In Chicago, R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company announced their decision to close their Graphic Conservation Department on December 31, 1981, ending a 60-year tradition of fine binding and paper conservation.
On November 6, The Bindery (7513 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046, tel. 213-653-0071) was burglarized by someone apparently familiar with the value and location of items and books in the shop. Over 33 volumes, including work in progress and many standard works on fine binding, were stolen; also about 500 hand tools, leather, type, equipment, and hand tools. Everything can be identified from records and photographs. Call the owners if you see anything suspicious offered for sale. The list of stolen items will be printed in full in the next issue, and copies of the list will be supplied on request by this Newsletter or the owners: Frank Buxton, (213) 476-4067, or Charles Collings, (213) 463-8367.
A helpful device for making phase boxes and drop-back boxes has been developed at the University of Texas' Humanities Research Center in Austin, Texas.
Timothy Spragens, a Research Assistant in the Theater Arts Collection of the HRC, developed a program for the measurement system first devised by Conservation Resources International (CRI). He uses a Texas Instruments PC-1000C Thermal Printer and a Texas Instruments TI-59 Programmable Calculator. These two pieces of equipment combined cost approximately $350.00.
If one feeds in the basic dimensions of a book's length, width, and thickness, the printer will give and identify all the dimensions for the board to be cut and the locations of the creases. With these figures, a phase box can be made in very little time. Mr. Spragens also developed a program for the drop-back box so that after the basic book dimensions are fed in as before, the printer gives back the configurations for the board cloth and felt sizes. This too saves a great amount of time. The next step is to develop a program for the drop-back box with a portfolio. All these boxes are illustrated in the Library of Congress manual on boxmaking. (For information on availability of this manual, write the Preservation Office, Library of Congress, James Madison Bldg., Washington, DC 20540.)
The preprogrammed plastic chips can be purchased for $15.00 plus postage from the Humanities Research Center, P.O. Box 7219, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712.