The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 21, Number 3
Sep 1997


Note: The classification number that follows each entry is there to help the editor arrange, file and find the citations.

When the publisher's address is not given, it can usually be found in the list of Useful Addresses that is mailed out yearly to subscribers.


"Preservation Program Management at the Library of Congress: A Case Study," by Diane Nester Kresh. Paper Conservator 20, 1996, p. 27-32. This is about the long-range planning process that began in 1993 and resulted in a reorganization plan in January 1995 with newly set goals, priorities and procedures consciously arrived at, with democratic input from staff and the public. (1G1)


ANSI/NAPM IT9.20-1996, "American National Standard for Imaging Materials - Reflection Prints - Storage Practices." A revision and redesignation of ANSI PH1.48-1982 (R1987). 16 pp. New York: American National Standards Institute (11 West 42nd St., NYC 10036)

The standard applies not only to black and white and color photographic prints, but to prints made by electrophotography (e.g., xerography), ink jet and diazo. It specifies medium-term and long-term storage practices. Other ANSI standards, covering storage containers, storage of films, the Photographic Activity Test, installation of air conditioning and ventilating systems, fire protection for archives, and other topics related to preservation, are referred to and listed in front.

There are sections on enclosures and containers, storage housings, storage rooms, environmental conditions for medium-term and extended-term storage, fire-protective storage, and print identification, handling, and inspection. The last eight pages have informative annexes (appendices) on storage vs. work copies, humidity, temperature, temperature-RH relationship, historic still photos, air-entrained and gaseous impurities (i.e., air pollution), fire protection, and silver image discoloration. The annexes help make the standard useful as a manual too, but if there was more certainty in this fast-moving field about how to preserve reflection prints, there would be more specifications in the standard's text, and less general advice in the annexes. For instance, Table 1, "Storage Temperature and Relative Humidity," has 36 cells, of which only ten are filled in. (2C1)


"The Effect of Fluctuations in Relative Humidity on Library and Archival Materials and their Aging Within Contained Environments," by Chandru Shahani, Frank Hengemihle and Norman Weberg. In Proceedings of the [IFLA] Pan-African Conference on the Preservation and Conservation of Library and Archival Materials, Nairobi, Kenya, 21-25 June 1993, Jean-Marie Arnoult et al., eds. (1995), pp. 61-70. [Citation from AATA abstract; proceedings not available in Abbey Newsletter office.]

The first time this line of research at the Library of Congress was reported was at the 1988 ACS Symposium in Los Angeles, published in Historic Textile and Paper Materials II: Conservation and Characterization, edited by Howard L. Needles and S. Haig Zeronian. (ACS Symposium Series No. 410) Washington, DC: American Chemical Society, 1989.

Two causes of paper deterioration at a constant temperature but fluctuating RH were observed. RH cycling between 40% and 60% every 12 hours accelerated deterioration not only in sheets hung singly in the oven, but also in sheets stacked under a weight to simulate conditions within a book--although the bulk of the paper had to be slowing down humidity changes in the stack. A second cause (accumulation of gaseous degradation products within the stack of paper) was presumed to account for the faster deterioration within the stack,. (2C1.3)


Preservation of Library Materials in South East Asia: Issues, Workshops and Institutions, by Wendy Smith. (An ALIA Occasional Paper) Australian Library and Information Association (PO Box E441, Kingston ACT 2604, Australia; fax 61-6 282 2249), 1996. 45 pp., paper. ISBN 0 86804 534 9. Members AUS$15; nonmembers $20, postpaid. Code: PLM.

