60 minutes, while blank parts of the page went from pH 6.4 to 8.0.

The author, who works in the Steiermärkischen Landesarchiv, has published previously on leafcasting and mass washing of paper. (3B2.4)

*

"The Calcium Propionate in the Deacidification and/or Stabilization of Paper," by M. Plossi Zappala. Cellul. Carta v. 45 #3, May-June 1994, p. 53-58 (in Italian). This paper reports an exploratory study of the use of calcium propionate for simultaneous deacidification and antifungal treatment. The whiteness, pH, degree of polymerization and the infrared spectra were all measured before and after accelerated aging at 80°C and 76% RH. Results were favorable, especially with previously oxidized cellulose. (PBA Abstract 4729, 1994. 3B2.4)

*

"Reversibility in Framing," by Don Berkman. FACTS Report, v.1 #3, Oct. 1994, p. 1, 9-12.(FACTS Report is published by the Guild of Fine Art Care & Treatment Standards in San Raphael, California (415/472-0800). This article covers most preservation aspects of framing, and is written clearly. He lists five effects of non-reversible practices: acid burns, staining, residues, damage on removal, and loss of value. Then he describes the Top Ten List of Non-Reversibility in Framing, tells which effects they are likely to produce, and what to do instead:

*

Frank Mowery's presentation, "Parchment: Historical Overview & Conservation of Books and Documents," is summarized in great detail, with diagrams, on p. 5-15 of the Binders' Guild Newsletter, XVIII no. 3 (April 1995), by Jim Dorsey. Reading this summary is almost as good as having been there.(3D1)

*

"An Investigation of the Hygroscopicity of Parchment Subjected to Different Treatments," by J. Dernovsková, H. Jirasová & J. Zelinger. Restaurator, 16:1, 1995, p. 31-44. A modern parchment, not prepared for writing use, was compared with a historical parchment from central Europe, made before about 1550. The historical parchment absorbed much more moisture, and gained and lost it much more quickly, than the modern sample, regardless of what it was treated with (methanol, ethanol, synthetic spermaceti, gum arabic, egg white, gelatine, Tylose, Paraloid B72, Klucel G, and Sokrat 6402), and whether it was soaked or coated with the substance. The authors conclude that "it would be advisable to restrict the substitution of the historical material with modern parchment, both in restoration work and in experimental measurements." (3D1)

*

Two books on plastics are reviewed jointly by two authors, Lisa Goldberg and Mary Ballard, in JAIC 34 (Spr. 1995), p. 84-91. The first is John Morgan's Conservation of Plastics, which was reviewed in 1993 by Don Sales in the UKIC's Conservation News and reprinted the same year in the WAAC Newsletter.

The second is Symposium 91, Saving the 20th Century: The Conservation of Modern Materials, edited by David Grattan. Ottawa: Communications Canada, 1993. It provides some detailed information about the current state of knowledge and future research directions for the conservation of modern materials, with a primary focus on plastics. It is more accurate and has a wider scope than Morgan's book. Several of the papers are seminal, they say, and might well become standard reference papers for particular topics.(3E)

*

"Cover Your ASCII: Protecting Yourself against the Disappearing Programmer," by Jeannette Woodward. Wilson Library Bulletin, April 1995, p. 28-29. Most libraries have custom programming or they customize their off-the-shelf software. Eventually the programmer leaves, and the library has questions about maintenance, bugs, security, structure and so on. This article advises five precautions to take so that the library will have continuing access to its own records. They relate to documentation, choice of computer language, a file of self-explanatory source codes for programs, and involvement of a number of staff members in design or updating of the program. (3G)

*

Inside views of conservation in other countries are given in several articles in the March 1995 Paper Conservation News. "Working for the Calcutta Tercentenary Trust," by Christine Mackay, focuses on an art collection in India; "Conservation Facilities in the City of Krakow," by Jonathan Rhys-Davis, is about a study tour; and "Academic Conservation Courses in German-Speaking Countries," by Pascale Regnault of the Bodleian, describes six programs in paper conservation that are three to five years long. They are in Munich, Cologne, Stuttgart, Bern, Vienna and Berlin. Three shorter items are "Dutch Conservation Society Visits St. Petersburg," "Training Course in Italy," and "Central Research Laboratory for Objects of Art and Science in Amsterdam."(4D)

*

The Institute of Paper Conservation has a library of conservation literature in the Ashmolean Museum. It also has a 40-page looseleaf library catalogue, now in its third edition, which lists items by author and title. It costs £3.50 + postage. There is a separate guide (Judith Chantry's 189-page "Useful Articles"), with its own ten-category subject index, of 1,978 papers from periodicals and conference proceedings, up to 1993. The library supplies photocopies to members at 25p per side, post-free, with a minimum charge of £1.50. Contact the Librarian, Judith Chantry, Paper Conservation Studio, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford OX1 2PH, (01865) 278056. Fax: (01993) 868621.(4E2)

 [Contents]  [Search]  [Abbey]


[Search all CoOL documents]


URL: http://cool.conservation-us.org/byorg/abbey/an/an19/an19-2/an19-213.html
Timestamp: Sunday, 03-Mar-2013 21:38:30 PST
Retrieved: Thursday, 23-Nov-2017 13:15:05 GMT