The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 10, Number 1
Feb 1986


Selected Contents of Significant Publications


Fine Print 12 (1), Jan, 1986. Bookbinders and calligraphers will like this issue:

Kings to Hold a Calligraphers Inkstand: the Scribe in Muslim Society - Anmemarie Schimmel

Acrophonic, Micrographic, Typographic: the Story of Hebrew Letters - Leila Avrin

A review by Bryan Johnson, of: Science and Civilisation in China. Vol. 5: Chemistry and Chemical Technology. Part 1: Paper and Printing, by Tsien Tsuen-hsuin. (Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press, 32 E. 57 St., New York, NY 10022. 1985. xxv + 485 pp. Cloth, sewn. $89.50) This volume contains a definitive history of the invention of paper; it also covers printing, type styles, calligraphy, illustrations, color printing, inks, and--book formats and bookbinding.

The Featured Bookbinding: Visible Bookbinding Structures -Betty Lou Chaika. A major article, demonstrating how the principles of sound construction used in early bindings, especially in bindings using tackets, long stitch and chain stitch, and functional headbands, can be used in designer bindings. A detailed description of a binding using these principles follows. Well footnoted.


Maltechnik Restauro 91 Nos. 3 & 4, July & October 1985. This journal carries news of the Internationalen Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Archiv-, Bibliotheks- und Graphikrestauratoren (IADA) in a special section on orange-colored paper, which has the character of a newsletter. There are eight orange pages, of which IADA has four, typically used for a) a few announcements of coning seminars and courses, b) brief summaries of current trends or descriptions of recent events, and c) a large number of brief literature reviews. Among the literature chosen for mention or review in these two issues are:

Nancy J. Bell: Xerography and Preservation. Library Hi Tech 1 (1983) 69-73

Proteinchemie für Restauratoren (Protein Chemistry for Conservators). Herausgegeben von C. L. Rose und 0. W. Von Endt. American Institute for Conservation (1984) 122.

This review, by Gerhard Banik, takes up most of a page, and concludes:

Die IADA wäre gut beraten, wenn sie versuchen würde, elm Seminar mit vergleichbarer Zielrichtung, unter Heranziehung einschlägig arbeitender Naturwissenachaftler aus den Bereich der Proteinchemie zu organisieren und eine vergleichbare Materialsammlung auch für den deutschen Sprachraum vorzulegen.

John A. Gibson und David Reay: Drying Rare Books Soaked by Water: a Harwell Experiment. The Paper Conservator 7 (1982/83) 28-34.

Anthony Cains: Repair Treatments for Vellum Manuscripts. The Paper Conservator 7 (1982/83) 15-23.

Imre Kertész: La Restitution des Documents Carbonisés par un Traitement de Calcination (Thermique). In Avant-Texte, Texte, Aprés-Texte. Volume publié par Lousi Hay et Péter Nagy. Paris/Budapest 1982.

Klaus B. Hendriks: the Preservation and Restoration of Photographic Materials in Archives and Libraries. Unesco, Paris 1984.

Out of 24 papers, articles or books reviewed, 10 are in English.


Illinois Libraries 67 (8) Oct. 1985. A special issue on "Conservation of Library Materials," guest edited by Preston Levi. Twelve articles, covering repair, albums, photographs, maps, flood recovery--all the major topics--take up the first 80 pages. the first 36 pages reprint Robert Milevski' a Book Repair Manual, complete with profuse illustrations, glossary, supply sources, contents of ICCP repair kits and instructions for using PVA and methyl cellulose. Illinois Libraries is published by the Illinois State Library, Springfield, IL 62756.

Conferences & Professional Publications


"Considerations in the Establishment of a Leaf-Casting Facility," by Guy Petherbridge. Abstracted in Towards 200: Conservation in an Australian Context (Papers given at the Perth Conference of ICCM in 1985). This paper, as yet unpublished, gave a history of leafcasting and the equipment used, which it broke down into three types: hand-held, the usual machine casting apparatus using low stock preparations, and machine casting, as on a suction table, using high stock preparations. It also distinguished between the less demanding pulp infilling used for art on paper and leafcasting proper, for library and archive papers. It addressed all issues to consider when conservation labs venture into the field of leafcasting, and assesses the role of central fully-equipped leafcasting and analytical units in servicing the needs of smaller laboratories


1985 Alkaline Papermaking Seminar Notes. Atlanta: TAPPI, 1985. 140 pp., 8½ x 11", soft cover. Order No. 01 06 4585. $40.17 to members; $59.95 others. 20 technical papers.


