The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 12, Number 2
Feb 1988


Bookbinders International Is Formed

Frank Mowery, President of the Guild of Book Workers, attended an organizational meeting in Amsterdam January 28-30 for an organization whose members would be not individuals but organizations--bookbinding organizations like Designer Bookbinders, Meister der Einbandkunst and GBW. (Preservation groups do not qualify.) The purpose of Bookbinders International will be to disseminate information and news about bookbinding. It was inspired by the New Horizons conference in Brighton, which was attended by several members of Nederlandse Handboekbinders, the host of this year's meeting. They thought it would be a good idea to have a conference like that every few years, and will probably host one in 1989 in Amsterdam. The language barriers will be less troublesome there, where so many citizens are multilingual.

This meeting was attended by representatives from the U.S., Australia, Britain, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany.

A National Preservation Program Just For Medical Libraries

Ever since the National Library of Medicine (NLM) finished its preservation self-study in 1985, it has been taking giant strides to implement the recommendations in the final report, some of which are national or international in scope. Last year it held a "hearing" to encourage worldwide use of permanent paper for medical journals, and this year it has initiated its National Preservation Plan for the Biomedical Literature, which will include both microfilming and preservation in original format for all significant biomedical literature whether it is held in NLM or other medical libraries. This will be done through participation in cooperative microfilming programs (starting in 1989), providing partial funding for preservation of materials held in other libraries but not in NLM, dissemination of preservation information and provision of training, continued encouragement of publication on acid-free paper, and other activities. It will be facilitated by the Regional Medical Libraries around the country, which will serve as intermediaries for information dissemination, project funding and so on for individual medical libraries.

The 13-page national plan, which is lucidly written and impressively well worked out, is available without charge from the National Library of Medicine, Public Information Office (Attn: Preservation), 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20894.

The first step in the national program will be an 11-month study of the preservation needs and capabilities of the nation's medical libraries, the contract for which has been awarded to the New York Academy of Medicine Library. The study, which began in October, includes the design and administration of a survey instrument to approximately 400 representative libraries. Data obtained from the study will be analyzed to develop recommendations to the NLM on the best way to include other medical libraries in the national plan.

Dard Hunter Paper Museum Gets Grant

The museum that Dard Hunter founded is a world-class paper museum with unique papers and related artifacts gathered from around the world. It is owned by the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton, Wisconsin, and tended by IPC personnel, volunteers, the Friends of the Dard Hunter Paper Museum, and a full-time curator, George Boeck (pronounced Beck), who was hired with the help of a $14,000 matching grant from the Institute of Museum Services. The grant is also funding conservation activities: rehousing and doing a condition survey. The survey will be done in June and July with the aid of two graduate students from the conservation program at SUNY Buffalo (formerly Cooperstown) under the supervision of Doug Stone and Cathy Baker. Materials on display will be evaluated and the most endangered removed from the cases until they can be treated; framed items will be reframed using acid-free materials; and display cases lined with acid-free materials.

It is not known how the IPC's move to Atlanta over the course of the next few years will affect the museum.

Barrow Restoration Shop Gets New Address & New Owner

Due to mechanical problems in the Virginia State Library building, the Barrow Restoration Shop relocated to new quarters on February 1, 1988: 606 Air Park Road, Suite J, Ashland, VA 23005 (804/798-7739). This new location is still within the Greater Richmond Area, fifteen minutes north of downtown, in the Hanover Air Industrial Park.

The Barrow Restoration Shop has been purchased by Gregory Minnick, manager of the operation since October 1986. This change in ownership allows Mrs. Ruth Barrow, widow of the late W. J. Barrow, full retirement from the management of the 57-year-old company, which she has headed since the death of her husband in 1967.

The only change in the services offered by the Barrow Shop will be the addition of binding restoration.

All are invited to visit the new facilities when passing through the Richmond Area. Hours of operation are 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday and by appointment.

Alkaline Paper Causes Problems On Offset Duplicators

According to an article in the Instant Printer ("Running Synthetic Stock," by H. C. Roth, v.6 #5, Sept.-Oct. 1987, pp. 22, 25), alkaline and neutral paper used in offset duplicators causes the inks to emulsify, causing scumming and toning. This is because these machines require that the fountain pH be maintained between 5 and 5.5 for best results. Certain inks work much better with neutral paper. An organization called Graphic Technologies will test different papers and plates, and other materials, to see whether some give better results than others.

The author says that neutral and alkaline papers offer the advantages of economy and improved print quality with copiers, laser printers and computers.

NIOSH Provides Number For Technical Information

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has established a toll-free number (1-800-35-NIOSH) to handle requests for health hazard evaluation forms or technical data on specific substances. It is available 8-4 EST, Monday through Friday. This service is not intended for document requests, which should be made by calling 513/ 584-4287; or for emergencies. (From Art Hazards News, v.10 #9, 1987.)

Vikane As A Fumigant

The effects of sulfuryl fluoride (Vikane) on materials in museum collections is being investigated by the Getty Conservation Institute, Canadian Conservation Institute, the Smithsonian' s Conservation Analytical Lab and Dow Chemical Company. The first three phases of the study are reported in the Getty Conservation Institute Newsletter v.3 #1, received this month. Samples of materials submitted by the three institutions were fumigated by Dow with a 4% concentration, then a 100% concentration; then the uptake by various materials, including silk and cotton, was measured by infrared monitoring of the concentration of the fumigant in a sealed cell with the materials. Silk and cotton, but especially silk, absorbed and/or reacted with the fumigant. The next step is to find out whether a concentration low enough to be safe for materials can still eliminate beetle adults, larvae and eggs.

In a related story, "Sulfuryl Fluoride Fumigation Fatalities," by Michael McCann (Art Hazards News, v.10 #9, 1987) the death of an elderly couple is reported as a result of failure of exterminators to monitor the environment in the couple's house after it had been sealed and fumigated. They were allowed to move back in about 12 hours after the fumigation process was complete, contrary to instructions on the label. They should not have re-entered the house without self-contained breathing apparatus until the level had declined to 5 ppm (TWA), but it must have been close to 1000 ppm, the level dangerous to life and health, because they were both dead within a week of acute chemical pneumonia from the sulfuryl fluoride.

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