The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 26, Number 1
Jun 2002


Literature

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Disaster Recovery of Modern Information Carriers, by Joe Iraci. Published by Canadian Conservation Institute. ©2002. Paperback. US$10/CAN$10. Order from CCI: phone: 613/998-3721, ext. 250; fax: 613/998-4721; e-mail: cci-icc_publications@pch.gc.ca or order online at: http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/.

The publisher's summary, in part, states: "This Bulletin summarizes some procedures for the disaster recovery of modern information carriers such as CDs, magnetic diskettes, and magnetic tapes following immersion in tap water, seawater, and dirty water. Procedures are also given for dealing with media that have hard-to-remove deposits on them or have been exposed to heat, dust/dirt, mold, and shock. These procedures are a compilation of information from the few case histories published, recommendations made by experts in the field, and research performed at the Canadian Conservation Institute."

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Islamic Paper: A Study of the Ancient Craft, by Helen Loveday. Archetype Books: London, 2001. Softcover, ISBN 1-873132-03-4. 90 pp., $24.50. Order from Archetype Publications, 6 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 5HJ; phone: +44 207 380 0800; fax: +44 207 380 0500; e-mail: info@archetype.co.uk. Reviewed by Martha Smith, Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, vol. 41, pp. 97-98.

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"Salvaging Books," written by Glen Ruzicka for the bulletin Disaster Recovery, from CCAHA, 264 South 23rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. A six-page guide to book-drying methods. Phone: 215/545-0613; fax: 215/735-9313; e-mail: ccaha@ccaha.org.

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SOLINET has published several new leaflets related to disaster planning at the following web site: http://www.solinet.net/presvtn/leaf/leaflets.htm. Scroll down to the disaster planning heading to find titles such as "Drying Wet Books and Records," "The Decision-Making Tree for Disaster Recovery" and "Drying Techniques for Water-Damaged Books and Records." Most of these leaflets have been converted to Adobe PDF format to facilitate printing.

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The Conservation and Art Materials Encyclopedia Online (CAMEO) is the new replacement for the database formerly called the Conservation and Art Materials Dictionary (CAMD). The CAMEO compiles, defines and disseminates technical information on the distinct collection of terms, materials and techniques used in the fields of art conservation and historic preservation. The web site is: http://www.mfa.org/conservation/cameo.htm.

Some types of materials and related terms found in the database include: compositional groups (oil, alcohol, acrylic, aniline dye, polymer, etc.); chemical and physical phenomena (tear resistance, relative humidity, absorption, etc.); functional classes (abrasive, detergent, scavenger, sealant, absorbent, insecticide, etc.); and selected devices (solander box, smoke detector, laser pointer, fluorescent lamp, etc.).

Many images will be added, including micrographs and photographic images or drawings of materials; infrared spectra of various substances; comparative charts showing aging studies, stress curves and product comparisons; chromatograms and XRD patterns; etc.

Revisions and submissions are encouraged.

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"Saving our National Written Heritage from the Threat of Deterioration," a report on the Second Phase of the British Library's INFOSAVE project (mass deacidification). Contact Jonathan Rhys-Lewis, Project Consultant, phone/fax: +44 (0) 1206 515498; e-mail: jonathan@rhys-lewis.freeserve.co.uk.

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Copper and Bronze in Art: Corrosion, Colorants, Conservation. By David A. Scott. Getty Conservation Institute, 532 pp., $70. ISBN 0-89236-638-9.

The book review in WAAC reads, in part: "Pigments, corrosion products, and minerals are usually considered separately, either as painting materials or as the deterioration products of metals, even though they are often the same compounds. This 190-year review of the literature on copper and its alloys integrates that information across a broad spectrum of interests that are all too frequently compartmentalized."

The pictures are gorgeous, but the text contains little if any material on paper and books, although copper compounds were used in inks and colorants in early manuscripts.

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"The History and Treatment of Works in Iron Gall Ink," a report by Stephanie Watkins of the iron gall ink workshop at the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education in Suitland, MD, Sept. 2001. WAAC Newsletter, vol. 24, no. 1, p. 20, Jan. 2002.

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"The Invention and Development of Papermaking," by Pan Jixing. From Ancient China's Technology and Science, a compilation by the Institute of the History of Natural Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Foreign Language Press: Beijing, China; 1983. P. 176-183.

The author agrees with archeologists that paper was invented hundreds of years before Cai Lun. (The Chinese government stands firmly behind the Cai Lun fable.)

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The Stability of Photocopied and Laser-printed Documents: General Guidelines, by David Grattan. An 8-page bulletin published by the Canadian Conservation Institute. ©2000. US$6/CAN$6. Order from CCI: phone: 613/998-3721, ext. 250; fax: 613/998-4721.

The bulletin provides a description of a full-sheet test for assessing the adhesion of toner to paper, and gives the results of testing papers according to the ASTM standard for permanence of copy paper.

The CCI Publications Catalogue concludes that black-and-white copies (i.e. those using carbon-based toner) on alkaline paper form very stable records, but color copies do not.

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Water Quality for Treatment of Paper and Textiles, by Season Tse. Published by the Canadian Conservation Institute. ©2001. Paperback, 12 pp., ISBN 0-662-30078-5. US$10/CAN$10. Order from CCI: phone: 613/998-3721, ext. 250; fax: 613/998-4721; e-mail: cci-icc_publications@pch.gc.ca or order online at: http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca.

This bulletin gives basic information about water purification methods and guidelines for water quality requirements for treatment of paper and textile artifacts.

