The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 22, Number 7-8



"An Archival Glossary for the Millenium," by Diane Vogt O'Connor. CRM [Cultural Resources Management, a publication of the National Park Service] Vol. 22 #2, 1999, p. 46-52.

It is hard for most people to write a glossary that defines the terms used in an area of specialization, but this author does very well because she writes well and can describe the language of modern archivists clearly. She does not shrink from defining the phrase "archival quality," for instance, although it has many meanings (or lack of meanings) in popular use. Some other terms included: Archiving [transferring an electronic file from active to inactive memory in an automated system], Artifactual value, Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom, Lossy compression, Provenance, Provenience, TIFF, and Watermarking.

In fact, that whole issue of CRM focuses on archives. Two other articles in it are "Creating Permanent and Durable Information: Physical Media and Storage Standards," by Stephen Puglia (Preservation and Imaging Specialist, NARA), and "Is the Record of the 20th Century at Risk?" by Diane Vogt O'Connor (Senior Archivist, Museum Management Program, National Park Service). Here are some statistics quoted by O'Connor:

"The National Archives and Records Administration is now annually accepting 10 times more electronic records from the Treasury Department in email alone than it received from the entire federal government in the previous 25 years, according to a recent article by Archivist John Carlin."

"...Digital media self-destruct in decades with little warning. Some vanish much more speedily--the average life expectancy of a web page is roughly 70 days according to Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive." (1C2)


History Matters: Lessons from the New-York Historical Society's Board Room, by Kevin Guthrie. 24 pages. 1997. On sale (25% off) for $12 from the National Center for Nonprofit Boards, Publications Dept., PO Box 92294, Washington, DC 20090-2294 (800/883-6262 or 202/452-6262; fax 202/452-6299).

Publisher's blurb says: "Struggling with endowment management? Unsure about how to determine an annual spending limit on investments? Need advice on how to achieve a stable mix of cash, investments and capital assets? Learn important lessons by examining the New-York Historical Society's turbulent history. This booklet is especially relevant for museums and other cultural institutions, but provides important lessons for all nonprofit organizations." More information at their website: (1G9)


Marketing for Mission, by Rebecca Leet. National Center for Nonprofit Boards, 1998. (NCNB Booklet, Strategic Issues Series). 24 pp. ISBN 0-925299-82-0. $12 from the National Center for Nonprofit Boards, Suite 510, 2000 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-4907 (tel. 202/452-6262, fax 202/452-6299, e-mail Copies can be ordered by calling 800/883-6262.

This is a wonderful book. It recognizes that nonprofit organizations need to promote their services if they want to survive and achieve their mission, but it emphasizes that marketing as it is done by commercial firms is not what nonprofits need. They need mission-based marketing, which the author defines initially in terms of what it is not. It is not fund-raising, publicity, selling people your programs, or an informational or educational activity. The focus of the marketing effort is the customer (those served), not the organization. The way to find out what the customer wants is to ask just one or a few questions, then listen and respond. Marketing must take place everywhere in the organization, because it is relevant to almost every function of a nonprofit.

There is a section called "The Board's Role in Marketing," which states that the first of six effective things a board can do is to "link marketing to strategic planning." The next section is "Gathering Market Data You Can Use," and it emphasizes ways to get information from customers without burdening them with long questionnaires that only ask what you want to find out. The last section is only one page long: "Adopting Mission-Driven Marketing," which says it can take five years for an organization to learn this new way of marketing.

The bibliography has five recent references with abstracts; the authors are Peter C. Brinckerhoff, Siri Espy, Philip Kotler, Barry J. McLeigh and Gary J. Stern. And the booklet starts out with a quote from Peter Drucker's book, Managing the Nonprofit Organization. In the 1960s, Drucker was writing only about commercial organizations. He said then that he didn't understand nonprofit organizations, but he must have decided to tackle the topic while there was still some unexplored territory. (1G9)


CCI Notes, written by the staff of the Canadian Conservation Institute, now numbering more than 90. Intended for a broad audience, they cover care of collections (general guidelines); preventive conservation; insect pests; leather, skin and fur; paper and books; planning for disaster management; care of photographic materials; spot tests in conservation; and many museum-related topics. They can be purchased as a set in a binder for $85, or individually for $2 each. They are listed in the 1999 CCI Catalogue, Publications and Special Products, which can be viewed at the CCI Web site,, or requested from Publications Sales at CCI, 1030 Innes Road, Ottawa ON K1A 0M5, Canada (613/998-3721, ext. 250; fax 613/998-4721).

