The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 9, Number 6
Nov 1985


A Selected Bibliography on Paper Conservation, Vol. 1, 1954 - December 1981. Compiled by Nancy Bittner and edited by Patricia Knittel. Rochester: T&E Cancer, Rochester Institute of Technology, 1983. ISBN 0-89938-011-5. $15.

Reviewed by Ellen McCrady

The principle used for selecting the 91 abstracts from 31 periodicals for this bibliography was not the significance of the article abstracted, but whether it was part of the collection at the T&E Center Information Service. Only four of the 31 periodicals abstracted are professional or semiprofessional for paper conservators; the rest are mainly paper trade or library publications. Too many of the articles are derivative or popular, written for the general public or for printers and papermakers. The good side of this is that conservators can be assured that papermakers are getting at least some of the information they need to motivate them to make paper that lasts. Some of the titles from Tappi, Book & Paper Production and other industry publications are:

"Crumbling on the Shelves: Acid-Free Paper Standards"
"'The Deterioration of Books"
"The Permanence and Durability of Printing Paper"
"How Long Will it Lest?"
"Anyone can Make Permanent Paper"
"Preserving Paper through Conscientious Chemistry"

The abstracts are interesting reading in themselves, and are helpful in deciding whether or not to look up an article in the library. An example is:

"Battelle Examines Light Emissions of Paper to Help Determine Their Lifetimes" (Anon.) PIMA, Vol. 61 (4), Apr. 1979, p. 9. Almost all organic chemical substances emit light continually. Chemiluminescence, as this radiation is known, is a by-product of chemical reactions that are occurring during deterioration or degradation. Battelle Laboratories has developed a chemiluminescence monitor which measures the amount of light emitted by paper samples from the Library of Congress. In all cases, the chemiluminescence was higher at a given temperature for dry than for wet paper. Changing the humidity and increasing temperature also increased the rate of chemiluminescence.

This study was also reported in the professional literature.

It is not clear what reading public this bibliography was intended to serve. Perhaps there are papermakers out there on the other side of the big communication barrier, who are trying to reach out to us as we are trying to reach out to them.

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