The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 6, Number 2
Apr 1982


Conferences & Professional Publications

Conservation News, which began in 1978 under the editorship of Y. P. Kathpalia, is the newsletter of the International Council on Archives (ICA), Conservation and Restoration Committee. In 1979 the subscription was $2.00 for ICA member-country archives. For further information write either

Y.P. Kathpalia
Chairman, ICA Conservation and Restoration Committee
11-A/37, Western Extension
New Delhi-110005


Dr. Lucio Lume
Secretary, ICA Conservation and Restoration Committee
Via Vaglia No. 11 (Nuovo Salario)
Rome, Italy

Geoffrey Wakeman, "Papermaking by Hand--The Major Mills." Antiquarian Book Monthly Review v. 8 (6) Issue 86 - June 1981. Pp. 212-213, 215, 217. This neatly condensed four-page article covers hand papermaking around the world, including its recent resurgence in India. It tells how many old established hand mills are still working in various countries (England 2, Italy 3, France 3, and one each in Spain, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Jugoslavia, Finland, Sweden and Denmark). It also reviews both classic and recent histories, bibliographies and surveys of hand papermaking, including those by Bard Hunter, the Paper Publication Society, John Bidwell, Tim Barrett, Sukey Hughes and Henry Morris, as well as the five-volume Handmade Papers of the World, done by the Takeo Co. of Japan.

ABMR is usually found in rare book departments in libraries. Single issues can be ordered from ABMR Publications LTD., 52 St. Clement's St., Oxford OX4 1AG, England.

The Dard Hunter Paper Museum Newsletter began publication in February 1982, issued by the Friends of the Dard Hunter Paper Museum and edited by Christine Smith and Karen Garlick from 410 East Monroe Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301. It will tell about The Friends' activities, relate news from and about the Museum, and provide an open forum for everyone interested in the Museum. For membership information, write to Cathy Baker, Art Conservation Program, P0 Box 800, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

Berthe van Regemorter. "The Bound Codex from its Origins to the Early Middle Ages." Guild of Book Workers Journal, 9: 1/3, 1-25. Translation by Mary E. (Jane) Greenfield. Originally published in Le Moyen Age, 61: 1-26, 1955, with 3 plates and 6 figures.

Other articles by Bertha van Regemorter, some of which have been translated by Jane Greenfield, are:

"Évolution de la technique de la reliure du VIIIe au XIIe siècle, principalement d'apres les mss. d'Autun, d'Auxerre at de Troyes," Scriptorium, 2: 275-285 + 3 p1., 1948

"La reliure des manuscrits à Clairmarais aux XIIe -XIIIe siècles," Scriptorium, 5: 99(-100?), 1951

"La reliure des manuscrits grecs," Scriptorium, 8: 3-23, 1954

"La reliure souple des manuscrits carolingiens de Fulda," Scriptorium, 11 (2): 249-257

Helmut Bansa and H. H. Hofer, "The Description of Usability Characteristics of Aged Papers in Libraries and Archives," Papier, 34 (8), 1980.

D. C. Phillips, "Permanence of Photocopies." Museums Journal, 80 (2), 1980.

The January issue of Fine Print has one article on edition hand binding, one on the edition binding of the Century "Thumb-Nail Series" (1893-1919), two on artists' books and a review of Garland Publishing's reprints of Arnett's and Nicholson's early binding books, by Linda K. Ogden.

"Conference Report: Conference on Didactic Materials used in the Teaching of Conservation and Restoration," ICCROM Newsletter No. 7: 19-20, 1981.

This conference was organized by ICCROM and the ICON Committee for Conservation, and took place September 1-6, 1980. The first topic discussed was "Should a conservator/restorer be given theoretical training? If so, how much weight should be given to this theoretical training?" There was much discussion but no final agreement.

Various formats were evaluated: films, video cassettes, slides, books, cards, and models. There have been attempts in recent years to produce cards which furnish basic technical information, and are easily updated; the Canadian Conservation Institute and ICCROM both have them. Books used in teaching of conservation were frequently not conceived for that purpose; there are few textbooks.