The CCI series of Technical Bulletins provides more detailed information, for conservators and other professionals. Five of them relate to library conservation:

TB #10: Silica Gel, by Raymond H. Lafontaine (1984; US$6; code: 8401).

TB #11: Dry Methods for Surface Cleaning of Paper, by Janet Cowan (1986; US$6; code: 8601).

TB #12: Controlling Museum Fungal Problems, by Thomas J.K. Strang and John E. Dawson (1991; US$10; code: 9101).

TB #13: Controlling Vertebrate Pests in Museums, by Thomas J.K. Strang and John E. Dawson (1991; US$6; Code: 9102).

TB #15: Solving Museum Insect Problems: Chemical Control, by John E. Dawson, revised by Thomas J.K. Strang (1992; US$15; Code: 9201). (1H3)


Preservation of Library & Archival Materials: A Manual, edited by Sherelyn Ogden. 3rd ed., revised and expanded. 1999. About 350 pages long. Printed version will be available Summer 1999; for information contact Gay Tracy at Northeast Document Conservation Center, 100 Brickstone Square, Andover, MA 01810 (978/470-1010; fax 978/475-6021; <>).

The entire manual, however, is on the Web now at The way the information was originally published, in 51 separate technical leaflets, makes it easy to consult online, and to download and print the leaflets needed for a specific project or purpose.

The editor's 1998 book, Preservation Planning: Guidelines for Writing a Long-Range Plan, was announced on p. 63 of the current volume of this Newsletter. It too is in looseleaf format, and has 150 pages. NISO Press is selling it for $49. (2.4)


Inside IAQ, EPA's Indoor Air Quality Research Update. Issued twice yearly by the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711. "If you would like to be added to or removed from the mailing list, please mail, fax, or e-mail your name and address to:

Inside IAQ, Attn: Kelly Leovic
U.S. EPA - MD-54
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
(Fax 919/541-2157, e-mail:"

The Fall/Winter 1998 issue has 16 pages, and includes six articles, a literature section and a glossary. The articles are: Evaluation of low-VOC latex paints; A compilation of data on emissions from indoor sources (4 pages); Volatile organic emissions from printed circuit board laminates; Factors influencing IAQ, immunity, and health; Modeling emissions from water-based cleaning supplies; and Antimicrobial agents used in HVAC systems.

Eleven papers on EPA's indoor air research are reviewed on p. 12-15, and the name and number of a person to contact for more information is given at the end of each. Some of the findings from these papers:


"Indoor Air Pollution: Detection and Mitigation of Carbonyls," Presentation Abstracts and Additional Notes. Papers presented at this June 1998 conference at Strathclyde were edited by Dr. Lorraine Gibson, of the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage. 77 pages. The table of contents has been mounted on the Web at, and the entire proceedings may be on the Web in the near future.

In the meantime, a limited number of the proceedings were available in February from Dr. Gibson, NICH, fax: (31-20) 675-16-61 or e-mail: [The Web site gives her address as the old one for the Central Research Lab: Gabriel Metsustraat 8, 1071 EA Amsterdam, The Netherlands, fax: 31 20 3054 700. All very confusing.] A one-page report of the conference is at The next meeting on carbonyls will be in 1999, in Amsterdam, around Sept. 1. (2C1.8)


Moving Library Collections: A Management Handbook, by Elizabeth Chamberlain Habich. Greenwood Press, 1998. 360 pp. ISBN 0-313-29330-9. $79.50.

