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Subject: A death

A death

From: Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa <e.cunnk<-a>
Date: Monday, March 10, 2008
Ellen Ruth McCrady
Age 81, died March 5, 2008.

She was born in 1926 to Archie and Gladys (Burnett) McCrady. She
graduated from the University of Michigan and later did graduate
work in library science and book preservation at Michigan and
Columbia Universities. Ellen had an adventurous spirit, and long
wanted to explore the Mississippi River. In 1951, she recruited
companions to help construct a raft from oil drums and scrap lumber,
and they floated down the river from Pittsburgh to New Orleans.

For several years, she operated the Academy Book Bindery in Dexter
and Ann Arbor, binding journals and restoring old books. When
research made it clear that a large portion of the paper produced
after the beginning of the 19th century was deteriorating at an
alarming rate because of the acid residue from the manufacturing
process, she launched a crusade to persuade paper manufacturers to
change their practices so as to leave an alkaline buffer in the
paper. She invented and distributed widely a simple device which
enabled librarians and archivists to test the paper in their
collections and identify the ones which urgently needed remedial

She also wrote and published the "Alkaline Paper Advocate"
(1984-1997), a publication designed for users and makers of alkaline
paper. And, late in her life, she became active in the fight against
toxic mold and produced a newsletter entitled the Mold Reporter. She
worked for the UM library bindery and later at the National
Archives, the Library of Congress, and Brigham Young University.

>From 1975 until 2004, she published the Abbey Newsletter, which
reached a circulation of 1,000 and circulated in over 40 countries.
It was recognized as an important venue for sharing research about
book and paper conservation. According to Carl Mendoza, Vice
President of Crocker Technical Papers, Fitchburg, Massachusetts:
"Ellen had a profound effect on our path and how we chose to do
business. Her role as the Guardian Angel with a Martin Luther-like
approach inspired us to take notice. Her theses affected the world
of conservation and preservation more than most might know. The
research she inspired has had its effect on all forms of
conservation and preservation from documents housed in archival
libraries to X-ray film, textiles, microchips, automotive machinery,
and aircraft components."

In 2002, she received the Banks/Harris award from the American
Library Association for "significant contributions to the library
and archives preservation field."

She is survived by her sister, Carol Rees (Gerald Rees); nephews
David Rees, James Rees (Sarah Casello), and Jonathan Rees (Oakley
Hoerth); and a dear friend, Jocelyn Vinograd, of Austin, Texas.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Arbor Hospice or to NAMI
Washtenaw, 1100 N. Main Street, Ann Arbor.

Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa
The Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record
School of Information
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station D7000
Austin TX 78712-0390
Fax: 512-471-8285

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:48
                  Distributed: Monday, March 10, 2008
                       Message Id: cdl-21-48-001
Received on Monday, 10 March, 2008

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