"Preservation of Autochrome Plates in the Collection of the National Geographic Society," by P. Krause. J. Imaging Sci. 29 (5) 182, 1985.


"Biology and Growth Requirements of Moulds and Other Deteriogenic Fungi," by D. Allsopp. J. Soc. Archivists 7 (8) Oct. 1985.


Gary Frost, "Codex Format Bookbinding Structures: a Survey of Historical Types," a revised version of "A Brief History of Western Bookbinding Without One Mention of Decoration" (Abbey Newsletter 2(4) 39-43, Feb. 1979) will soon appear in a new edition of that issue, which has been out of print for years. The Abbey Newsletter is the only serial publication known to its editor that regularly puts out new editions of its back issues. Out of consideration to scholars, every effort is made to duplicate the original in every detail (except correction of typos and improvement of margins) but they all have to be retyped because the early masters were put together with rubber cement. Yes, rubber cement. And they have all gone brown.

In the case of this February 1979 issue, since the author of the principal article in it had made a careful revision, and since his subject is not adequately covered elsewhere, an exception to the policy of issuing facsimiles was made. The price will be $3.50 a copy.


A new conservation poster, "Books are Fragile, Too," carries a photograph of broken eggs in black and white, 24" x 36". It can be ordered for $6.00 apiece, plus $2.00 for postage and handling, from: Poster, Conservation Department, General Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720. For more information call Lyon Jones, 415/642-4664.


"A Holistic Interpretation of the Deterioration of Vegetable Tanned Leather," by Mary-Lou E. Florian. Leather Cons. News 2 (1) 1-5, Fall 1985. "There is no doubt," she says, "that the deterioration which is often called 'red rot of leather' is due to acid hydrolysis. But in reviewing the literature on all aspects of the tannin/leather complex it is apparent that there may be many reasons for the increase in acidity, and that sulfur dioxide plays, if anything, only a minor role. Also the hydrolysis of tannins and other chemicals, as well as the collagen in the system, is unavoidably part of the process. Her paper illustrates these points.


"Three Fundamental Aspects of Cellulose Deterioration," annotated bibliographies prepared by Robert L. Feller, Sang B. Lee, and Mary Curran. Issued as a bound-in supplement to AATA 22 (1), 1985. The bibliographies are entitled:

I. The Mechanisms by Which Cellulose Tends to be Degraded in Stages

II. Hemicelluloses: Their Influence on Paper Permanence

III. Hot-Alkali-Soluble Matter as a Measure of Paper Quality and Degradation

There are 162 items, arranged by date under each category, and an index of authors, published by IIC on 80 acid-free pages. Despite its technical nature, this work is clearly written, and the brief summaries that open each section give a paragraph to the history of research on each mechanism. This is good medicine for people who have grown weary of popular oversimplifications and eager for a fresh reappraisal of research on deterioration mechanisms.


Stéphan Ipert and M. A. Doizy. Le papier marbré Paris: Technorama (31 place Saint Ferdinand, Paris 75017, France). 250 pp. Over 100 pictures. Limited edition is now out of print; paperback edition 200 Fr. francs.

Mr. Ipert says of his book: "It is a book on the history and the technique of marbled paper. The historical part is from the beginning of marbled paper in China in the tenth century until today in all the world. The information about marbling in China is new; I am going to China in November [1985] with the Institute of Paper Conservation, and will try to find more information. The technical part is on all the techniques, suminagashi, oil colors and watercolors. There is also a presentation of collections in the world, a few pages on conservation of decorated papers and an important bibliography."


The Preservation and Administration of Private Archives: a RAMP Study, by Rosemary E. Seton. Paris: Unesco, 1984. 68 p. ("RAMP" stands for Record and Archives Management Programme.) the author recommends on the basis of an international survey of nongovernmental archives, a program of action on national, regional and international levels to promote both preservation and access.


