The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 8, Number 5
Oct 1984

Editor's Page


The Newsletter's address is c/o Preservation Department, not Conservation Department.

Price of NBS Report on Air Quality

The price of the National Bureau of Standards' 1983 report, Air Quality Criteria for Storage of Paper-based Archival Records, was inadvertently omitted from the review on p. 65 in the last issue. Apparently you can get the three parts separately or together, because the main text + Appendix A is $10.00; Appendix B, as mentioned, is $7.00 and Appendix C is $8.50.

Conservator Espinosa Edits the Supplies Column

The Supplies & Equipment column is edited this month for the first time by Robert Espinosa, Library Conservator at Brigham Young University and a colleague of the Abbey Newsletter editor. Mr. Espinosa was formerly in the book section of the Conservation Office of the Library of Congress. As someone who orders and uses a variety of supplies and equipment in his shop bore, he brings professional judgment and practical experience to this very practical page.

Abbreviations Used in This Issue

AIC American Institute for Conservation
ALA American Library Association
AN Abbey Newsletter
CLR Council on Library Resources
DB Designer Bookbinders
FAIC Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation
GBW Guild of Book Workers
ICCROM Rome Center
ICOM International Council of Museums
IFLA International Federation of Library Associations
IIC International Institute for Conservation
IIC-CG lice, Canadian Group
ISBN International Standard Book Number
JAIC Journal of the AIC
LC Library of Congress
MFA Master's of Fine Arts
NEDCC Northeast Document Conservation Center
P/D Permanent and durable
PLMS Preservation of Library Materials Section, part of ALA's Resources and Technical Services Division
PVA Polyvinyl acetate emulsion, used as an adhesive
RBMS Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, part of ALA's College and Research Libraries Division
RLG Research Libraries Group, a club or consortium formed to run RLIN, a computer network providing access to the libraries pooled catalogs, & more
SAA Society of American Archivists
Tappi, TAPPI Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization

An Old Problem Crops Up Again

About four years ago, because it has always been such a hassle for overseas and Canadian subscribers to send payments in U.S. dollars, I found a bank (Riggs International Bank) that would routinely accept deposits in foreign currencies without "sending them for collection," which involves delays, extra charges and a flurry of special debit and credit slips. When I moved from Washington to New York City, I continued to do business with them by mail, because they were the only bank I knew that would do this.

Recently, however, they announced they were going to charge like other banks do for converting currency, so we are back where we were before.

For the future, let us adopt a compromise. If it is convenient for a reader to pay the subscription fee in U.S. dollars, that is fine. If, however, it involves a trip to the bank for a foreign draft or international money order, and/or it costs more at that end to get it than the bank will charge at this end to turn it into U.S. dollars ($5), the reader should pay with a check in the currency of their own country. Naturally it should be the equivalent of the subscription fee, as shown in the local financial newspaper, or as communicated over the phone by a bank that deals in foreign currency.

Some readers who regularly buy materials in the U.S. find it worthwhile to open a bank account in an American bank. Then they can send U.S. funds anywhere by simply writing a check from home.

Readers who belong to the same guild or association could pool their payments in one check, to spread the charge for a foreign draft or international money order among as many people as possible.

Editor's Queries

Does anyone know where Maria Fredericks is? Her mail has been returned when it was addressed to 3927 N. South- port, Chicago, IL 60613.

Would anyone like to review The Protection of the Library and Archive, An International Bibliography? It is by Martin H. Sable, and published by Haworth Press, 1984.

Did any readers attend the American Chemical Society meeting in Philadelphia, August 26-31? A report of the proceedings of the Cellulose Division would be welcome.

Questions From the Readers

Several people have asked me to evaluate the Columbia University programs in conservation and preservation administration. Although I was there for two years, and in the P.A. program for 1 1/2 years, it is hard to evaluate it comprehensively because I couldn't see the whole picture from where I stood, and I don't know anything about other schools to which I might compare it. I can say, though, that I feel it is too expensive; I am all for formal education on a full-time basis (not just work shops); and I enjoyed it and learned a lot. Most important of all, it prepared me for a good job, end I am grateful for that. My income from 1972 to 1983 averaged about $5000 a year. So in a way, it was a good investment, even if it was expensive, to attend Columbia.

Yes, the Newsletter does take 30 to 80 hours a week. When I am in school or working, I spend only about 30 hours a week on it, but then I usually get behind on my filing and reading. Now I have help, which should enable me to keep up.

Every now and then someone asks if it wouldn't save money to send the newsletters by third class mail. I used to, but it was rather pointless, because delivery was so slow and erratic that half the events would be over and half the jobs taken by the time everyone got their copy. Readers would complain. About four years ago I decided that I would use first class only. Furthermore, I have made rapid delivery of the news a high priority. The printer must take no more than a week to do it, and I try to have the bulk of the issues in the mail within 24 hours of picking it up from the printer. The next logical step is to go monthly, which will be done as soon as it can be arranged--with no increase in subscription price. It may also save money to incorporate as a nonprofit corporation; I am in the process of doing that. The rather large cost of gathering information, however, won't be affected by either move. The Newsletter's telephone bill last year was $2000; each international conference is over $1000; the time spent filing and finding information in three 4-drawer file cabinets is necessary but expensive; books and subscriptions are necessary; and so on.

The Abbey Newsletter; Bookbinding and Conservation is issued six times a year and has about 850 paid 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 930 to Abbey Newsletter, c/u Preservation Department, Brigham Young University Library, 6216 HBLL, Prove, UT 84602. The telephone number is 801/378-2512.

The Abbey Newsletter is indexed in Art & Archaeology Technical Abstracts, Institute of Paper Chemistry Abstract Bulletin and Graphic Arts Literature Abstracts (RIT).

Editor and publisher: Ellen B. McCrady.

The editor encourages readers to copy and pass around articles from the Newsletter; but if more than S or 10 copies are to be made at once, permission must be obtained.

Back issues and single issues are available for sale. A complete set of back issues, v. 1-7, costs $127; individual issues, v.2-7, are $3.30 and supplements $1.50. The price of each volume varies. A list with prices is available on request. Supplements for the current year are included in the subscription price.

Copyright 1984 Ellen B. McCrady ISSN: 0276-8291

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