Publisher's blurb says it is "filled with practical advice culled from reports on more than a hundred moves, [and] addresses the needs of libraries planning to use a moving company or moving themselves." Analytical tools and knowledge of procedures necessary for carrying out the move effectively and efficiently are provided. The author is Administrative Services Officer, Northeastern University Libraries. (2D3)


Jane Holland (<>; Conservation Advisor, Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, 77 Bloor St. West, 2nd Floor, Toronto, ON M7A 2R9) posted a query about moving museum collections on the Conservation DistList in 1997, and received a "flood of information" on the topic.

She posted a list of all the publications to which she was referred. This bibliography can be consulted in the DistList Archives ( for 18 Aug. 1997.

Some of the publications were:


Before Photocopying: The Art & History of Mechanical Copying 1780 - 1938, by Barbara Rhodes and William W. Streeter. 495 pp, over 1200 illustrations, 9" x 12" hardcover. Publication date: April 15, 1999. Published by Oak Knoll Press and W.W. Streeter, dba Heraldry Bindery. $75 plus shipping & handling from W.W. Streeter, Heraldry Bindery, 78 Masonic St., Northampton, MA 01060 (413/584-2544).

This is the definitive history of the copy press, familiar to many binders as the book press, indispensible for hand binding. It was originally invented and used, however, to copy letters and documents by pressing them in a "sandwich" with dampened tissue paper, which then had to be read from the other side. Special inks and pencils that were soluble in water had to be used, of course, in the original. The tissue paper came already bound into the copying press book, so special sheets of waterproofed paper were inserted above and below the dampened tissue and the original, and the entire book was pressed to transfer the image. (2E2)


"The Preconditioning of Paper," by N. Nilsson, M. Singleton and I.H. Parker. 52nd APPITA annual general conference, Brisbane, 11-14 May 1998, v. 2, pp 549-555 (Carlton, Australia: APPITA, 1998, 640 pp, 2 vols) [Paperbase Abstracts 1998, #7784]

The abstract says that the recommended RH range of 20-35% for preconditioning of paper does not lower the moisture content enough to put it on the outer moisture isotherm when it is later conditioned at 23°C and 50% RH. Tests carried out on the machine direction tensile and cross direction ring crush properties of several grades of paper showed that the effect of reducing the moisture content to 4% or less and then conditioning to an EMC at 50% RH did not damage the paper. Also, it was shown to be inconsequential as to how the "low" moisture content was reached.

[This research from the paper industry relates to the issue of whether paper is harmed by the process of drying it out before deacidification, or during freeze-drying after a disaster. Without knowing more about how the authors tested the paper, and how reliable the results seem to be, it is hard to say how seriously to take the conclusions, but some research is better than no research on this topic.] (2F3.4)


In the first half of 1998, the U.S. Fire Administration posted its report on a major 1997 Chicago fire in a commercial records center, raising many as-yet unanswered questions in the archives community. The report is at <>.

Richard Boyden reported this briefly on the DistList in June 1998. He went on to say, "In addition the National Fire Protection Journal, March-April, 1998, ran an article on the 1997 fire in the Iron Mountain records storage facility in New Brunswick, NJ. It destroyed 800,000 cubic feet of business records of Fortune 500 companies' NY headquarters offices. This fire has attracted even more widespread attention than the Chicago [fire].

"Both facilities were protected by sprinkler systems. Both articles raise far more questions than they answer but are worth reading."

Boyden is in the San Bruno office of the National Archives <>. (2F7)


Three Technical Bulletins from CCI on mold, insects and vertebrate pests are cited in the entry for CCI Notes, above. (2H)


Book and Paper Conservation Proceedings: Ljubljana, 1997. Edited by Jedert Vodopivec and Natasa Golob. In English and Slovenian. Copyright is held by the Conservation Department of the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia. 364 pp. $65 from the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, 1000 Ljubljana, Zvezdarska 1, Slovenia (tel. +386 61 1251 222, fax +386 61 216 551).

The table of contents lists 30 papers, of which the following may have the most interest for American conservators:


Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (Instituut Collectie Nederland), Research Abstracts 1996, Investigations by the former Central Research Laboratory, 1998. 37 pages, in two sections: English and Dutch.