The three final reports from pilot tests of the Preservation Planning Program--developed by the Association of Research Libraries' Office of Management Studies, and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities-- are now available,

"Preservation in the Dartmouth College Library" (25 pp., Sept. 1981)

"Preservation Planning Project Report--The University of Virginia Library" (58 pp., Oct. 1981)

"Preservation in the University of Washington Libraries" (41 pp., plus 38 pages of appendices, 1/82)

These are the final reports to the library directors from study teams taking part in the preservation self-study process in 1981. The reports describe current conditions, identify major preservation needs, outline a comprehensive preservation program, and present a series of recommendations for the phased implementation of the plan. They also describe the process by which the study team and task forces in each institution carried out the self-study, using the manual and technical resource packets provided by the OMS. $10.00 ($15.00 if invoice is required) from the Office of Management Studies, Association of Research Libraries, 1527 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036.

The Fibre Structure of Leather. 1982. £5 from the Leather Conservation Centre, Leather Trade House, 9 St. Thomas Street, London 551 95A, England. This is the first in a series of four monographs designed to give background to conservators, museum curators, archaeologists and others interested in the preservation of leather articles. Future monographs will deal with the history of leather manufacture, fungicides and preservatives, and oils and lubricants for leather conservation,

The Centre will also publish shortly a condensed version of a report on the methods of conservation of leather used at present in the United Kingdom and abroad. This investigation was made by F. Jamieson, a leather chemist, with the aid of a grant from the Leverhulme Trust. The condensed version is entitled Leather Conservation--A Current Survey.

Philip Smith. The Book: Art & Object. About 64 pp. To be published in September 1982, in a special and an ordinary edition. Order from the author at 83 Nutfield Road, Merstham, Redhill, Surrey RH1 3HD, England. The prices for the two editions, if orders are received before April 30, are £30 and £9 respectively (which hasty arithmetic shows to be about $56 and $17).

The main subject is an expanded version of his lecture and the discussion that followed it, on "Recent Developments in Bookbinding Art," delivered at the Hunt Institute in 1979 (see the November 1980 Abbey Newsletter, p. 58-59, for a summary). Other features include a revised version of "Designing for Bookbinders," first printed in three parts in DB Review several short essays toward a philosophy of bookbinding; the economics of hand bookbinding and a guide on commission contracts.

The book is printed in litho by Skelton's Press, 8¼" x 11-3/4", with 102 illustrations in color, technical diagrams and black and white photographs. The special edition consists of 230 signed copies, text printed on mould-made paper, sewn, cloth case, color jacket. The ordinary edition consists of about 1300 copies, text printed on acid free paper, sewn, four-color drawn-on paper cover.

Prices after April 30 are £35 and £12.

Also available at present are sets of 16 color cards, about 4" x 6", of Philip Smith bindings with descriptions on reverse, £2.50 per set,

Checks or drafts should include the following charges f or postage and packing, and should accompany orders. Add currency conversion charge of £1 for non-sterling checks.









Overseas surface:

95p 85p 30p

Overseas airmail:

£ £3 80p

G. Torraca. Solubility and Solvents for Conservation Problems, 2nd ed. 64 pp. ICCROM, 13 Via di San Nichele, Rome, Italy. 1978. Make out checks in U.S. dollars to ICCROM ($3.50).

The December 1981 issue of Library Scene contains three short but interesting articles. Werner Rebsamen's "Binding Books in Cloth" is long for a Library Scene article and gives a lot of detail.

Michele Cloonan's "Developing a Brittle Book Program at the Newberry Library" was condensed for LS, but will appear next fall at full length in Library Journal,

Mel Kavin's president's column has a long passage on the recent history of the technology of the stamping operation, with information on Mekatronics' RB-7/11 and Flesher's System 2, both of which radically reduce the time taken up by this operation in the library bindery.

