WAACNewsletter
Volume 16, Number 3, Sept 1994, p.27

Book Review

by Tim Barrett

North American Permanent Papers Abbey Publications, 7105 Geneva Drive, Austin, Texas 78723, 1994. ISSN 0-9622071-2-8. $7.00.

For me, the name Ellen McCrady always brings to mind the old hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers". There's something about that first line "...marching off to war", that reminds me of Ellen; her zeal and her devotion. I say this not in jest, but with the greatest respect and admiration.

Ellen McCrady, almost single-handedly (with the backup of a few committed assistants, a good board, and supporters in the field) has set the alkaline papermaking movement in America in motion. Some might argue that it was bound to happen anyway; more and more people are aware of issues related to paper permanence, standards and specifications are proliferating, calcium carbonate became cheaper than clay making conversion to alkaline economically attractive, and so on. But people had to be educated and enlightened before changes in the industry could really get underway.

If you look back you will find that Ellen McCrady was there from early on with the Abbey Newsletter and more recently the Alkaline Paper Advocate. If you are interested in issues related to paper permanence and have not already subscribed to these publications, I suggest you do so. You will not be disappointed.

Ellen's latest offering, North American Permanent Papers, is a short but well organized publication, jam packed with information. 387 currently available papers are cited, all of which meet the ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992, "Permanence of Paper for Publications and Documents in Libraries and Archives" standard. All papers are listed first by type, then by company, then by paper name. Contact telephone numbers for all the companies are included. There are additional sections on The Questionnaire (that went to paper companies surveyed for the publication), Permanence and Recycled Paper, Standards and Testing, and Legislation. A bargain at $7.00. Updated versions are planned on a yearly basis.

If you are interested in purchasing or recommending permanent papers for any application, North American Permanent Papers is an absolute must. All of Ellen McCrady's publications are available from:

Abbey Publications,
7105 Geneva Drive,
Austin,Texas 78723.
Tel. 512/929-3992, Fax 512/929-3995
review by:
Tim Barrett
University of Iowa
School of Art & Art History

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