The Institute's lab has a new English name, a new Dutch name, a new address and everything (see News). This is because the Central Research Laboratory was merged with the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage, the Dutch State School for Restorers and the Netherlands Office for Fine Arts, just two years ago.

Agnes Gräfin Ballestrem, Head of the Advisory and Research [O & A] Department, says in her March 1998 cover letter that "the scientific staff members of the institute will be grateful for your comments and criticism and will be happy to give more information about the projects or to answer your questions."

The most interesting research projects relevant to library and archival preservation are:


"Pulling for Sewing Through the Fold," by Tom Conroy. Binders' Guild Newsletter, vol. XXII #1 (Jan. 1999), p. 4-11. Reprinted from the New Library Scene, v. 10 #5 (Oct. 1991), p. 13-16; but "copy-editors' mistakes and intrusions have been corrected, and redrawn illustrations have been restored to their original appearance and instructional point." The original version was announced briefly in the Abbey Newsletter in November 1991.

As the author says, this technique for pulling (disbinding) a book prior to rebinding has never been adequately described in print before. He learned the method, which is probably the least damaging and fastest method around, from Anne Kahle of the Capricornus School of Bookbinding and Restoration. As he says, "the key to pulling a book cleanly is to break the sections free of each other before the sewing threads are cut or the covers are removed."

Susan Lunas is the new editor of the Binders' Guild Newsletter. She can be contacted at 154 Wedgewood Circle, Eatontown, NJ 07724-1222 (732/544-8319; <>). (3A1.3)


Manuscript Inks, by Jack C. Thompson. No page count is provided, but the paper book cover seems designed to fit around 25 or 30 pages, 5.5" x 8.5". ISBN 1-887719-04-0. $8.95 + $2.00 postage, from The Caber Press, 7549 N. Fenwick, Portland, OR 97217 (503/735-3942; web site:

Topics covered in this booklet on the early history of ink include iron gall inks, their components and corrosive effects; manufacture of traditional Jewish ink; Japanese and Chinese ink sticks; ink grinding slates; and "rotten" ink. A 16th century Booke of Secrets is also included, with a technical glossary and bibliography. (3B2.12)


"Chiffonseiden-Kaschierungen: Wie kann man sie entfernen?" [Silk Chiffon Linings: How Can They Be Re-moved?] Restauro, 1/99 p. 12.

[Rough translation of first three sentences:] "A new method of removing silk chiffon from papers corroded by iron gall ink has been developed. The widespread practice of pasting the silk to the ink-damaged paper has had serious consequences. It led sometimes to the spread of the ink corrosion through the influence of water from the paste as well as tension in the paper and even the paste, leading to embrittlement and yellowing."

They found that a compress containing an enzyme gel worked very well (alpha amylase dissolved in a polyethyleneoxide gel). The object was moistened first with a mixture of ethylene glycol monomethylether and water, to keep the ink from bleeding. For information contact Dirk Schönborn ( He is at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart, Höhenstrasse 16, 70736 Fellbach, tel. 49 711/58 29 40. (3B2.32)


"An Alternative Immersion Technique," by Per Cullhed. The Paper Conservator, 22, 1998. pp. 62-64.

Complicated stains often require long immersion in a solvent, a hazardous practice which increases the risk of fire due to the amount of solvent lost through evaporation. Poultices may be used to give longer periods of contact with the solvents, but tidelines may result despite precautions (pre-testing, dry poultice powder at the edges of the poultice).

The author tried a new approach after tidelines unexpectedly developed on a drawing during poulticing. He constructed a heat-welded 125-micron Mylar envelope with an open short end, into which the solvent could be poured. The open end has an extra two or three inches that can be folded over, then held up cuplike to receive the solvent, which in this case was 60 ml of methyl ethyl ketone. The tidelines disappeared, the solvent poured out neatly into a cup, and the drawing dried without being handled after they cut the sides of the envelope open with a knife. The Merck Index indicated that Mylar is not dissolved by solvents likely to be used in conservation.