The Library Scene will be out in June in a revised format, It will come out only half as often (semiannually) but it will be twice as thick and the articles will be longer, according to Lana Shanbar, the new editor.

Ellen McCrady, "Techniques for Handsewing Books with Fragile Paper," Binders' Guild Newsletter, V (1): 6-10, Jan, 1982.

ConservatioNews, Newsletter of the Arizona Paper and Photograph Conservation Group, has a big "Conservation Crossword" in its March issue, with 78 words across and 74 words down. Sample definitions: "Brown or tan spots in paper, named after a like-colored animal"; "Conservation's where it's ." Every single word relates to bookbinding or conservation. ConservatioNews, APPCG, c/o Arizona State Archives, 1700 West Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85007.

Bibliographies and Other Lists

International Directory of Book Collectors, 1981- 1983. Ed. by Roger and Judith Sheppard. New York: Bowker, 1981. $35. ISBN: 0-904929-20-5.

International Index on Training in Conservation of Cultural Property. ICCROM, 1981. The 1978 edition had 138 pages and cost $4.00, so this edition will probably not be far from that.


The GBW 75th Anniversary Exhibition was reviewed by rare book seller W. Thomas Taylor in the December 1981/ January 1982 issue of American Craft in a 4-page article with several color illustrations.

John Franklin Mowery, Bookbindings, catalog of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Jan. 26-Feb. 26, 1982. About 40 pp. No color photographs, but many full-page black and white illustrations, making details easily visible. The designs are attractive. Order from Bookshop, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Ave. & 82nd St., New York, NY 10028. $10 + $1.95 postage and handling (NY residents add tax). Autographed.

Standards and Practical Guides

A Conservation Science Teaching Series will be published starting in 1982, by the Conservation Section, Crafts Council, 8 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AU, England. Each book will consist of 60 to 100 pages. The first three will be:

1. Using Science to Understand Materials
2. Using Science to Understand Cleaning
3. Using Science to Understand Adhesives and Coating s

Other titles in the series will include:

1. Using Measurement in Conservation - a guide to useful mathematics for the conservator
2. Using Science to Understand Deterioration and its Causes
3. An Annotated Guide to a Selection of Scientific Papers on Conservation (working title)

The books in this series have been written especially for conservators and restorers with a non-scientific background. Because conservators often find difficulty in learning science from more standard textbooks, the Crafts Council has drawn. Together a team of conservation scientists, conservators and science teachers to prepare this special teaching series for their use [Garry Thomson and Vincent Daniels are two members of this group]. The books have been compiled so that they can be of equal use in all areas of conservation, giving an understanding of the way different types and states of matter interrelate. In this way, the preoccupations of a textile conservator and a paper conservator, for example, are seen to have much in common.

This same group, the Conservation Section of the Crafts Council, organized a project with the Royal Photographic Society to bring Alice Swan, a leading American photographic conservator, over from California to spend approximately three months (September-December 1981) working at the Royal Photographic Society premises in Bath.

The Crafts Council was formed as the Crafts Advisory Committee in 1971 (this Newsletter had an article on it in December 1978). With government support, it supports the crafts in England and Wales, promotes the work of artist craftsmen, and encourages certain skills essential to conservation.

The Council has an information service for conservation. This offers information on conservation craftsmen, training, workshop space and the supply of materials. It maintains a (non-selective) conservation register which provides detailed information on specialist conservation workshops, to assist those seeking the service of a conservator. The register provides details on the type of work undertaken by each workshop, and lists information on recent jobs carried out by the firm or individual. All entrants on the Register are asked to provide the name of a referee professionally connected with their work, who may be consulted by the Crafts Council. The Register is used by the public and by the conservation profession.

In addition to a library, the Council has a collection of 14,000 slides of the work of over 3S0 craftsmen, and an information service that gives information on craft courses, shops, galleries, exhibitions, suppliers of materials and equipment, museums featuring crafts and crafts publications. Also available for consultation is a non- selective register of craftsmen in England and Wales, in which any craftsman may be listed.

