The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 5, Number 6
Dec 1981


Conferences & Professional Publications


Artist Beware: The Hazards and Precautions in Working with Art and Craft Materials, by Michael McCann. Watson-Guptill, New York, 1979. 396 pp. $16.95.


The first issue of the Midwestern Book Arts Newsletter will appear in January, 1982, and at bimonthly intervals thereafter. It will be a vehicle of rapid communication for persons involved in the book arts: bookbinders, librarians, paper makers, collectors, illuminators, marblers, calligraphers, illustrators, archivists, printers, and publishers. $10.00 per year. Write Midwestern Book Arts Newsletter, Missouri Botanical Garden Library, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166.


"Deaccessioning at Brown," by Terry Belanger. Bibliography Newsletter, 9: 41-50, June/Sept. 1981. This is a detailed and articulate report of what Mr. Belanger calls "one of the most stimulating conferences I've ever attended." It was on the 11th and 12th of June at Brown University, and it concerned the deaccessioning of library materials. Sponsored by NEH and the Research Libraries Group, it was attended by invitation only. Formal proceedings will be published, but they probably will not include the verbatim discussions and pithy summaries found in this article.

Bibliographies & Other Lists


The new catalog of the Basilisk Press & Bookshop contains "over 500 descriptions, 20 illustrations, is printed letterpress and is the most comprehensive list of in-print press books in the world." This catalog is one place to look for books in sheets. 32 England's Lane, Hampstead, London NW3 1YB, England.


A Selected Bibliography on Photographic Conservation January 1975-December 1980. Abstracts by Thomas Orth and John Sippel. Edited by Patricia Knittel. Bibliography No. B1119. Technical and Educational Center, Rochester Institute of Technology, One Lomb Memorial Drive, P0 Box 9887, Rochester, NY 14623. 20 pp. softbound, $15. A second edition of the 1979 bibliography, expanded.



The Book Collector, Summer 1981, has four or five reviews or articles on bookbinding, including a long article on the 18th century French émigré bookbinder A.M. de Caumont, with a descriptive list of fifty bindings and ten pages of illustrations.

Standards & Practical Guides


The Library of Congress has issued Specifications for Microfilming Manuscripts, the latest in the series of specifications developed and written by the Photoduplication Service. Copies of this document can be purchased for $2 from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.


Library Binding Institute. Standard for Library Binding. 4th ed., 1981. Order from a member of LBI or from LBI directly: 50 Congress St., Suite 633, Boston, MA 02109 (617-227-7450). $1.50 postage prepaid.


Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity. "Interim Report on Book Paper." Typescript, April 1981. Published in Publishers Weekly, May 29, 1981.

This optimistic report notes that about 25% of all book paper currently manufactured in this country is acid-free and says acid-free paper need mot be more expensive than acidic paper of the quality normally used in hardcover books. A table in an appendix lists paper manufacturers who make acid-free grades of paper for general publishing: 1) S.D. Warren Div., Scott Paper Co. of Westbrook, Me. and Muskegon, Mich., 2) P.H. Glatfelter Co. of Spring Grove, Pa, and Neenah, Wisc., 3) Finch Pruyn & Co. of Glens Falls, N.Y., 4) Allied Paper Mills Div., SCM Corp., Kalamazoo, Mich. and 5) Olin Corporation, Fine Paper and Film Div., Pisgah Forest, NC.

The report contains recommendations to library groups (to make their voices heard) as well as to publishers (to identify books published according to the guidelines of the Committee). The guidelines themselves are adapted and simplified from the standards set by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the Library of Congress, and ASTM/ANSI in its Standard Specification for Bond and Ledger Papers for Permanent Records; they specify, among other things, a minimum pH of 7.5, folding endurance of 30 double folds at 1 kg. tension, alkaline reserve of 2%; no unbleached wood pulp or groundwood; and no acid or chloride printing inks used.

The NHPRC publishing standards are described in the December 1978 issue of this Newsletter; the Library of Congress standards for book paper are unpublished; and the ASTM/ANSI Standard Specification is Number D 3290-76. The American Society for Testing and Materials is at 1916 Race St., Philadelphia, PA 19103. The original meeting, from which this Committee (CPGBL) issued, was arranged by the Council on Library Resources and the Andrew Mellon Foundation and attended by 19 high-level officials in May 1979 (ANL Sept. 1979). The Committee intends to turn its attention next to publishers' bindings.


Laura S. Young. Bookbinding & Conservation by Hand: A Working Guide. New York: Bowker, 1981. 288 pp. $35. LC 81-7669, ISBN 0-8352-1375-7. The author, a well-known teacher and leader in bookbinding in America, has produced what looks like a classic, useful both to beginners and advanced bookbinders. This is the first comprehensive book on the German techniques, which have had a strong influence on American binding. The table of contents shows many topics not adequately covered elsewhere, for example, double-core headbands, inlaying and onlaying, limp binding, Yapp binding or edges, and conservation work.

The book itself is printed on acid-free paper, although this is not announced on the verso of the title page. The pages are flexible and the book lies open easily; but the endsheets are acidic and the case is made of coated paper over boards.

There is a review copy at the Newsletter office for any reader who wants to give this book the detailed review it calls for.

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