This system could also be used for enzyme treatment, the author suggests. The envelope could be immersed in warm water except for the open end, which would receive the enzyme solution. (3B2.33)


"Photostabilization of Bleached Mechanical Pulps with DTPA Treatment," by A. Ni et al. J. Pulp Pap. Sci. v. 24 #8, Aug. 1998, pp. 259-263. (Paperbase Abstracts 1998, #8974)

Whether added to the slurry when the handsheets were made, or used to treat handsheets after they were made, DTPA reduced yellowing after exposure to fluorescent light, even with paper to which iron, copper or aluminum had been added. Furthermore, its effect did not diminish as time went on.

[DTPA (diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid) is a common chelating agent, used in the paper industry as well as in conservation.] (3B2.36)


The Science of Preservation Framing, by Hugh Phibbs, is issued as a supplement to Picture Framing Magazine for February 1999. In its 30 pages, it covers:

The language of science and the science of conservation

The physics of common substrates

The physics of common media; The physics of framing materials

The physics of frames and frame packages

The physical effects of temperature

The physical effects of light

Issues of chemistry; Why atoms interact

Combinations of acids and bases


Carbon chains; polymers and plastics

Nitrogen and anoxic environments; sealed frame packages

Chemical interactions inside the frame

Making decisions based on science

There are four ads for pressure-sensitive tapes, one of which is for 3M's Scotch Conservation & Preservation Tape (two kinds: coated both sides, and coated one side). (3B2.59)


Historic Framing and Presentation of Watercolours, Drawings and Prints, Proceedings of the Conference of June 1996 by the same name. 57 pp. ISBN 0-9507268-7-7. Available for £17.50 or $35 (including surface mail postage) from the Institute for Paper Conservation, Leigh Lodge, Leigh, Worcestershire WR6 5LB, UK (fax 44 1886 833688). Credit card payment is OK by Visa/ Mastercard/Switch; provide card number, expiry date, issue number and signature. ("Issue number" is not defined.)

David Alexander spoke on framing of English prints in the 18th C.; Thea Burns, on framing and presentation of European pastel portraits; Helen Dorey, on watercolors, drawings and prints at Sir John Soane's Museum; Bryan Clarke, on a comparison of methods at the Fitzwilliam Museum; Nicola Walker, on mounting and framing at the Whitworth Art Gallery; and Vojtech Jirat-Wasiutynski on Paul Gauguin's presentation of his own drawings. (3B2.59)


"New Method for Quantitative Analysis of Recycled Fibers in Paper Samples," by T. Osada et al., Pulp & Paper Research Conference, Tokyo, Japan, 15-16 June 1998, pp. 2-5. 192 pp. Japan TAPPI, 1998. (In Japanese) [from Paperbase Abstracts 1999, #513}

About five years ago, a method was invented for determining recycled content in groundwood papers, but until recently, there was no way to tell the recycled content of low-lignin printing/writing papers. This new method sounds like good news, because lignin turns up in recycled office paper and other products, but cannot be detected easily by the paper mills that buy recycled paper to include in their own products. --Not, that is, until it turns yellow in the light, after someone buys it.

In principle, at least, this method will make it possible to avoid groundwood-content paper for uses that require a stable whiteness: art prints, drawings, outdoor posters and signs, and important papers and publications.

Another new method, acetylation of the pulp in the pulp mill, is described in the same issue of Paperbase Abstracts (#369). Acetylation "substantially increases the photostability of different types of high yield pulps." Eventually, the problem of color reversion may be solved, by this or some other process. (3B3.61)


"Dung is Pulped by Paper Producer," by L. Roberts. Printweek, 9 Oct. 1998, p. 10. (from Paperbase Abstracts 1999, #1246)

A paper mill in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is marketing paper made from elephant dung. It must be a hand paper mill, because the stock is poured into a mould. First they wash and dry the dung, boil it in an enormous blender, and mix it with recycled paper. It takes 250 kilograms of dung to make 1,000 sheets of paper. The mill does not use bleach, because of concern for the environment, so the paper's color depends on the elephants' diet. The paper company is called Maximus. (Simon Green, who was consulting with paper mills in India a few years ago, may know about this mill. -Ed) (3B3.8)


On the Boundaries of Paper History (written in Chinese), by Ta-chuan Chen. Sponsored by the Taiwan Provincial Cultural Affairs Dept. and the Chan-Chuen Cotton Paper Foundation, and dedicated to the memory of Ts'ai-Lun. Publication of the book was announced Nov. 1998 at the Taiwan Paper Museum in Taipei; the name of the publisher and the price are not given in the March 1999 Tappi Journal where this publication was described.

