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Subject: AALL Preservation Committee Report Library Collections Conservation Discussion Group

AALL Preservation Committee Report Library Collections Conservation Discussion Group

From: Robert J. Milevski <milevski>
Date: Tuesday, June 23, 1992
In response to the dialogue about the AALL Preservation Committee
Report.  It seems that all the authors of the messages assumed/presumed
that DistList readers have access to the addresses of all the people and
organizations and journals involved with the publication of this report.
Hey, the preservation field is small, but don't presume that each of us
has a little black book or a three-ring binder or database with this
information in it, or even easy access to it.  The authors should cite
their references properly and give us sources to contact: names,
addresses, telephones, prices, etc.  What is the address of the Law
Library Journal, in which "next" issue will the report appear, and how
much will the issue or an offprint of the article cost, for those of us
who don't subscribe? What is the address of the AALL?  (Do I have to try
and find my Abbey Newsletter list of usable addresses?)  And will the
August preservation report be available gratis or for a fee, or will it
be made available electronically?  Life would be so much simpler if we
didn't assume everyone else knows what we are talking about.  (Those of
you who read ExLibris will have seen this complaint there also about a
month or so ago.)

    **** Moderator's comments:   Robert is of course welcome to his
    opinions, but as moderator I find absolutely no fault with any of
    the contributions in this thread and think the contributors deserve
    our thanks.  The information provided was entirely adequate to
    enable you to locate the report in question and participants are
    under no obligation to do all your leg work for you.

PS.  I would like to heartily congratulate Maria Grandinetti and Randy
Silverman for a very very useful, interesting, and hearty Library
Collections Conservation Discussion Group (LCCDG) meeting at the recent
AIC annual in Buffalo.  Twenty-five to thirty conservation labs
displayed their in-house treatments during the scheduled
exhibit/show-and-tell, a sort of treatments flea market.  It was
informative to see how so many institutions have come to solve the
problems associated with repairing and preserving deteriorating
collections, to see inventive techniques as well as equipment, to see
the range of approach, philosophy, and quality of work.

The image that comes to mind about this is that we are all in, but not
of, the same stream.  Is there one true stream?  Can each of us become
one with the stream?  Zen and the art of book repair.  The floating
world of collections conservation.  Wei 'To of the mind.

We should talk about standardization, peer review, philosophy,
definition.  Have we any business advocating a conservation approach
that we can't define in concrete terms, not even globally?  (Are we
really a floating world?)  How can we have any basis for discussions
without any common and fundamental underpinnings upon which we all
agree, other than conservationally- sound treatments using
archival-quality materials, if that?  Does it seem reasonable to start
with trying to commonly name the individual treatments we are
performing?  For example, why do some folks say phase box when the
earliest usage was phased box?  Why do we use drop-spine box, rare book
box, and clamshell box synonymously?  Are they synonymous?

There are probably a dozen names for replacing the spine of a
cloth-covered volume, other than an incorrect term, I assume, rebacking.

    **** Moderator's comments:  Language is always a site of contest,
    but for those outside the fray, I should point out that virtually
    everyone else in the known universe --myself included-- will
    consider rebacking to be quite the correct term

Let's agree on names, not just concepts.  We could think of treatment
names as zip codes.  One zip code includes a lot of territory, but each
part of the territory has the same descriptor, the zipcode.  Language
developed through acceptance of a particular sound or a written
representation of that sound as meaning one particular thing, in most
cases.  This commonality lead to the development of something larger:
grammar, understanding, meaning, communication, context.  We need to
reach and agree on basics in order to define the more complex.

Mathematical symbols come to mind also.  Each symbol has a particular
value and meaning to scientists all over the world.  Therefore,
communication appears universal although individuals do not speak the
same (country of origin) language.

The agenda for next years LCCDG is being developed.  There are many
issues which need to be addressed.  These have been some of them. (Naked

Robert J. Milevski

                   Conservation DistList Instance 6:6
                   Distributed: Sunday, June 28, 1992
                        Message Id: cdl-6-6-006
Received on Tuesday, 23 June, 1992

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