The publisher's blurb says, "This is a very readable account of a series of seminars on preservation given in Bangkok and Hanoi. It offers an illluminating insight into the challenges of preservating collections, both in general and in south-east Asia in particular. It provides the reader with a fascinating picture of the cultures, the institutions, their collections and their special circumstances." The author is Lecturer in Paper Conservation in the National Centre for Cultural Heritage Science Studies at the University of Canberra, specializing in library and archive preservation." (2C2.6)


"Use of Molecular Sieves in Retarding the Degradation of Cellulose Acetate Negatives" [Poster] by Brenda Keneghan and Elizabeth Martin (V&A Museum). This poster was displayed at the CAC (Canadian Association for Conservation, formerly the IIC-CG) conference in Ottawa, 1997.

A Type 4A molecular sieve was used as a scavenger for acetic acid in a collection of cellulose acetate negatives. After three months the concentration of acetic acid was down 30%. Progress was monitored by GC-MS. The authors are still working to refine their method. (2C3)


Digital Imaging for Libraries and Archives, by Anne R. Kenney and Stephen Chapman. Ithaca: Cornell University, 1997. 200 p, loose-leaf. $75 + $5 for shipping and handling within the U.S., $8 for Canada and $20 for all other countries. Prepayment required; make checks out to "Department of Preservation, Cornell University." To order, contact Pamela Clearwater, B38 Olin Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, 607/255-9841; e-mail

This is a greatly expanded version of the training manual used in Cornell's series of digital imaging workshops. It covers vocabulary, hardware and software, communications, managerial considerations, creating databases and indexes, outsourcing, converting photographs and film intermediates, long-term access, and suggestions for continuing education. (2E3.2)


Paul Conway reviews four RLG symposium proceedings from 1994 and 1995 in Library Resources & Technical Services 41, no. 2, April 1997, p. 158-162. Their titles and dates of publication are:

Digital Imaging Technology for Preservation, 1994

RLG Digital Image Access Project, 1995

Scholarship in the New Information Environment, 1996

Selecting Library and Archive Collections for Digital Reformatting, 1996

The full references will not be given here. Each has a different editor and number of pages (76 to 170) but the prices are all the same: $20.

This review is well-written and informative. Conway opens by saying "The easiest way to fill a lecture hall with librarians and archivists and maintain interest past lunch is to call a symposium on digital imaging technology and its impact on ... well, on just about anything," and refers to "the nearly insatiable demand for basic information, creative thinking, and reassurance that what we know about managing information is not obsolete." RLG has done well at supplying that demand with high-quality meetings, training and publications, he says.

The first two volumes were described in 1994 and 1995 in the Abbey Newsletter.

The emphasis in the third publication was on how digital collections should be built in order to satisfy scholars' needs, especially the choice of titles to collect.

This theme was continued in the fourth conference, but the issue of selection was not an easy one to settle. Conway recommends reading certain "gems in the proceedings": Samuel Demas's discussion of the role of collection developers, Barclay Ogden's review of preservation priorities, and Nancy Allen's closing remarks on the infrastructure that must underlie the success of digital reformatting programs. (2E3.4)


"Salvage Operations for Water Damaged Archival Collections: A Second Glance," by Betty Walsh. WAAC Newsletter 19 no. 2, May 1997, p. 12-23. A 17" x 22" summary chart printed on synthetic paper (Kimdura) accompanies this article (which is really a manual). The chart can be used as a poster for ready reference onsite. The article and the chart together make a major reference work, a revision of one that appeared nine years ago. There are 108 references.

To receive both the article and the chart from the source, make out a check to WAAC for $10 and send it to Chris Stavroudis, 1272 N. Flores St., Los Angeles, CA 90069. No need to add anything for postage. Or you can join WAAC for $25, and receive a year's worth of issues, including this one. Chris Stavroudis is the membership secretary. (2F3.4)


"Treatment of Mutilated Art Books: A Survey of Academic ARL Institutions" by Elizabeth H. Smith and Lydia Olszak. Library Resources & Technical Services 41 no. 1, Jan. 1997, p. 7-16.

Mutilation of art books (cutting out pages, usually) is an almost universal problem in ARL art libraries. Coping strategies used include restricting future access to the item, replacing the pages with photocopies, and withdrawing the item--but not, apparently, buying a color copier or closing the art section of the stacks. (2G)


The Guild of Book Workers Journal, vol. XXXIII nos. 1 and 2, Spring and Fall 1995, appeared last May.