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"Towards a Better Emulsion Adhesive for Conservation," A Preliminary Report on the Effect of Modifiers on the Stability of a Vinyl Acetate/Ethylene (VAE) Copolymer Emulsion Adhesive, by Jane Down. Published by the Canadian Conservation Institute. ©2000. Spiral-bound, 27 pp., ISBN 0-660-17876-1. US$10/CAN$10. Order from CCI: phone: 613/998-3721, ext. 250; fax: 613/998-4721; e-mail: cci-icc_publications@pch.gc.ca or order online at: http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca.

This study, which was based on lab analysis and natural aging of samples for extended periods, was conducted by the CCI from 1983 to 1994 to find a better PVAC (polyvinyl acetate) adhesive for use in conservation.

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Dry Methods for Surface Cleaning Paper, by Jane Cowan and Sherry Guild. A 12-page bulletin published by the Canadian Conservation Institute. Revised 2001. ISBN 0-662-30077-7. US$10/CAN$10. Order from CCI: phone: 613/998-3721, ext. 250; fax: 613/998-4721 or e-mail: cci-icc_publications@pch.gc.ca.

The CCI Publication Catalogue states: "This bulletin is a practical instruction guide for those responsible for the care and preservation of collections of works on paper. The problems caused by dirt are described, as are potential difficulties arising from the nature and/or condition of paper artifacts. Cleaning materials and techniques are discussed, and suggestions are made regarding specific types of works of art and archival material."

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A Guide to Archival Care of Architectural Records, 19th - 20th Centuries, by Maygene Daniels, et al. International Council on Archives: Paris, 2000. 150 pp., $20 (members) or $2 (non-members). Available from the Society of American Archivists, 527 S. Wells St., 5th Fl., Chicago, IL 60607-3922 (312/922-0140; fax 312/347-1452).

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Blueprints to Bytes: Architectural Records in the Electronic Age. Massachusetts Committee for the Preservation of Archival Records. (MassCOPAR): Boston, 2000. 37 pp., $14 (members) or $24 (non-members). Reviewed by Alan K. Lathrop in American Archivist, vol. 64, no. 2, p. 409-413.

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"The Movement of the Book Spine," by Tom Conroy. The Gold Leaf, Vol. XIX, No. 1, Spring 2002.

Conroy discusses the Western codex as a moving system. Author notes in his introduction, that "structure and action are related but do not correspond on a one-to-one basis. For example, Victorian hollow- and tight-back bindings in leather have very different structures; but they have the same rigid-spine floppy-joint action. On the other hand, tight-back bindings vary greatly in action according to how much the leather has been pared. Normally, structure is a means toward some desired action; perhaps this is why the two are often confused."

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The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections of Cornell University Library has posted on the Web an adaptation of the RMBS "Guidelines on the Selection of General Collection Materials for Transfer to Special Collections." 2nd edition, revised 1999.

This policy aims to guide library staff in their responsibility to identify rare and valuable materials in general collections and open stacks, and to arrange for their transfer to the greater security of special collections.

Go to: http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/RMCTransGuidelines.html.

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Preservation: Issues and Planning, edited by Paul N. Banks and Roberta Pilette. American Library Association: Chicago, 2000. Softcover, ISBN 0-8389-0776-8. 360 pp., $78 (ALA members $70.20). Order from American Library Association, 155 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606. Reviewed by Gary Frost, Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, vol. 40, pp. 276-277.

This publication was sketchily reviewed in the Abbey Newsletter (vol. 24, no. 3, p. 57) but the Frost review does a complete job. Gary Frost worked for Banks in several capacities for years and was a close friend.

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"The Librarians' Double-Cross," by G. Thomas Tanselle. A review of Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, by Nicholson Baker (Random House).

Review published in Raritan: A Quarterly Review, Vol. XXI, No. 4, Spring 2002, pp. 245-263.

Both the author and the reviewer believe that libraries should never sell or give away their books, especially the old or unique ones, but they do not agree on everything.

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Preservation of Archives in Tropical Climates: An Annotated Bibliography, by René Teygeler et al. Published by the International Council on Archives, National Archives of the Netherlands and National Archives of the Republic of Indonesia. Paperback, ISBN 90-74920-14-4. 328 pp., "No copyright 2001.... No rights reserved. All persons and institutions are kindly invited to reproduce any part of this publication..., only on a non-profit basis."

It is really not a bibliography, but a state-of-the-art summary of preservation in the tropics. It has a 130-page bibliography in seven parts, one part for each of its chapters. The 175 pages of text summarize research, programs and best practices in preservation of archives in tropical climates. This kind of attention to a very challenging field has been needed for years.

The seven chapters cover:

Basic concepts
Preservation and conservation
Books and writing materials
Building
Storage
Disaster preparedness, and
Integrated pest management.

There is a list of contacts and institutions, with contact information.

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The Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel. (In Spanish) Published by Heritage Preservation. May 2002, Free distribution in U.S. and Puerto Rico. Contact: Celine Guisset (English and Spanish) or Jane Long (English only) with the Heritage Emergency National Task Force at 202/634-1422 or 888/979-2233; e-mail TaskForce@heritagepreservation.org.

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"Medieval Bindings," by Jim Dorsey. Binders' Guild Newsletter, vol. 25, no. 4, p. 6-13. Includes a summary of the background, current position and specialties of Czech binder and conservator Jiri Vnoucek, from notes taken by Dorsey at the annual "Standards of Excellence" conference of the Guild of Book Workers. The article covers Vnoucek's use of parchment, paper, boards, flaps, and clasps, among other materials.

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