The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 8, Number 3
Jun 1984

Paper Catalogue Presented at AIC

The Book and Paper Group's program was a little short of papers and events on bookbinding, at least partly because most of those who contributed papers on book conservation had to withdraw them because they couldn't go to the conference to give them. Travel and hotel expense may have had something to do with it.

However, the paper conservators had been busy over the last year. One very impressive accomplishment was the initiation of a project that looks like it has a most useful future: a "catalogue or inventory of current conservation treatments for art on paper." The Statement of Purpose at the front of this 40-page draft document compiled by Tim Vitale and Doris Hamburg says:

The intention is to record the variety of treatment procedures in fairly common use, not to establish definitive procedures. Neither is the intention to provide step-by-step recipes for the untrained. An attempt will be made to include a variety of techniques used by BPG members and divergent opinions about particular techniques. Inclusion in the catalogue does not constitute an endorsement or approval of the procedures described. The catalogue is designed for practicing paper conservators and is intended as an aid in the decision making process. It is understood that the individual conservator is solely responsible for determining the safety and adequacy of a treatment for a given project and must understand the effect of his or her treatment.

The catalogue is to be distributed to BPG members. Distribution will be in looseleaf format to permit additions and revisions and to allow the catalogue to be updated as necessary. It is anticipated that this project will be a collective volunteer effort of the BPG, with members contributing catalogue entries, additions and revisions. A list of categories and a standard outline format have been proposed. The pilot group for this project has drafted prototypes for three treatment categories in the standard format to serve as examples.

There are 35 main categories, of which over half apply to archival work as well as to art on paper: spot tests, fumigation, dry cleaning, washing, and so on.

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