The two issues contain selected proceedings from the May 1995 Symposium on Bookbinding and the Book Arts at Wells College, Aurora, NY.

Spring issue:

The Ties that Bind - Barbara Kretzmann

The French Technique of Bookbinding - Monique Lallier

Will the Real Otto Zahn Please Stand Up? - Don Etherington

Mary Crease Sears Rediscovered - Joseph Newman

Fall issue:

Women Bookbinders of the Second Cities During the Progressive Era - Michele Valerie Cloonan

A History of Book Arts Programs in America - Sidney E. Berger

The German Bookbinding Tradition - Betsy Palmer Eldridge

The Relationship between Fine Binding and Fine Printing - Tom Taylor (3A1)


Roger Powell: The Compleat Binder. Issued as vol. 14 of Bibliologia. Edited by J. Sharpe. ISBN 2-503-50434-5. 341 pp. 86.00. Brepols Publishers, Steenweg op Tielen 68, B-2300 Turnhout, Belgium.


Roger Powell, 1896-1990: Reminiscences of his family and working life - A. Donnelly and P. Waters

The compleat binder: The arts and crafts legacy of Roger Powell - G. Petherbridge

Annotated bibliography of works by and about Roger Powell - C. Clarkson

Roger Powell's innovation in book conservation: The early Irish manuscripts repaired and bound 1953-1981 - A. Cains

Trade or craft? A question of need - D. Etherington

Mobility and function in the codex bookbinding - G. Frost

Some notes toward a typology of artifact values for books and manuscripts - P. Banks

Wooden books and the history of the codex: Isocrates and the Farm Account, evidence from the Egyptian desert - J. Sharpe

Notes on the Trinity Liber Hymnorum - W. O'Sullivan

Pigments and their uses in Insular manuscripts - M. Brown

The determination of animal species used in medieval parchment making: Non-destructive identification techniques - C. Federici, A. di Majo, and M. Palma

Further studies in Anglo-Saxon and Norman bookbinding: Board attachment methods re-examined - C. Clarkson

A hitherto unrecorded English Romanesque book sewing technique - C. Clarkson

From scribe to binder: Quire tackets in twelfth-century European manuscripts - M. Gullick

Medieval painted book edges - M. Foot

Adventures of an itinerant bookbinder? Marginalia in an early fourteenth-century English manuscript - L. Lee

Cutting corners: Some deceptive practices in seventeenth-century English bookbinding - N. Pickwoad

From Venice to Isfahan and back: The making of an Armenian manuscript in early eighteenth-century Persia - S. Merian

Towards a codicology of bound archival volumes: Conservation documentation and treatment of the Pinkes of Skuadas, Lithuania - J. Paris

Simple, not insignificant: Specifications for a pamphlet binding for book conservation - R. Silverman

Specifications for a hard board, supported, laced construction binding for the conservation of rare books - R. Espinosa (3A3)


"Yellowing of Newspaper after Deacidification with Methyl Magnesium Carbonate," by Vladimír Bukovsky. Restaurator 18: 25-38, 1997.

An obstacle to long-term storage of newspapers in archives is that they darken significantly when deacidified. Cellulose is at least partially protected by deacidification against acid degradation, but what is happening with the lignin? The author reviews what is known about the role of photooxidation and free radicals in the darkening process and describes accelerated and natural aging (5.5 years) of deacidified and methanol-washed newsprint samples. First all samples were exposed to light for 185 days. This darkened the deacidified paper more than the other, but after aging it was the same or a bit brighter than the untreated paper.

