The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 9, Number 5
Sep 1985


Conferences & Professional Publications


Robert L. Feller, Nathan Stolow and Elizabeth H. Jones. On Picture Solvents and Their Solvents. Rev. & enl. ed. 1985. Washington, IC: American Institute for Conservation. $10 + $2 shipping & handling. A classic; last major revision was in 1971. Contains basic information useful also for book and paper conservators. AIC requests purchasers of multiple copies, and foreign purchasers, not to prepay but to wait for the bill to come with shipment.


Audio cassettes of the annual meeting of the American Institute for Conservation are available from Cassette Recording Company, P0 Box 20453, Dayton, OH 45420 (513/293-2609). Among them are:

Sizing seminar (4 cassettes, containing presentations by Baker, Barrett, Brooks, Clark, Garlick, Henry, Charles Pearson, Valley, Espinosa, H. Lee, Green & Munn) $24
Book & Paper Specialty Group (4 cassettes) 24
Photographic Materials Group (4 cassettes) 24
Book & Paper Group Ethics discussion at lunch about 15
Meeting of private conservators group about 12

Mail orders add 5% postage & handling (min. $1)

Ohio customers add 6% sales tax. Payment must accompany order.


In the "News and Notes" section of the June Paper Conservation News there is one item from the United States, titled "American Chemical Society Conference--Some Shocks."

Dr. Vincent Daniels of the British Museum, reporting from the ACS [American Chemical Society] Conference in Philadelphia, August, 1984 in Conservation News, No. 26, March 1985 gives the following details of a paper given by Bill Wilson of the US National Archives and Records Service, Washington who "gave an elegant and devastating account of how RH affected the aging of paper, coming to the conclusion that 25-30% is the optimum RH. to sum up his argument: the tear strength and tensile strength of paper are greatest at low RH whilst the rates of the two main deterioration reactions, i.e.. Acid hydrolysis and oxidation, are lowest also at low RH. Only folding endurance strength is higher at higher RH. Thus, there is no reason to store flat, non-folding paper at 50-60%, better at 40%, and better still at 25-30%. Books, whose glued up spines would be more brittle at low RH, could be stored at a higher RH." (What about leather, vellum, parchment etc.? Ed.)


[Forthcoming journal on rare books and manuscripts, from RBMS] the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries invites articles for its forthcoming new journal devoted to special collections librarianship. Issues will contain three or four articles and the emphasis will be on the theory and practice.

Topics will include acquisition and collection development of rare books and manuscripts; security, access and use of special collections; conservation; cataloging of special materials; computer applications; fund raising, donor relations and friends groups; exhibits; and the historical development of various special collections.

The article deadline for the first issue is December 2, 1985. Send manuscripts or ideas to the Editorial Board, c/o Ann Gwyn, Editor, Milton S. Eisenhower Library, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218. For information about submissions write to Sandy Whiteley, ACRL/ALA, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611.


Las Amis de la Reliure d'Art (ARA) has published its first book: Las maitres de la reliure: George Cretté. Its more than 400 members (120 of them professional bookbinders) receive a regular Bulletin. Two more publications are planned: a series of postcards featuring the bindings of their members, and a new review, Reliure d'Art. ARA, which intends to encourage fine bookbinding on an international basis, complements La Chambre Syndicale de la Reliure, an organization for French professionals. To join, send 100 FF (about $12) to Secrétariat, Les Amis de la Reliure d'Art, 34 rue de Metz, 3100 Toulouse, France. Like most organizations receiving funds from another country, they probably do not want checks in the sender's currency, but want foreign drafts or international money orders.


Stam, David H. National Preservation Planning in the United Kingdom: an American Perspective. British Library, 1983. (British Library Research and Development Report 5759) According to the February 1984 Library Conservation News, this is the report of a 3-weak visit in March-April of 1983 and includes brief indications of developments in the USA. The author outlines seven prerequisites for national preservation planning, and concludes that those who say it cannot be done should be ignored.


Library Conservation News, published by the Preservation Service of the British Library Reference Division (Great Russell St., London WC1B 3DG), is a "current awareness bulletin for everyone concerned with conservation matters. It aims to provide a clearing house for information of all kinds, including news, book reviews and article abstracts." Its coverage is international. Recently it has had articles on workshops, disaster manuals, surveys and programs from Japan, Canada, the U.S., Germany, Burma and Australia. Each issue is only 4-6 pages log, but all important developments are covered. Sources of reprinted and excerpted articles and addresses to write for more information are scrupulously given. Literature and coming events are covered. The format is typeset in three columns, dark red separating lines and masthead and large black headlines. The intention is to publish quarterly, though like many other newsletters, it has sometimes fallen behind. The next issue is scheduled as No. 9 in October. No subscription price is mentioned.


