The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 10, Number 5
Oct 1986


Selected Contents of Significant Publications


Maltechnik Restauro, January 1986. Pages 5-8 contain a report of the IADA annual meeting in Berlin November 22-24, a report of a "Sommerfest" for book and paper conservators in Schlitz/Hessen July 6-7, a few announcements of coming events and 2½ pages of short literature reviews, eight of which are of ICOM papers. Judith H. Hofenk de Graaff has a fairly long review of a book on conservation solvents by Gerhard Banik and Gabriele Krist, Lösungsmittel in der Restaurierung (Verlag der Apfel, Wien 1984. 150 pp. DM51). That Sommerfest featured papers on conservation of parchment and wax seals, and of historical bindings; and Per Leursen demonstrated new leafcasting methods. (IADA is an organization that corresponds roughly to the AIC Book and Paper Group.)

In "Buchrestaurieren mit gebeftetem Lagenachutz," Antje K. Stubenrauch describes some of the methods she learned in Venice. The diagrams show a book being resewn through a piece of paper, which is something like a concertina guard without any folds in it. Another article in the same issue, "Die Herstellung von Pergamentkleber und sein Verwendung bei der Restaurierung alter Handschriften," by A. R. Margotjewa and G. Z. Bykowa, has been translated from the Russian by Wolfgang Waechter.

Maltechnik Restauro, #2, April 1986, has items of interest in both the IADA section on orange paper in front, and in the main section. There is a report of the seminar on paper splitting and mass restoration in Leipzig last September, but no announcement of the publication of any formal record. Gunter Brannahl gives a scathing review to Michael Fackelmann's a Restaurierung von Papyrus und anderen Schriftträgern aus Ägypten. There is an article on the significance of fat in animal glue, by two people who are trying to revive the old methods of making animal glue for use in art. They can identify the kind of animal it comes from, and tell whether it is bone or hide glue, by means of gas chromatography. The next article describes the restoration of a historical binding; the next describes an exhibition of the "Bibliotheca Palatina," some important early books; and the last is a light-hearted description of an easy way to dissolve calcium carbonate to make up a deacidifying solution. Its title in English seems to be "Economizing on Materials by Playing Around with Carbonic Acid--A New Handy Apparatus," and it starts out by saying, in German, "In the beginning was the Barrow Method...."


The New Bookbinder, Vol. 5, 1985 (received here Feb. 1986) gives us 29 generous pages of Anthony Cains' Book Conservation Workshop Manual. This is Part Five, covering specification and observation of: Whittawed thongs, double cords, single cords, linen tapes, a variety of stitches well illustrated (including two on and three on), non-adhesive binding, the value of old boards, kinds of boards and lacing-in methods, conservation of the entire cover, casing, endbands and their components and various types, what kind of binding to specify if the original is lost, original construction vs. constructional needs of the subject, covering material, boxes, spines and more. After all parts have been published, perhaps the Designer Bookbinders will put them together in a book, and index it. It could serve as the basis for an international standard for book conservation. Such a standard is on the list of planned projects of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).

Trevor Jones reviews Arthur Johnson's Practical Guide to Craft Bookbinding, which he says is a good book for beginners, though not enough in itself--no book is. Bernard Middleton reviews Ivor Robinson's Introducing Bookbinding, second edition, with generally favorable comments. David Sellars gives Tini Miura's My World of Bibliophile Binding a tasteless and vitriolic review (which three of his fellow members have since denounced in letters to the DB Newsletter). Dorothy Harrop, reviewing Roy Harley Lewis's Fine Bookbinding in the Twentieth Century, finds too many inaccuracies and omissions in it to recommend it to readers.


The Paper Conservator, Vol. 8, 1984, received April 1986:

Modern Usage: Conservation at the Humanities Research Center - Randall Couch

The Conservation of Nineteenth-Century Tracing Papers -Sally Ann Yates

The Conservation of Fans - Pauline Webber

The Nature and Identification of Cotton Paper-Making Fibres in Paper - Thomas Collings and Derek Milner

Mitnan: a New Fibre Source for Handmade Paper -Nellie Stavisky and Joyce Schmidt

The Binding Historian and the Book Conservator - Mirjam Foot

The first and last papers in this volume are valuable contributions to our understanding of bibliographic evidence--that is, what to preserve and what to replace when conserving a book.

There are seven reviews, the longest of which is one by Guy Petherbridge on the Rattliffe Report, Preservation Policies and Conservation in British Libraries. The well-meaning librarians and administrators who wrote this important report, he says, know little about conservation, not even enough to know that they should have asked conservators to review the manuscript before publication. They did ask one conservator (Nicholas Pickwoad) to write a chapter, but they ignored what he said. (This is a widespread problem in the United States as well: the decision-makers do not have the knowledge of conservation and the conservators do not sit on the important decision-making committees.) the Report is £9.50 from the Publications Section, British Library Lending Division, Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS23 7BQ.

N. G. Allen reviews the Needs of Conservation, a Crafts Council report by Lawrence Brandes, 32 pp. (The Crafts Council is at 12 Waterloo Place, London SW1Y 4AU.) Essentially it recommends that the registry and information and education work that was carried on by the old Conservation Section of the Crafts Council be carried on by a new body. Gillian Lewis strongly recommends Manual of Curatorship: a Guide to Museum Practise (Butterworths, 1984), though it has flaws, among them its size, weight and case binding. David Burgess and Nicholas Pickwoad give yet another review to Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, by Matt Roberts and Don Etherington. (It is a widely reviewed publication.)

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