Some of the conclusions: Deacidification of paper with methyl magnesium carbonate retarded oxidation by 39-50%. The presence or absence of acid in newsprint had no decisive impact on the degree of lignin oxidation and brightness reversion of paper during photooxidation. If the deacidified newsprint is later stabilized with sulphanilic acid, its tendency to oxidize at an increasing rate (due to an unstable linkage of the Mg with OH groups in the lignin) is significantly retarded. Mg, either in linkage with lignin or in the form of Mg ions, significantly retards oxidative degradation. Deacidification of newspapers with Mg is effective. (3B1.4)


"Wafers and Wafer Seals: History, Manufacture, and Conservation," by Elissa O'Loughlin. Paper Conservator 20, 1996, p. 8-15. Before envelopes with gummed seals were invented, wafers (small discs of baked starch, coloring and other ingredients) were used to seal folded papers and for various other adhesive purposes. They were used from the 17th to the 19th centuries in Europe, England and colonies, including the U.S. (3B2.13)


"The Bleaching of Paper with the Borane Tert-Butylamine Complex," by Marina Bicchieri and Paola Brusa. Restaurator 18 no. 1, p. 1-11, 1997. Although this bleaching compound is hazardous and toxic, it can be used if safety precautions are taken. It works well to bleach previously oxidized paper, and to forestall subsequent oxidative degradation, which can take place at both acidic and alkaline pH. Treatment with the compound approximately doubled the degree of polymerization, intensified colors in the prints, bleached the paper, and brought the pH from 4.5 to 8.5. (3B2.36)


"Conservation of Acid Paper: Studies Carried out in the Chemistry Laboratory of the Istituto Centrale per la Patologia del Libro," by Mariagrazia Plossi Zappalà. Restaurator 18 no. 1, 12-24, 1997.

This is a review of 30 years of work at the ICPL lab on the effect of aqueous deacidification with magnesium, calcium and related metals. It is interesting to see how they got to the bottom of things, investigating every unexpected result.

For instance, when paper deacidified with magnesium bicarbonate was aged at an RH over 40%, it showed that treatment had stabilized it. However, the degree of polymerization decreased after dry aging at 105°C. Calcium bicarbonate had a similar result, though not as strong. So they broadened their investigation to include nonaqueous solutions and looked at other metals already in the Whatman chromatography paper they were using. The answer was found in the paper's sodium, which decreased significantly during treatment. Under moist aging conditions, high concentrations of sodium resulted in degradation, while low concentrations retarded degradation; under dry aging conditions, both high and low concentrations were beneficial.

They also developed and evaluated nonaqueous deacidification methods, including the use of calcium propionate in an aqueous or alcohol solution, which was reported in 1990 at the ICOM meeting in Dresden, and published in 1994. Calcium propionate had a salutory effect on previously oxidized paper similar to that of borane tert-butylamine: the paper remained perfectly white after aging, while an untreated sample turned brown.

Some of the conclusions they reached as a result of this research are: 1) Not only must the pH not become too alkaline during deacidification, but the type of alkalinity should be considered; 2) One must consider the effect of the treatment on neutral, oxidized and pre-aged paper as well as on acid paper; and 3) Sodium borohydride can depolymerize the cellulose. (3B2.4)


"Inlaying Drawings: An Assessment of Two Methods," by Joanna Kosek. Paper Conservator 20, 1996, p. 16-21.

The use of tengujo paper strips with sodium carboxymethyl cellulose as an adhesive resulted in less cockling than the traditional method with paste and a paper window with pared edges. (3B2.59)


IPH Congress Book, 1994, vol. 10 (formerly Yearbook of Paper History). Papers of the 22nd International Congress of Paper Historians, Annonay, France, 2-8 September 1994. Edited by Peter F. Tschudin. Available to nonmembers for Swiss Fr. 60 plus postage, from the IPH Secretary, Ludwig Ritterpusch,Wehrdaer Strasse 135, D-35041 Marburg/Lahn, Germany. 146 pp., including an index of proper and geographical names.