The author is a historian and "papermaking specialist." Some of the points made in his book are:

Ancient paper was made of barks. The first paper was produced in a pit in the ground and did not use steam processing. He discusses the paper of Ts'ai-Lun, and whether there was paper before Ts'ai-Lun; traditional Chinese papermaking techniques; the oldest Taiwanese paper-making machine; patterns, marks, and watermarks; the improvement of paper, brushes, and ink and the implications for calligraphy and painting; the use of paper in different editions of the Bible; and etymological problems relating to kozo. (3B4)


Doug Nishimura posted a list of 17 formal standards that relate to photographs and imaging materials on the Conservation DistList July 9, 1998. He described the scope and nature of each standard, and the corresponding ISO standard number, if there is one. They relate to manufacturing specs, terminology, the Photographic Activity Test, residual thiosulfate etc., storage practices, Arrhenius predictions for life expectancy, humidity control and measurement, life expectancy of compact discs, magneto-optic discs, and recordable compact disc systems. Most of them are ANSI standards [i.e., ANSI/NAPM or ANSI/PIMA standards].

He did not give prices, but he did furnish the URL for ANSI: <>. It might help to have the standard's number when searching for it on the ANSI website. This can be found in the posting, now in the DistList archives at <>. (3F)


Authentic Electronic Records: Strategies for Long-Term Access, by Charles M. Dollar. Cohasset Associates, Inc. (505 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60611; ph. 312/527-1550; website <>). June 1998.

The author (who now teaches at the University of British Columbia) kindly sent the table of contents, preface and introduction of this book to the Editor at Abbey Publications. It is long (9 pages), and hard to boil down, but it is well thought out and authoritative.

The book has four main sections:

His work over the last 30 or so years has led him to address problems in this area. He says, "I had a long-standing interest in information technology obsolescence that dated to the 1970s when I was the Director of the Machine-Readable Archives Division of the National Archives and Records Administration and to the 1980s and early 1990s when I was a member of the Archival Research and Evaluation Staff of [NARA] and explored information technology standards and optical media technologies."

Since 1994 he has worked on a grant-funded project to examine the impact of information technology on access to electronic records; reported the results in two conference papers; and joined an international group of experts to discuss recommendations for preservation and storage of electronic records, later drafting the report of their deliberations. (3G)


Avoiding Technological Quicksand: Finding a Viable Technical Foundation for Digital Preservation, by Jeff Rothenberg. A report to the Council on Library and Information Resources. Council on Library and Information Resources, Jan. 1999. ISBN 1-887334-63-7. 35 pp. $20 from CLIR, 1755 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036.

Jeff Rothenberg, a senior research scientist at the Rand Corporation, first became known to most of the preservation community through his sidebar in a 1995 Scientific American, "Ensuring the Longevity of Digital Documents," in which he basically sounded the alarm for scientific and technical readers. Since then, more people within and outside of libraries and archives have acknowledged the seriousness of the problem, and solutions have been proposed, or simply assumed to be possible. Rothenberg gently shoots down most of them. They are:

Printing digital documents on paper

Relying on standards to keep the documents readable

Reading them by running obsolete software and hard-ware preserved in museums

Translating them so that they "migrate" into forms accessible by future generations of software.

These solutions won't work, he says, because they are "labor-intensive and ultimately incapable of preserving digital documents in their original forms." [Note: This is a computer expert, not a rare book librarian, speaking about preserving the original form.] His solution is to use emulation to "recreate a digital document's original functionality, look and feel." Emulation does not have to be invented, because it is used every day to allow backward compatibility of updated programs, and to let machines with different operating systems read each other's programs. What will have to be developed, however, are techniques for specifying emulators that will run on unknown future computers; for saving human-readable metadata that will make it possible to find and recreate the documents; and for encapsulating the documents to "ensure their cohesion and prevent their corruption."

