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Subject: Book conservation and ethics

Book conservation and ethics

From: Harry Campbell <hcampbel>
Date: Thursday, April 21, 1994
In a recent posting Gregor Trinkaus-Randall said he has recommended
Filmoplast or similar tapes for repair of public library books that will
be discarded within a year or so.  I assume that this is probably done
in the context of general improved collection care guidelines, as this
is a typical example of a "conservationally sound" recommendation.  I
was taught similar notions, and I have given similar advice myself. But,
a recommendation to use $20-per-roll tape to repair materials that will
soon be tossed is likely to cause sensible people to question the
credibility of preservation professionals who give such advice.  I would
think a justifiable reaction would be to ignore the advice and be
skeptical of future advice.

This is an excellent example of what I was referring to (on the DistList
last July) as our disinclination "to reject disproportionately elaborate
and expensive treatments" for collections that require a more practical
approach. I understand the risk in telling someone it's OK to use 3M
magic tape on CERTAIN items--because they are likely to use it on EVERY
item--but, teaching people to use good judgement should be part of our
educational mission.

My apologies to GT-R.  My criticism is not directed at him, but to our
profession, in the context of the debate about conservation ethics.

Harry Campbell
Ohio State

                  Conservation DistList Instance 7:77
                  Distributed: Monday, April 25, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-7-77-006
Received on Thursday, 21 April, 1994

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