The 19 papers in this volume are in French, German or English; each has a title and summary in all three languages. Here is a selection, using the English titles in all cases:

Among the 47 attendees were Lily and Jean Froissard, Dr. Henk Porck, Henk Voorn, Elaine and Dr. Sidney Koretsky, and Dr. John Krill. (3B4)


Conference Review: "Progress in Leather Conservation, University of Texas, Austin, March 12-14, 1997," by Maria Fredericks. WAAC Newsletter 19 no. 2, May 1997, p. 29-32.

Christopher Calnan came from England, where he now works as Adviser on the Conservation of Organic material for the National Trust, to give this three-day conference sponsored by the Texas Memorial Museum, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRHRC), Leather Conservation News, and International Academic Projects. Thirty participants (conservators and conservation students) assembled in the HRHRC conservation department for morning lectures and 12 book and object conservators came to the afternoon practicums.

Chris Calnan "kept up a ceaseless flow of information" throughout the three days, although there has been little new leather research to report. They learned to identify the species of animal and describe the structure of leather and the ways it can be tanned for different purposes. Five main causes of deterioration in leather were described: RH/temperature/moisture content; chemical deterioration from pollutant gases; insects and mold; physical wear and tear; and inappropriate conservation treatments.

In this report, Betty Haines' research of the '70s and '80s is very briefly described, and the STEP Leather Research Project, now concluded, is described in more detail. The STEP project did not develop treatments or alternate tannages; it developed a way to age leather in the lab, and formulated tests to measure stability. Shrinkage temperature and pH were the best indicators of condition. Look for low pH, between 3.5 and 4.5.

Participants also learned how to identify tannins by use of simple tests, and discussed leather treatments. Calnan believes that lubrication of leather can be appropriate (e.g., to lessen stiffness not caused by aging), and not applied to excess (most leather needs about 5% by weight) and the right kind of lubricant is used (neatsfoot oil must be tested; manufacturers are putting lard into it nowadays, which causes spew). Consolidants were also discussed. Klucel G in ethanol [recommended first by Tony Cains in 1980 at an IPC meeting] is often used, though high concentrations can cause color change and adequate penetration is a problem. Calnan suggested trying isopropanol instead of ethanol. The surface coating developed during the Haines research, SC6000, is now formulated with a higher pH than before; microcrystalline wax coatings were recommended instead, though they do not form a barrier to pollutant gases like SC6000 does.

For mending and fills, Calnan uses Lascaux 360HV, which can be prepared as a dry skin and reactivated with acetone or other solvent for a mend. [When is he going to write his book?] (3D)


Conference Report: Institute for Paper Conservation, London, April 7-10. Reported by Anne Maheux on p. 16-17 of the June 1997 CAC Bulletin (formerly the Bulletin of the IIC-CG); also reported by Charlotte Rennie in the June issue of Paper Conservation News.

Some highlights: Two papers on the history of conservation treatments applied in the past to important documents: the Declaration of Independence (Linda Steiber) and the Jamestown Papers and Records of the Virginia Company, and their reversal (Holly Krueger and Sylvia Albro). "Conservation of a Sketchbook in Iron Gall Ink by George Romney," by Julie Biggs, described an eastern European treatment for removal of discoloration and acid buildup, immersion of each sheet in boiling water after soaking it in ethanol, drying on suction table while adding more ethanol to remove iron ions, then deacidification in magnesium carbonate and resizing. A paper on removal of Scotch cello tape from the 1950s from Dead Sea Scroll fragments; they had to be faced with tissue and MC to hold them together for the treatment.

