The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 11, Number 1
Jan 1987


A pH-Neutral Deacidification Spray that is Safe for Inks

Wei T'o® Associates has improved its nonaqueous deacidification sprays and solutions in response to requests for pH neutral deacidification agents and for elimination of all Ink stability problems, particularly in the graphic arts. This new technology avoids the use of an alcohol co-solvent and the higher alkalinity of magnesium, which may cause color changes or smudging of sensitive inks. Additional information can be obtained at the Wei T' Exhibition Booth No. 1120 Southwest, during the 1987 AlA Mid-Winter Conference, or by contacting Wei T'o® Associates, Inc., P0 Box 40, Matteson, IL 60443.

Mass Deacidification At the Bibliothéque Nationale

Bulletin No. 4 (July 1986) of the ICOM Committee for Conservation announces that "in the coming months" the Bibliothéque Nationale will acquire a mass deacidification system capable of treating 600 books per day. It will he installed in its Sablé Center.

Mass Deacidification at the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has contracted with Texas Alkyls, Inc., of Houston, to redesign its pilot book deacidification facility, which has a projected start-up date of October 1987. The Library expects to begin construction of the large-scale facility in mid-1988 at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, and to be in regular operation by mid-1990. It will handle 1,000,000 volumes per year from the Library's general and law collections.

Texas Alkyls produces organometallic compounds such as diethyl zinc for use as catalysts in the production of polymers. The use of these compounds is on the increase with new applications in the semiconductor and ceramics industries. The company has extensive experience in the safe handling of these compounds. It will subcontract the design and construction of the facility to S&B Engineers and Constructors, Inc., also of Houston.

Firm Restores Old Movies

Their advertising brochure bears a picture of the Statue of Liberty, and says:


Your tired, poor scratched brittle buckled torn masses of oil stained deteriorated film, your curled "rainy" shrunken faded film, the wretched refuse of your film library...

Their name is FilmlifeTM and they are a division of American Film Repair Institute that apparently specializes in using the products Flood-Clean and Filmgard. The company has been in business for 40 years, and has done work for the Library of Congress. Marvin Bernard, President, says that if he can't fix it, it's gone forever. They rehabilitate flood-damaged films too. Cost: 4½�-15�/foot. Steps used in rejuvenation are explained in the September 1985 NATPE Programmer on p. 30; but it might be easier to write to the company for information: 141 Moonachie Road, Moonachie, NJ 07074 (201/440-8600).

Camberwell Dissertations in Conservation, 1985

Conservation News, the Newsletter of the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, listed in its July issue the student theses and dissertations from seven training institutions in the United Kingdom, only one of which (Camberwell) offers training in book and paper conservation. The 12 dissertations concerned themselves with fixatives, parchment, pastel drawings, storage, mold pressure-sensitive tapes, Thomas Bewick, and the conservation of four books and one work of art.

Conservation Summer School in England, 1987

Last summer a three-month course in the conservation of archival and library materials was offered by Camberwell School of Art and Crafts in association with the British Library. It attracted applicants from Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and North America. For the first nine weeks of the course the students were based in the Conservation Section of Camberwell, where they learned by formal lectures, demonstrations and practical exercises the conservation, handling and storage of archival and library materials. The students then traveled to Edinburgh to attend the Society of Archivists Annual Instructional Meeting, where they were able to attend lectures and seminars given by leading conservation experts. For the last two weeks of the course the students were placed in different institutional conservation departments in the Southeast of England, to extend their knowledge and gain further practical experience.

Because of the success of this school, it is now to be offered annually, from the second week in July till the first week in October. The participants will be limited to 10; the fee is £1,950 (at current exchange rates, $2,730). Application deadline is the last day of February. A copy of the application form can be obtained from the Abbey Newsletter office, or from the address below. Apply to: Summer Course, Conservation of Archival & Library Materials, London Institute, Department of Art History & Conservation, Camber-well School of Art & Crafts, Peckham Rd., London SE5 8UP.

EPA To Focus On Ozone Control

Air pollutant exposure limits are consistently higher for humans than they are for books and papers or film. This is unfortunate in a way, because it means that books and papers are not automatically protected by air pollution laws. So when a federal agency tightens its standards on a pollutant, although it may not result in ideal levels for library and archival materials, it is a step in the right direction, and one day, if the trend continues, pollution laws may protect these materials as well as they protect people.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has collected some new data on health effects of ozone and found that the safety margin they thought they were providing with the current standard is nonexistent. At the same time, one in three people were found to be living in areas that fail to meet standards. So EPA has decided to focus on ozone as the primary irritant in smog, the assumption being that reducing ozone production will simultaneously reduce the production of related photochemical oxidants. The current standard of 0.12 parts per million may therefore soon be lowered, and ways may be sought to reduce hydrocarbon emissions at the source, perhaps by adopting a national control program similar to that in California.

Carrageenan is a Superior Growth Medium for Fungi

In the 1984 meeting of the International Biodeterioration Society, Naomi F. Hamilton (Morton-Thiokol, Ventron Division, 150 Andover St., Danvers, MA 01923) gave a paper entitled "Comparison of Kappa Carrageenan to Agar in Fungal Resistance Tests." Because the agar they were using in their tests was quite variable in its ability to support fungus growth under various conditions, they looked for another type of solidifying agent. A literature search turned up two reports that carrageenan (of two sorts) was an adequate replacement for agar as a growth medium for bacteria, or for bacteria and yeasts. They decided to test it as a growth medium for fungus. This paper is a report of their tests using 12 species of fungus.

The carrageenan they used turned out to be not only much more consistent in quality than the agar they had used, bet ten times as cheap. It was a kind of kappa carrageenan called Gelcarin® HWG, Potassium chloride salt, Lots No. 211802 and 212603, from FMC Marine Colloids Division, Rock-land, Maine, 04841.

Grant's for CCAHA and Case Western

The Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts has received $174,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a program of advanced apprentice training, continuing education and research for a three-year period. (CCAHA is a nonprofit regional center like the Northeast Document Conservation Center, treating books, paper and photographs. Like NEDCC, it has institutional members, who pay reduced rates for treatments and consultation.)

CCAHA' s educational programs in recent years have included lectures, workshops, apprenticeships, internships, survey services and a resource center. The Mellon grant will allow it to expand its educational efforts by increasing advanced training and research opportunities both for individuals entering the paper conservation field and for established professionals. The funded program will permit outreach projects such as demonstrations and lectures open to professionals concerned with conservation issues.

The Cleveland Foundation recently awarded Case Western Reserve University Libraries a grant to fund preliminary planning and education for a proposed Cleveland Area conservation treatment center for library materials. The first step was to do collection condition surveys for seven Cleveland libraries (6 of which were in museums or other institutions holding primarily nonbook collections). These surveys were conducted in early October by George M. Cunha, Director Emeritus of NEDCC. The second step was a one-day seminar in November by Sally Buchanan, a private conservation consultant: "Library Conservation: Administrative Issues and Challenges." It was attended by area library directors and key personnel.

The 1986 Job Market in Other Fields

According to the June 16 U.S. News & World Report, salaries offered to June graduates in most disciplines was up 1% to 3% over a year ago, but most firms were cutting back on their new hires because most of them are trimming their work force; most new graduates had to look for a long time for a job, and then accept entry-level, apprentice-type jobs they would not even have considered a few years beck. Teachers and liberal-arts graduates are exceptions, for a change. It goes in cycles. Average annual salaries offered to college seniors receiving bachelor's degrees were:

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