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Subject: SAA mass deacidification session

SAA mass deacidification session

From: Charlotte Brown <c_brown>
Date: Friday, October 18, 1991
As mentioned in early September on this bulletin board, the Society of
American Archivists met three weeks ago in Philadelphia and had a
session on the "current state" of mass deacidification (hereafter
referred to as "md").

The following will give you an idea of the session's agenda.  I have
decided not to include my notes re: the contents of the presentations
because so much was covered that I couldn't possibly do justice to all
of the speakers. I'll leave it up to the reader to contact persons named
for additional information and interpretation of the presentations.

Copies of the 30 August 1991 Library of Congress press release, "Library
of Congress Responds to Deacidification Bids from Industry" and a listing
of md readings and recent activities were distributed.

The meeting began with 20 minute presentations from the following

Richard D. Smith, Wei T'O Associates, gave short descriptions of the
Library of Congress md tests and test results for the three md sample
groups submitted in response to the LC deacidification request for
proposal. [note: the three samples submitted were from Akzo, FMC, and
Wei T'O].

Richard F. Miller, Akzo, directed his presentation to the LC tests and
to the applicability of md processes for archival and manuscript
collections.  He mentioned that his corporation is collaborating with
the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in an NEH grant proposal
[see below].

Warren Morris, Book Preservation Assoc., described his company's md

Robert Wedinger, FMC, presented his corporation's analysis of LC's tests
and results - where LC could have improved testing procedures,
additional tests LC could have incorporated, and reasons for
interpreting test data in different ways.

Richard Spatz, Book-keeper Process, described the md services his
company offers and provided a demonstration of the process.

After the vendors gave their presentations, Karen Motylewski (NEDCC)
described the NEDCC/ARL md workshop held Sept. 12-13th at NEDCC and
attended by representatives of ten research libraries:

    U. of Chicago
    U. of Michigan
    NY Public
    U. of PA
    U. of Toronto

the following speakers:

    Duane Webster, ARL
    Michael Placke, Batelle Inst.
    Jan Merrill-Oldham, U. of Ct.
    Carolyn Clark Morrow, Harvard
    Richard De Gennaro, Harvard
    Scott Bennett, JHU
    Ed Rosenfeld, JHU
    James Bukowski, JHU
    Donald Sebera, LC
    Gerald Garvey, LC
    Daniel Richards, NLM
    Richard Frieder, Northwestern
    Sue Nutty
    Eugene Wiemers
    Bill Studer, Ohio State
    Robert Milevski, Princeton
    James Stroud, HRC

and the following observers:

    Jutta Reed-Scott, ARL
    Maxine Sitts, CPA
    Lynne Newell, Ct. State Lib.
    George Cunha
    Lewis Bellardo, NARA
    George Farr, NEH
    Ann Russell, NEDCC
    Karen Motylewski
    Sherelyn Ogden
    Mary Beth Nelligan
    Peter Sparks

The workshop focused upon LC's non-awarding of the contract and where to
go from here.  Peter Sparks will be publishing a report (minutes ?) of
the meeting ca. December, 1991.

The last speaker was Kris Kiesling, HRC, who presented a short
description of their md grant proposal to NEH.  HRC is interested in
developing md routines for archival and manuscript collections and has
identified a few collections which are good candidates for testing the

The meeting concluded with questions to the vendors and some lively
discussion of the LC testing methods.  One interesting point was raised
- since LC has decided not to award the contract, LC lab personnel are
now allowed to meet and discuss the testing procedures with the vendors'
lab personnel, an exchange which, according to Wedinger, can benefit
everyone.  Also, several of the vendors reminded the audience that they
are willing to process samples from interested libraries and
repositories, often at no cost.

It is expected that the SAA Preservation Section, sponsor of this
session, will have a follow-up on md at the 1992 meeting in Montreal,

Finally, let me note that the idea for this session was derived from a
similar program held in May 1990 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives
Conf. (MARAC) meeting in New Brunswick, NJ and coordinated by Susan
Swartzburg (Rutgers).

Charlotte B. Brown
Session chair

                  Conservation DistList Instance 5:24
                 Distributed: Sunday, October 20, 1991
                        Message Id: cdl-5-24-002
Received on Friday, 18 October, 1991

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