Several papers dealt with the state of conservation and the profession. The universal shift in policy from treatment to stabilization has left conservators feeling estranged from their profession. Greg Hill's paper on this trend at the National Archives of Canada stimulated much discussion. (Eastern Europeans, however, delivered a number of welcome practical talks.) Another trend seems to be for museums to prefer conservators with a more generalist background. Yet another trend is the use and adaptation of oriental methods of mounting. (3.3)


The preprints of the 1997 ARSAG conference (La Conservation: une science en évolution - Bilan et perspectives) are available for 350 FF + shipping (82 FF). Credit card payment is not accepted. Payable only on a French bank or in French francs. Contact the Secretary, ARSAG, 36 rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, 75005 Paris (tel: 33 1 44.08. 69.90, fax: 33 1 (3.3)


ICOM Committee for Conservation, 1996, Edinburgh. Triennial Meeting Preprints, edited by Janet Bridgland. 2 v. ISBN 1-873936-50-8. 85 ($140). 1,024 pages on all conservation disciplines. James and James Ltd., Waterside House, 47 Kentish Town Rd., London NW1 8NX (tel. 44 171 284 3833; fax 44 171 284 3737). (If you order it through the Paris office of ICOM, you have to send French currency or a check on a French bank; they do not accept VISA. It is not known whether they accept international money orders.)

Selected papers (from the list in the December 1996 Paper Conservation News):

Mechanisms of paper ageing and non-aqueous paper deacidification combined with paper strengthening - M. Anders, K. Bredereck and A. Haberditzl

The application of enzyme-containing methylcellulose gels for the removal of starch-based adhesives in albums - A. Blüher et al.

Changes in some mechanical properties of paper during ageing in an archival box - J. Hanus, M. Komomikova and J. Mináriková

Une lieu sous la mer, le Titanic: Traitement des papiers - F. Herrenschmidt et al.

The Papersave process - A new mass deacidification treatment in the German Library, Leipzig - J. Liers, J. Wittekind and C. Theune

La restauration du Fonds Tuminello: Problèmes techniques de restauration et de conservation des premiers négatifs photographiques - S. Berselli and G. Briant

Acetic acid and paper alkaline reserve: Assessment of a practical situation in film preservation - J. Bigourdan, P. Adelstein and J. Reilly

The use of digital imaging for the preservation of collections of photographs and motion pictures - R. Gschwind, L. Rosenthaler and F. Frey

Air-drying of water-soaked photographic materials: Observations and recommendations - D. Norris

Vegetable-tanned leather: Evaluation of the protective effect of aluminum alkoxide treatment - R. Larson et al. (3.3)


Conference Report: "Conservation and Restoration of Archive and Library Materials, Erice, 22-29 April 1996," by Ylva Player-Dahnsjo. Originally published in the SSCR Newsletter v. 7 no. 3, Aug. 1996; reprinted in Paper Conservation News, no. 80, Dec. 1996, p. 16-17.

This conference, organized by the Istituto per la Patologia del Libro in Rome, was held in Sicily, in the village of Erice, on a mountaintop. [Erice is the same village in which the 1992 conference on "Ancient and Medieval Book Materials and Techniques" was held. Most of the papers at the 1992 conference were in Italian, which has been typical for professional reports of research and conservation done in Italy; but at this conference, most of them were in English, and there was simultaneous translation. Everyone could understand each other. This meeting was historic. Another wall, a communication barrier, has fallen. -Ed.]

International cooperation was a theme that came up repeatedly in the papers and discussions. The first few papers included three descriptions of national or international collaboration: Marc Laenen on ICCROM, Mirjam Foot on the British Library and the national preservation program, and Abdelaziz Abid on the Memory of the World project. International cooperation in training/ education for conservators came up several times. Cooperation is hampered because each country and institution works in isolation, tailoring its program to local regulations and funding sources, and no international standards exist. Similarly, education and research suffer because not enough attention is paid to what the market actually needs. The conservation school in Spoleto, the subject of one presentation, is now funded by the European Union and may help raise standards in this area. Its full name is the European Course for Specialist Training for Conservator-Restorers in Book Materials. It offers two-year courses to young applicants.

