The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 6, Number 6
Dec 1982

Editor's Page

Letter From a College Student

My first semester as a "PA" at Columbia University has just ended, and I am pleased to report that I am still somewhat euphoric shout my re-entry into the academic world. It is just great to he able to find all the important literature in my field in a library only a block from my dorm, to he within easy walking distance of about 15 photocopy machines, to eat dinner with young intellectuals five nights a week, to find in my classes the answers to questions I've been carrying around for years, and to have a regular office (rented from the University) for the Abbey Newsletter. I have a profound feeling that I am doing the right thing, despite the huge cost (over $16,000 for a calendar year) and the fact that three of the four previous graduates have still not found employment in the field for which they prepared.

Let me fill in a bit of background. The Columbia program was described in the February 1981 issue, or rather both of them were: the three-year program for conservators and the one- or two-year program for administrators. I am in the one-year program for administrators, because I already have a library degree.

I came here, first, because I am largely self- educated in conservation, and I knew that there were gaps in my knowledge that would be easiest to remedy in a school setting. Second, I wanted to have my knowledge and ability evaluated professionally, to help me find a job in the field somewhere. School grades and recommendations from teachers are traditional forms of evaluation for this purpose, and the School of Library Service is good about helping its grads find jobs.

Another reason I came here was that I was tired of doing clerical work. After being RIFfed from the National Archives in February, I simply worked on this Newsletter and laid plans to become part of the second crop of students in the Preservation Administration program. Financial aid was available, both from my family and the university; I took it, and added my own savings and the earnings from this Newsletter.

Because I am taking a slightly reduced course load so I can keep on putting out the Newsletter, it will be next year this time before I get my advanced certificate. It's too early yet to tell what kind of job I will apply for, once I get it. So far I am happy just to take the courses

and learn what is being taught. Of course I had a head start in the subject of conservation, having begun to learn about it 14 years ago, but the bibliography course this past term had me working pretty hard.

It seems quite natural to be taking classes again, though I am older that most of the people around me. There is an age gap of about 35 years between my dominates and myself. But after all, I lived for five years with undergrads in student co-op houses during the seventies, so I am used to age gaps.

The classes, together with the constant stream of extracurricular speakers from this country and abroad, and all the programs and exhibits at the University and elsewhere in New York, amount to an embarrassment of riches. It's like a convention that goes on and on.

That's all for now. I'll write more when I have time.

Ellen McCrady


Wait a Moment, Hold Everything

TALAS is NOT taking orders for their new comprehensive catalog, and it is NOT nearly ready, and it does NOT cost $1.00, and TALAS is NO LONGER at 104 Fifth Avenue. Everything else about the announcement on page 70 of the previous issue is right. My sincere apologies to everybody who sent in $1.00 two months ago and who has been waiting ever since. I sent mine in too. What apparently happened was this: The old cards announcing the previous edition of the catalog and soliciting orders for it were handed out at the IIC meeting in September. The intention was to warn everybody that they were only being used to get the addresses of everyone who wanted a new catalog, but they missed a few people, including me. I fed the card into the typing and preparation process without noticing the address was wrong.

Creative Arts Workshop Instructors

The One Day Library Workshops on October 30 and November 20 were taught by Gisela Noack and Martha Little, not by CAW Manager Lage Carlson as announced. He will, however, be teaching an Inlay/Onlay Workshop on February 19 at CAW, 80 Audubon St., New Haven, CT 06511.

Charters Committee Report

On page 67 of the October issue, it was stated that 16 experts were consulted in the process of assessing the condition of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. Actually, this is the number listed in the report, but a larger number were consulted. The committee consisted of four members (not five): Norbert Baer, Peter Waters, Leslie Smith and Paul Banks.

Survey Results

A reader survey was sent out in October to about 530 of the 639 addresses on the nailing list at that time. The first question asked about willingness to review books in foreign languages and the third asked about chemicals used. The other two questions were attempts to get an idea of the most useful bookbinding manuals, and the best (or most widely recognized) bookbinders in the U.S. and Canada. It will take some time to decide how to present the responses to the last question, because a number of people objected to it as being too vague or too prone to be turned into a popularity contest, and there is something to be said for their objections. The responses to the question about manuals, however, can be reported now.

A total of 64 surveys have been returned so far, and of these 64, 50 included an answer to the second question, which was:

If you are a bookbinder, which five bookbinding manuals have you found the most useful for reference?

All manuals mentioned two or more times are listed below, together with the number of times they were mentioned. Full references cannot be given because of space and time constraints.

Middleton: Restoration -33
Burdett - 26
Arthur Johnson - 22
Diehl - 20
Douglas Cockerell - 19
Middleton: History - 12
Young - 12
Lewis - B
Philip Smith - 7
Town - 7
Banister - 4
Horton - 4
Cunha - 3
Watson - 3
Corderoy - 2
P. Johnson - 2

Cost of Mailing Labels & List Maintenance

For over a year now the Newsletter's labels have been professionally printed. Because it took so long to find a service that was willing to handle such a short mailing list without charging an arm and a leg, and because others may find the following facts useful, I have calculated the yearly and per-issue costs from October 1981 to October 1982. The service is H & H Associates, P0 Box 7532, Silver Spring, MD 20907 (301/588-1749).

For seven mailings, plus five printouts and three extra sets of labels, the cost for the year was $270. The mailing list totaled 680 names on the average. Subtracting the cost of the printouts and extra labels, since most of them were sold, this leaves $220 for the seven mailings--or about $31 per mailing, or 32� per subscription per year.

Much of this expense goes toward maintenance of the list. It costs 10� each time an address is added, changed or dropped.

The Abbey Newsletter: Bookbinding and Conservation is issued six times a year and has about 600 subscribers. New subscribers automatically receive all issues published in the current year, unless they request otherwise. All subscriptions expire on the last day of the year. To initiate or renew a subscription, send name, address, and a check for $20.00 (institutions:

$25.00) to Abbey Newsletter, c/o School of Library Service, 516 Butler Library, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027. (Note: the Newsletter receives its mail at this address, but is not part of Columbia University.) Institutions may subscribe in their usual way, through subscription agents or with purchase orders.

Unpaid advertisements are accepted, but any notice that is appropriate and has news value will be printed if there is room for it. Telephone: (212) 280-4041 or 280-7761, mostly evenings and weekends.

Written contributions and bits of news are welcome. Claims for issues which are defective or damaged in the mail, and for back issues paid for but never received, will be honored without question, within a reasonable period of tine after original mailing.

Simple news articles and announcements may be freely reprinted in other newsletters without attribution and without explicit permission. Signed contributions, however, may not be reprinted without permission.

Copyright 1982 Ellen McCrady ISSN 0276-8291

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