Leather Conservation News continues publication from its mew address: LCN, Materials Conservation Lab, BRC 122, 10100 Burnet Rd., Austin, TX 78758. Editor Toby Raphael wrote to subscribers in August that LCN was now officially affiliated with the working group on Conservation of Leather Craft and Related Objects, of ICOM' s Committee for Conservation.

Like the Abbey Newsletter, LCN is interdisciplinary and subject- or goal-oriented rather than an organ of a professional group. Editor Raphael says, "Our purpose will remain to draw together professionals from all conservation specialties in an effort to facilitate the exchange of information concerning the preservation of skin products." It will appear in October and April, and costs $8.00 per year, payable to Texas Memorial Museum, at the above address.

Standards & Practical Guides


Photocopy Services in ARL Libraries, SPEC Kit # 115, contains a summary of a survey of ARL members on copying practices and administration, along with a selection of policy statements, price lists, contracts, etc. 106 pp.

Organizing for Preservation in ARL Libraries, SPEC Kit #116, reports results of a survey on the place of the preservation department in the library administrative structure, and includes papers related to this from a number of member libraries. 131 pp.

SPEC stands for Systems and Procedures Exchange Center, and ARL is the Association of Research Libraries. These "kits" are 8½" x 11" photocopies of typescripts, stapled in one corner. Their flexible and economical format allows ARL to distribute a great deal of information while it is still current. They are $10 to members of ARL, $20 to others, $25 outside the U.S. and Canada, and mast be prepaid. SPEC Kits are available mainly by subscription from: SPEC Center, Office of Management Studies, ARL, 1527 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, IC 20036.


TLVs: Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents in the Work Environment and Biological Exposure Indices with Intended Changes for 1985-86. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, Inc. (6500 Glenway Ave. Bldg. D-7, Cincinnati, OH 45211, 513/661-7881). Publication #0015 in ACGIH Summer 1985 catalog. $4. ISBN

0-936712-61-9. Lists over 700 toxic substances and physical agents. These TLVs serve as the basis for many OSHA permissible limits.


Brochure, "Careers in Conservation of Cultural Property, issued by the National Institute for Conservation, A&I 2225, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, IC 20560, in May 1983. This has a great deal of information in the equivalent of six pages, including a description of conservation, the talents and personal preferences of most people who find themselves suited to a career in conservation, the different ways of getting into conservation (graduate programs, apprenticeship and study abroad), financial aid, continuing education, the work setting, bibliography, professional organizations and sources of information, and lists of nine graduate programs, two internship programs and nine regional conservation organizations. One of the five photographic illustrations shows two student book conservators at Columbia University.


Homeworking Mothers is a quarterly newsletter published by the Mothers' Home Business Network, a thousand-member national organization established a year ago as a support group and information clearinghouse for mothers who choose to work at home. It contains articles by home-based businesswomen/mothers, and classified ads. The network also publishes a booklet, Mothers Money Making Manual, and other specialized materials on home-based career development.

The membership fee of $15 per year brings members a free booklet and directory of members, as well as a newsletter subscription and four free classified ads. A sample issue of Homeworking Mothers is $2. For more information, send a large self-addressed envelope with two stamps to Director Georgeanne Fiumara, P0 Box 423, East Meadow, NY 11554 (516/997-7394). [From Crafts Review, Aug./Sept. 1985]


A Microform Reader Maintenance Manual, compiled by George H. Michaels, Mindy S. Kerber and Hal W. Hall. Meckler Publishing (11 Ferry Lane West, Westport, CT 06880), 1984. ISBN: 0-930466-97-7. $49.95. Covers maintenance and minor repair for over thirty of the most common microfilm and microfiche readers and reader/printers, for the non-expert. Includes information on service contracting and its alternatives, in-house stocking of replacement parts and supplies, and organizing maintenance assistant staffs.

This is the manual that was recommended at the ALA meeting on preservation of microforms. One of the speakers had said that the two biggest problems in preservation of microfilm that is used (as opposed to preservation masters, which are not) are dirt and scratches, and that the answer was to maintain the equipment in good condition and "clean, clean, clean." Somebody from the audience asked if there were any available guidelines, and somebody else from the audience suggested this book.

Bibliographies & Other Lists


Oak Knoll Books, Catalogue 69: History of Bookbinding. Received July 1985. 511 items, including many from Howard Nixon's library. Some are identified by their number in a bibliography (Brenni, Gullans & Esprey, Mejer) or are noted as not being in a certain bibliography ("not in Brenni"). Lists books not often seen on the market and hard to find in libraries, e.g. the 1905 report of the Library Association's Sound Leather Committee, "Leather for Libraries" (under Hulme), from Nixon's library, offered for $150. This catalog seems to have been put together as much for binders and conservators as for book collectors. Write Oak Knoll Books, 414 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720 (302/328-7232).

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