Hand Papermaking, a new journal to appear in the spring of 1986, will feature articles on techniques, materials, sources and conservation; a featured paper tipped into and described in each issue; and useful advertising and resource information. The first issue will have contributions by Barrett, Barron, Howell, Koretsky, Lutz and Munn, and is offered at $4.50. (No yearly rate is given.) Write Hand Papermaking, P.O. Box 10571, Minneapolis, MN 55440, or call 202/829-0619 and talk to Amanda Degener or Michael Durgin.


"The Campaign for Art Hazards Legislation," by Mary Lynn Kotz. Art News, Dec. 1985. P. 49-55. Contains lively interview material from people and groups who have been working for laws mandating the labeling of art materials that contain toxic substances. It starts out with material from interviews at the Center for Occupational Hazards in New York City. (The first sentence is: "Monona Rossol, who spends her life trying to save the lives of artists, flings out her perfectly manicured hands in mock exasperation.") the last two pages summarize CalPIRG's successful campaign to get a labelling law through the California legislature. the law, the first in the nation, went into effect January 1986.


Five first-hand reports:

"Book Repair and Care in a Big Way: Stanford Conference Sells Out," by Robert J. Milevski. New Lib. Scene 4 (6) 1, 5, 8, 15, Dec. 1985. A report of "Library Preservation: Fundamental Techniques," the last of a series of preservation institutes co-sponsored by ALA and the Library of Congress.

"University of Texas Hosts LBI Fall Technology Workshop." New Lib. Scene 4 (6) 6-7, Dec. 1985. Demonstrations by Don Etherington and his staff covered materials and tools of conservation, styles and structures, polyester bock jackets and phase boxes, Velobinding, alkalization theories and methods, rare book boxes, mending of book leaves and case binding repair. The workshop, entitled "Conservation for Library Binders," was held Nov. 3-5, 1985.

"In Pursuit of Excellence," by Joanne Sonnichsen and Karen Zukor. Ampersand 5 (4) 1-3, Fall 1985. This describes the Guild of Book Workers' seminar on Standards of Excellence in Bookbinding, held June 28 and 29 in San Francisco, attended by 62 participants. At this meeting Silvia Rennie stood in for Heinke Pensky-Adam, who was hospitalized just a few days before the workshop.

A report on the November seminar on excellence, in Philadelphia, is expected to appear in the next CAN, submitted by Susan Swartzburg. There were 100 participants; demonstrations were by Hedi Kyle, Bill Anthony, David Brock and Jerilyn Davis.

"Workshop with Ole Oleson," by Jeannie Sack. Ampersand 5 (4) 3, Fall 1985.


"Notes from the Field: Tanning and Leather Research in England," by Abigail Quandt. Leather Conservation News 2 (1) 14-15, Fall 1985. Describes visits to J. Hewit in Scotland,

G. W. Russell in England, Betty Haines (now retired), Chris Calnan at the Leather Conservation Centre, and two small museums with collections of leather objects. Conservators at the British Library, the Bodleian, and Trinity College are working with Chris Calnan to evaluate the performance of new leathers in real life. Results will be published.


"Preservation of Government Records." Appendix II of the March 1985 Report of the Committee on the Records of Government, published by the Council on Library Resources and distributed without charge (call CLR at 202/483-7474 for a copy). This Appendix has two parts:

A. Conservation: an Overview, by Judith Fortson-Jones. 27 pp.

B. Technology Assessment Report, by the National Archives and Records Service, October 1984 (an abridgement of a staff study). 29 pp.

The Fortson-Jones section, which was commissioned for this publication, is accurate and useful and should one day be published as a separate so that it can be distributed through more channels. It contains a short historical section, a description of major preservation methods and strategies, and the NHPRC subvention guidelines for archival permanence, among other things--to serve the needs of the administrator who is becoming aware of preservation.

The Technology Assessment Report reviews the findings of the collection condition survey done several years ago, and evaluates the appropriateness of various technologies (optical character recognition, digital image conversion) for addressing the preservation problems it revealed.


Historical Textile and Paper Materials: Conservation and Characterization. Advances in Chemistry, 212. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society, 1986. 462 pp. $94.95.


The AIC Book and Paper Group Annual is expected in mid-March. It will be mailed to all members. Others may order it for $15 from the AIC office.

Standards & Practical Guides


Two photographic standards have been updated:

Standard for Photography (Processing)--Processed Films, Plates, and Papers--Filing Enclosures and Containers for Storage, ANSI PH1.53-1984. Last revised six years ago. $8.50.

