The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 5, Number 1
Feb 1981



Education for Rare Book Librarianship: A Reexamination of Trends and Problems, by Lawrence J. McCrank. University of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science Occasional Papers No. 144, April 1980. $2 from Publications Office, 249 Armory Bldg., Graduate School of Library Science, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL 61820.

This neatly printed publication reports a 1976-77 survey of 64 accredited library schools undertaken to assess the current state of curricular development in library schools for archival or rare book librarianship. Courses in conservation or preservation were included in the scope. The author presents a great deal of information in 93 pages, and points out areas in need of improvement. He saw the picture at that tine (1976-77) as discouraging.

Appendix C, "Course Profiles," is a comparison of 15 subjects on 5 dimensions related to quality of instruction and relative importance within the school or department (number of students, qualifications of instructor, etc.). Conservation and Restoration was taught in very few library schools regularly, six in all. Only Folklore and Oral History, as a single category, was taught at fewer schools. The average class size, 19, was not very different from the class sizes of the other subject areas, which ranged from 12 to 25. The average enrollment, 114, was low; only two cognate courses had fewer enrolled, while another cognate course, Government Documents, had 1200. The enrollment trend was reported as "slightly increasing"; faster growth was noted in Government Documents courses, and in Reprography or Micrographics courses.

The "Staffing Characteristics" dimension tells how many are full-time, how many are professors, how many have doctorates, and in what subjects. In Conservation and Restoration courses, 75% were part-time adjunct lecturers, and of these half possessed doctorates, (Archival Studies had a similar picture.) No other type of course had so many part-time instructors, though some courses had fewer professors and Ph.D.'s.

The author sees both rare book librarianship and conservation being crowded out, or held down, by the dominance of "the new librarianship and information science," which place little value on care of primary resources.


The 1980 International Conference of Hand Papermakers announces the publication of both visual and written documentation of the conference,

The visual documentation is in the form of a slide kit of 100 35 mm. slides. Eighty slides show individual works by artist/papermakers at the conference; the other 20 show some of the specialized demonstrations, including a sequence of Korean papernaking by Kim Yeong Yon of Seoul, Korea. A script, describing each of the slides, accompanies the slide kit. Purchase price of the kit is $50.00 (no rentals), which includes shipping to points within the U.S. To points outside the U.S., add $1.50. It is available immediately.

Written documentation will be in the form of a book, scheduled to be published early in 1981, and containing a series of monographs as well as descriptions of the work and studios of the 100 conferees. Prepublication price is $9.50. For shipping outside the U.S. add $1.50. Checks should be made out to International Paper Conference. Carriage House Handmade Paper Works, 8 Evans Road, Brookline, MA 02146.


Edward Martinique. "A Report of an Investigation of the Techniques Practiced in Taiwan Cultural Institutions for Preserving Chinese Books Bound in the Traditional Format." Submitted August 31, 1979. Made possible by a research grant from the Pacific Cultural Foundation, Taipei, Taiwan. 230 pp. 230 photographs, 4 diagrams. Typescript.

Mr. Martinique can send photocopies of his report at cost. He lives at 109 Oak Leaf Lane, Rt. 3, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 and his telephone number is (919) 933-9817. He is not a conservator himself, but a librarian at the East Asian Bibliographic Center at the University of North Carolina, who has been concerned about the deterioration of the holdings of East Asian libraries in this country. His report is an attempt to document present-day Taiwanese conservation methods so that they can be put into effect in this country, using his report as a guide.

Much of the report is taken up with a detailed description of the method of "backing" (tissuing or mounting) the pages, which are often full of insect holes because of the very high humidity in Taiwan, but there is also a long section on binding, including the making of boxes or portfolios, The preservation aspect is also well covered, with text and photographs: shelving, environmental control (including filtering of air through a water screen to remove SO2), fire safeguards, insect control, and microfilming.

On p. 35 Mr. Martinique provides some interesting details on the insect-repellant and insecticidal paper that was described earlier in this Newsletter ("Orange Endsheets Foil Bookworms for 500 Years," Dec. 1978). It is called wan nien hung chih or "ten thousand year red paper." In the six volumes examined by Mr. Martinique, the red paper had not been used as "endsheets" (whatever that would be in a conventionally bound Chinese book), but as inserts inside many of the leaves at the beginning and end of each volume. There was no sign of insect damage.