The Council has many other functions, including publishing Crafts magazine, renting out slide sets, providing scholarships, grants and loans, mounting exhibitions, and managing a craft shop in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The following titles were used in the 1960's as textbooks in Germany for bookbinders studying for their master's certificates. The list is not complete or up-to- date, but it does make up most of the books in the study list of Walter Hahn, who settled in a suburb of Detroit and now does library binding as well as some fine binding.

1. Was Setzer, Drucker und Verlagshersteller von der Buchbinderarbeit Wissen Sollten, by Gustav Moessner. Max Hettler Verlag, Stuttgart, 1960.

2. Der Handvergolder im Tageswerken und Kunstschaffen, by Franz Weisse. Buchbinder-Verlag, Stuttgart (date not known).

3. Die Presavergoldung, by Kurt Siebert. Buchbinder- Verlag Max Hettler, Stuttgart, 19S0.

4. Das Handbuch für den Buchbinder, by T.H. Henningsen. Rudolf Hostettler Verlag, St. Gallen. Max Hettler Verlag, Stuttgart, 1969.

5. Die Werkstoffe des Buchbinders, by N. Thuma. Max Hettler Verlag, Stuttgart, 1960.

6. Der Bucheinband, by Fritz Weise. Max Hettler Verlag, Stuttgart, 1964.

John H. Jenkins. Rare Book and Manuscript Thefts. 1982. Free from ABAA, 50 Rockefeller Plaza, NY, NY 10021.

für The Utah Museum Association, the Conference of Inter- mountain Archivists, and the Special Libraries Section of the Utah Library Association have gone in together to produce a disaster planning packet, now available. Contents:

  1. University of California Libraries' Systemwide Plan, by Hilda Bohem
  2. Brigham Young University's Plan, by Craig Jensen and Sally Jo L. Mielke
  3. AASLH Technical Leaflet #114, Emergency Preparedness for Museums, Historic Sites, and Archives: An Annotated Bibliography, by John Hunter
  4. The Library of Congress's Procedures for Salvage of Water-Damaged Library Materials, by Peter Waters

There is a price, but it was not given in the AIC Newsletter notice from which this was taken. For information write Patricia Lyn Scott, Salt Lake City Public Library, 209 East Fifth South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. The publisher is the Special Libraries Section, ULA.

Michigan Archival Association. A Program for Disaster Response in Michigan. $3 from Richard Harms, MAA Secretary, Archives and Historical Collections, EG-l3 Main Library, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.

Matting and Hinging of Works of Art on Paper. Compiled by Merrily A. Smith, with illustrations by Margaret Brown. Library of Congress, Preservation Office, 1981. vii, 32 pp. A National Preservation Program Publication. For sale for $2.75 from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402 (Stock No. 030-000-00134-6) or in person only from the Information Counter on the ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building (the original building, oldest of the three).

This publication is valuable for book conservators even if they never mat works of art on paper, because of the detailed descriptions of feathering techniques, pasting techniques that minimize the associated moisture problems, the list of suppliers, the wheat starch recipe, and instructions for ordering other preservation publications (Boxes for the Protection of Rare Books, A National Preservation Program, Polyester Film Encapsulation, and Procedures for Salvage of Water-Damaged Library Materials). It is printed on paper with a pH of about 6.0, in soft cover, 8½" x 11" format.

The paste recipe is interesting. It says, "If a preservative-free paste is desired, the cooked, cooled paste can be covered with an inch of tap water, which is poured off when paste is taken from the pot. However, the water layer method will only keep the paste fresh if the water is changed daily. . . . Store at room temperature, as refrigeration will cause the paste to retrograde more rapidly."