Standard for Photography (Chemicals)--Residual Thiosulfate and Other Chemicals in Films, Plates and Papers--Determination and Measurements, ANSI PH4.8-1985. This is the Methylene Blue Test. Last revised 7 years ago. $8.50.


A Guide to Respiratory Protection is a 16-page booklet that is very colorful, clear and humorous, covering all the facts about hazards at work and how to use face masks to protect against them. It is meant for in-plant safety programs, but is also relevant for conservators who work with dust and gases. Not very technical. Order from Krames Communications, 312 90th St., Daly City, CA 94015-1898.


Library Binding Institute. Standard for Library Binding. 8th ed., edited by Paul A. Parisi and Jan Merrill-Oldham. To be published in February by LBI, 150 Allens Creek Rd., Rochester, NY 14618 (716/461-4380), for $5.00 postpaid. Glossary is illustrated by Gary Frost. 32 pp.


Peter and Ann MacTaggart. Practical Gilding. Mac & Me Ltd., 19 Mill Lane, Welwyn AL6 9EU, England (1984). 72 pp, illus., £5.95 in UK (+ £1.00 for USA & Canada). David Bomford gave this a very good review in Studies in Conservation, the November issue. He calls it a delight, and recommends that not only occasional gilders, but experts, read or buy it, because of its clarity and charm. It covers frames, furniture, and so on--but the review does not mention books.


Laboratory Construction Code to Provide Safe Working Conditions. 2nd ed. New South Wales Committee on Safety in Laboratories, 1976. Still in print and available for (A)$l.50 plus postage from New South Wales Government Printing Office, Sales Dept., 390 Harris St., Ultimo, N.S.W. 2007, Australia. Generally useful specifications cover fire protection, fume hoods, wiring, ventilation, and much more in about 40 pages. Thanks to Murray Millar, who sent a copy to the AN office. He has made great use of it, especially the part on fume hoods, and wonders if similar codes are being applied in the



Headbands, How to Work Them, by Jane Greenfield and Jenny Hille. To appear in February, published by Edgewood Publishers, 234 Park St., New Haven, CT 06511 (203/865-0661). 80 p., archival quality paper, hand sewn, in a paper wrapper. $15. A manual with step-by-step instructions and detailed drawings, for 12 headbands: Coptic, Ethiopian, Greek, Armenian, Islamic, French, braided German and Italian Renaissance, among others.


"Which Envelope? Selecting Storage Enclosures for Photographs," by Gary Albright. Picturescope, Winter 1985, p. 111-113. Evaluates paper and plastic enclosures, their usefulness for different kinds of photographic materials. A handy little table at the end gives the approximate cost of enclosures of different materials and structures. For an 8 x 10" enclosure, it runs from 12¢ for a polyethylene envelope to 60¢ + labor for a polyester sheet-matboard folder.



A set of 21 color postcards showing bindings by members of Designer Bookbinders is available, price not known. Write Designer Bookbinders, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR.


Silvia Rennie: Designer Bindings (Catalog). An exhibition of fine bindings held at Kroch's and Brentano's, 29 5. Wabash, Chicago, IL 60603, September 1985. 20 photographs, including four in color, showing a variety of design styles and techniques. $7.50. Ms. Rennie accepts new commissions at her home and workshop in Wisconsin: 705 Hwy 51 East, Stoughton, WI 53589 (608-873-9799).

Bibliographies & Other Lists


Catalogue 77: Books About Books. Oak Knoll Books, 214 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720. 619 items. Samples: a 1951 Gaylord pamphlet on book repair, Bookcraft, for $15.00; Dudin, The Art of the Bookbinder and Gilder, 1772, 1977 reissue, in unbound sheets, $145; and Geoffrey Wakeman's Nineteenth Century Trade Binding, two vols., 1983, for $150.


"Audiovisuals for Archivists," compiled and annotated by Timothy L. Ericson and Linda J. Ebben, is a blue 16-p. insert in the September 1985 SAA Newsletter. Sixty-eight items concern preservation or book arts; only 42 concern other archival topics. A great deal of information is given about each item. The purchase price and terms of loan are especially useful. So are the annotations and the complete address to write to. This may be the best such list available.

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