Although mainland restorers are reported to be using this red paper regularly now, Taiwanese conservators observed by Mr. Martinique did not. They did, however, use a minimum of paste in all their operations, because insects are more attracted to it than to paper.


Recent SPEC Kits of interest from the Association of Research Libraries are:

"SPEC" stands for Systems and Procedures Exchange Center, which is part of the ARL's Office of Management Studies, ARL members and SPEC subscribers only need to pay $7.50 per kit; all others must pay $15.00, plus $2.00 per order handling fee; there is also an extra charge if an invoice is required.

The ARL also sells its minutes for $7.50 per year, and it has a newsletter, which cost $12 per year in 1979 or 1980, and has 5 issues per year.


A National Preservation Program: Proceedings of the Planning Conference. Preservation Office, Library of Congress, 1980. 126 pp. $4.00. Order from Superintendent of Documents, USGPO, Washington, D.C. 20402. The order number is either 326-383 or 030-000-00121-4 (not clear from the information at hand at press tine). Includes addresses and discussions, but not the working papers.

Instead of destroying old nitrate films because of the safety hazard of continued storage, an article in the September PhotographiConservation recommends stabilizing them in a controlled atmosphere, until funding can be obtained to copy them: "A Temporary Method to Stabilize Deteriorating Cellulose Nitrate Still Camera Negatives," by Ric Haynes.


The Summer 1980 issue of Technology & Conservation (v.5 #2) is mostly on fire protection in restored buildings and cultural institutions, Besides 3 full-length illustrated articles, there are ads, "product data reports" and a systematic guide to manufacturers and suppliers,

Technology & Conservation is sent without charge to qualified persons working in or managing programs involving analysis, preservation, restoration, protection, and documentation of art, buildings and monuments, historic sites, and antiquities. Subscription rate for nonqualified reader in U.S. and Canada: $10.00 per year (4 issues). One Emerson P1., Boston MA 02114 (617-227-8580).


The Crafts Report, The Newsmonthly of Marketing, Management and Money for Crafts Professionals, is published to serve the needs of craftsmen who make and sell their wares to distributors or consumers. However, some of its articles are potentially useful to bookbinders and conservators. The July issue contains:

  1. A description of a simple diffused-light setup for in-house craft (or documentary) photography
  2. A column by Gail Barazani, "Protecting Your Health", this time on precautions to take against inhaling dust from synthetic materials
  3. An attorney's advice on contractual protection for the craftsman who takes on a large commission, such as a mural
  4. A list of books that offer guidance to the crafts-person in business
  5. An article on purchasing supplies and dealing with suppliers.


The Crafts Report for January has another article by Betsy Stewartson, entitled "Can Incorporating your Business Save You Tax Dollars?" On the question of whether or not to incorporate, she says that no single answer covers all situations. In general, she says,

my observation is that as long as the craftsman/ owner is going to withdraw all profits from the business for personal income and living expenses, there is little to be gained from incorporating. He may, in fact, find he is paying more tax than he would as a sole proprietor.

It is the craftsman who is reinvesting much of the money he is making in the development of the business who may benefit from incorporating. This implies that either he has other income on which to live or his earnings are higher than his living requirements.


The Autumn 1979 issue of Designer Bookbinders Review, which was actually sent out very late in 1980, includes the following articles, among others:


Copies in sheets are still available of San Ellenport's book on Brass Plate Dies, $100 postpaid. Write him at Harcourt Bindery, 9-11 Harcourt St., Boston, Mass. 02116.


Philip Smith wishes to thank all those persons who responded with a show of interest in the proposed publication in limited edition form of expanded and revised versions of his Hunt Seminar lecture and other lecture/articles. No scheduling or costing of this has yet been undertaken but all enquirers will be notified of tangible progress on the project.


Renee Roff, compiler. Directory of American Book Workers. New York: Nicholas T. Smith, 1981. 120 pp. $19.95 + $1 postage after February 28. Write the publisher at P0 Box 66, Bronxville, NY 10708, or order through dealer.


Two recent books are identified by their publishers as "printed on permanent/durable acid-free paper." The notice is given on the verso of the title page. The references are: 1) Craig S. Abbott. Marianne Moore, a Reference Guide. Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., c1972, and 2) Clayton Rawson. No Coffin for the Corpse. Boston: Gregg Press, 1979 (a reprint of a 1942 book). Princeton University Press is reported to be regularly running such announcements or colophons in the books it publishes.

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