Commercially Available Publications

Paper Permanence: Preserving the Written Word. S.D. Warren Company, Division of Scott Paper Company, 225 Franklin St., Boston, NA 02101. 1981. 81 pp. About half of the pages in this book are taken up with large, attractive and well-chosen pictures in black and white, which range from the spectacular (Peter Waters blowing a deteriorated book--really a page or two--apart) through the quaint historic print of printing or papermaking, and the informative (photomicrographs of paper, old and new, sized and unsized, etc.), to well-composed photographs that are merely illustrative. The text is well-organized and simply written for the layman, but it is carefully written too, giving technical details and references in footnotes. It is printed on 70 lb. Warren Olde Style paper, which a simple indicator test shows to be about pH 6.0-6.5. The textblock is sewed, the cover is a natural brown cloth attractively stamped, and the endsheets are figured. The review copy did not show a price; inquire.

Mohawk Paper Mills, Inc. [Presentation on Linen]. Concept, text, design and paintings by Seymour Robins of Sheffield, Massachusetts. Cohoes, NY: Mohawk Paper Mills, 1981. Oversize 16-page booklet + 2 loose prints in paper portfolio.

In order to show what their new product, "Irish Linen," can do, Mohawk commissioned this booklet and accompanying prints on the history, development and romance of linen through the ages, well-illustrated with a number of special graphic techniques, as well as solids, halftones, duotones and four-color work. The pictures are very nice, and the booklet does pull together a lot of historical and other material on linen in all its uses, but much of the appeal of the whole presentation is the informative nature of the text and illustrations, about on the level of a National Geographic article.

The paper itself has a linen finish, and according to a quick indicator test, has a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. The statement is quite honestly made that "Mohawk Irish Linen is not made from linen cloth, of course, but is made from chemically bleached wood pulps, combined with inert mineral fillers ... It does not seem suited for binding.

Twelve organizations are acknowledged for the help they gave in compiling the presentation, including the Irish Linen Guild (London), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (Cultra Manor, County Down), Ulster Museum (Belfast), American Heritage Publishing Co., Scala/Editorial Photocolor Archives, Inc. (New York), and various museums, plus--of course--the New York Public Library.

Richard Severo, "As Acid Devours Many old Books, Chemists Race to Stop Decay." New York Times, Science Times, Tuesday Dec. 1, 1981, p. C1, 4. The reporter who wrote this story did a pretty good job, considering it was probably his first story on this subject. He quotes Robert DeCandido, Richard D. Smith, and Robert Parliament, referring to the decline in paper quality and the rise in air pollution. He goes briefly into environmental control, deacidification and preservation priorities and dilemmas. But the significance of the article is that it appeared in the New York Times, where the message has a chance to reach decision-makers who do not read conservation literature.

Mary Ann Parmley, "The Quiet Death of the Book." Science 81 (not Science) April 1981, pp. 78-80.

The July issue of Book and Magazine Production contains an interesting illustrated article on the Horowitz Museum of Bookbinding and Graphic Arts in Fairfield, NJ. Henry Horowitz, President of A. Horowitz & Sons Bookbinder, began the museum in 1974 in order to preserve bookbinding tools and machines. The collection has since grown to encompass all phases of the graphic arts, including printing presses and a large collection of type. (From The APHA Letter No, 43, 1981 No. 5.)

Mr. Horowitz made an appeal for donations of old or wornout bookbinding equipment in November, 1976, which was reprinted in the April 1977 Abbey Newsletter. It said, in part, "Do you have any antique or unusual bookbinding machines, tools or equipment which have outlived their productive usefulness? We are interested in preserving such artifacts for display and education. If you have something you think might be appropriate for such use, will you contact me by mail or phone at 20l-575-7070. -Sincerely, Henry Horowitz, A. Horowitz & Son, 300 Fairfield Rd., Fairfield, NJ 07006."

Wilsey Rare Books (formerly Wilsey Square Bookstore) has moved to 80 Watchung Ave., Upper Montclair, NJ 07043. Open by appointment only, they deal in books on books, printing history, calligraphy, papermaking, bookbinding, etc. Write for catalog.

The National Endowment for the Arts issues The Cultural Post six times a year for $10, providing news about its grant programs, policies and deadlines, and reporting panel discussions. Order from the U.S. Superintendent of Documents, USGPO, Washington, DC 20402. No stock number necessary.

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