Rothenberg is articulate, precise, knowledgeable and realistic. He makes a persuasive argument for his approach, and seems to have overlooked nothing. Even librarians and archivists without a technical background will be able to follow his reasoning, absorb the new information he presents, and enjoy reading the booklet all the way through. (3G)


"The Information Ecosystem," by Diane Vogt-O'Connor. Cultural Resource Management (published by the National Park Service), v. 21 #6, 1998, p. 3-6. An electronic version of this issue of CRM can be accessed through the CRM homepage at <>.

A sidebar entitled "The Challenges" on p. 4 describes nine trends or conditions that will make it incredibly hard, if not impossible, for any organization adequately to keep track of, use and maintain the exploding body of information relevant to its operation.

The article itself opens with a broad definition of the role and nature of information in the cultural resources community, saying it "includes all those individuals and professions that create, manage, use and adaptively re-use information in all forms." This issue of CRM includes 13 articles from some of them, including archeologists, architectural historians, archivists, curators, historians, conservators, those who capture and manage electronic data for current use (information resource managers, geographic information system staff, programmers, and systems analysts), interpreters and educators, librarians, records managers and tribal cultural managers. The roles of all these people are described. There is a four-page bibliography at the end.

The author is Senior Archivist, Museum Management Program, National Park Service. Her closing sentence is "If our hard-won data and information is to survive for future re-use, we must individually and as professional allies care for our information legacy on a daily basis using the techniques and practices described in this CRM issue on the 'Information Ecosystem' and in the upcoming 'Archives at the Millenium' issue." (5)


"What Makes Records Deteriorate," by Paul N. Banks. ASHRAE Journal, 41:4, April 1999, p. 71-72, 74-76.

"ASHRAE" stands for American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, a group whose members receive little or no formal training to prepare them for their part in the preservation of museum or library collections. Paul Banks explains the nature of these collections, their modes of deterioration and environmental needs, simply and thoroughly, without exaggeration or oversimplification. Not only paper items, but photographs, magnetic tape, microfilm, videotapes and CD-ROMs are covered; also the two main kinds of deterioration, oxidation and hydrolysis; the changes that take place in photographs and magnetic tape as they deteriorate; sources of indoor pollution, and the role of temperature and humidity in aging. He provides a diagram of isoperms (combinations of temperature and relative humidity that result in the same life expectancy for a given material) and a graph of the Preservation Index overlaid on the Time Weighted Preservation Index to show how a sequence of bad and good storage conditions affect the life expectancy of a material (engineers like diagrams and graphs).


Anthony Cains' process of giving a 15th-century restoration binding to the Ellesmere Chaucer is described in the Binders' Guild Newsletter for April 1999, on p. 3-19, in great detail, with diagrams and photographs. Eleven pages consist of Ex-Editor Jim Dorsey's notes from the Guild of Book Workers' Seminar on Excellence last October in Greensboro, and 16 pages are taken by Daniel Woodward and Maria Fredericks' "Summary of Anthony G. Cains's Report on the Preparation of the Ellesmere Manuscript for the New Facsimile, the Repair (and History of Repair) of the Manuscript, and its Rebinding." None of the authors thought they had given the process the coverage it deserved, but the combined reports are remarkably informative. Cains's complete report is on file in the manuscripts department of the Huntington Library. (The manuscript belongs to the Huntington, and the work was done in a special lab there.)

The occasion of the rebinding was a planned facsimile edition, which involved imaging the pages as they lay flat on a surface. This would have been impossible without disbinding, because the last binding it received (about 1911, by Riviere) included a tight back.

The form and structure of the original binding were inferred from the sewing thread impressions, needle perforations, verdigris staining and other evidence, which was documented in detail. The book had had a massive woodworm infestation and an overcover (or chemise) of reversed alum-tawed leather.

Instead of clasps to maintain pressure on the book's leaves, a padded carrying case was made, and the volume was rebound using little or no glue, so that it would lie flat for display or reading.

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