Player-Dahnsjo, the author of this report, enjoyed the papers on mold and bacteria very much, especially the session expertly chaired by Mary-Lou Florian, and reported papers on this topic more fully than the rest. Milagros Vaillant of the Cuban Archives gave a paper on "The Health of Documentary Heritage Conservators," which showed a higher-than-normal incidence of infections and allergies among archives workers. Fausta Gallo presented three papers, one of which, "Research on the Viability of Fungal Spores in Relation to Different Microclimates and Materials," used ATP (adenosine triphosphate, a metabolic compound) secreted by all living things, as an index of viability of fungal spores under different environmental conditions. They remained viable longer under conditions considered ideal for preservation, but "burned out" within 18 months or less under warm or damp conditions. (3.3)


"President's Briefing: Copyright in the Real World." A column or section in the American Association of Law Libraries' newsletter, AALL Spectrum, Dec. 1996, p. 23-26. The AALL's Model Law Firm Copyright policy of Oct. 10, 1996, is reprinted on p. 28-29.

Copyright issues come up in libraries in connection with the photocopy machine, material from the Internet, interlibrary loan, software copies, material faxed to a person, permission requests, royalty payments, and--fair use. They are covered here in sections headed "Copyright Q&A," "Don't be Wrong about Copyright [and document delivery]," "Glossary of Copyright Terms," "Resources," "Copyright Policies and Permissions," and "Can You Define 'Fair Use'?"

The definition of fair use is really just a list of four factors on which its legitimacy depends: the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the materials copied, the amount of the portion copied in relation to the whole, and the effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

One of the resources is a book by Laura N. Gasaway and Sarah K. Wiant, Libraries and Copyright: A Guide to Copyright Law in the 1990s, Special Libraries Association, 1994. (1C9.1)


"A Dynamic System for Removing Oxygen from Air Using an Electrochemical Cell," by Mark Gilberg and David W. Grattan. Studies in Conservation 41 #3, 1996, p. 183-186.

We do not call oxygen a pollutant, but it does react eagerly with some artifacts, irreversibly damaging them in storage areas or on display. This paper reports on the investigation of a prototype electrolytic cell developed by Advanced Oxygen Technologies Inc. and manufactured by Giner Inc. It works by combining oxygen with hydrogen and some extra electrons to make water at the cathode, then removing the water. It does the job: in one day, it reduced the oxygen from 21% to 2%, and down to the limit of detection by the end of the third day. But it needs more work: it raises the humidity too high (50% -100%) within the airtight enclosure. (2C3)


Proceedings of the Third Conference of the Foundation on "The Conservation and Preservation of Islamic Manuscripts," held on 18th & 19th November 1995. Edited by Yusuf Ibish and George Atiyeh. Published in English, London, December 1996. 228 pp., paperback. 12 from Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, Eagle House, High Street, Wimbledon, London, SW19 5EF (Fax:44 181 944 1633). ISBN 1 873992 19 X.

There are 16 papers, given by speakers from many different countries. Familiar names are Tony Bish, Ursula Dreibholz, Ann Seibert and Amparo Torres. Less than half of the speakers are Arabian.

Most of the papers describe the conservation practices in a certain country or library, but others focus on characteristics of the manuscript. Two papers (by Seibert and Torres) describe preventive conservation, and two others deal with electronic matters (whether to reformat, and Vatican Library materials online). One deals with ion-beam treatment for Islamic books.

The list of the Foundation's publications sent with this announcement shows that both prior conferences in the series are in print and moderately priced (9 each). They have individual titles: The Significance of Islamic Manuscripts, and The Codicology of Islamic Manuscripts. (3A5.3)


The Secret Science of Covert Inks, by Samuel Rubin. Loopanics Unlimited, PO Box 1197, Port Townsend, WA 98368. ISBN 0-915179-44-X.

The blurb in the International Journal of Forensic Document Examination for July/Sept. 1996 says the book is offered as a text for a possible future course of instruction for enforcement and security officers in the U.S., but it can be used as a self-study book by anyone in law enforcement, or, in fact, by anyone who wants to know more about invisible inks. (3B1.9)

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