The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 12, Number 2
Feb 1988

Good Resolutions

The resolutions passed at the conventions of professional organizations are not mere exercises to amuse the minority of members who actually enjoy business meetings, or daydreams of people who have given up influencing the centers of power any other way. Some of them have been quite effective: the Declaration of Independence may not be a typical resolution, but it was a related form; and the Venice Charter of 1964, a series of resolutions or policy recommendations concerning preservation of historic monuments, resulted in the formation of ICOMOS and reflected the best thinking of the tine on the principles of preservation in that field. The Venice Charter still sets standards worldwide.

Other resolutions seem to sink below the surface without leaving a trace, perhaps because they were ahead of their time. They still have value, however, as evidence of the existence of a consensus, especially if they expressed that consensus in an eloquent or passionate way. An example of this may be the Tuttle Resolution, passed in 1980 by the American Library Association and reproduced below. (It is sometimes called the Tuttle Resolution because it was drafted by Helen Tuttle, a New Jersey librarian now retired.)

Four other sets of resolutions that have appeared since 1980 are reproduced in whole or in part following the Tuttle Resolution: those of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) Working Group on Training in Conservation and Restoration, Dresden, 1983; the International Conference on Preservation of Library Materials, Vienna, 1986; ICOM, Buenos Aires, 1986; and the American Library Association, San Antonio, 1988.

American Library Association, 1980


WHEREAS, the majority of books published today, because they are printed on paper and bound with materials which have acid content, have a life expectancy of only 30 to 50 years;

WHEREAS, librarians are concerned that they are steadily adding volumes to library collections which will present within a few decades the sane problems of survival as those which now require costly treatment to preserve;

WHEREAS, although libraries with research historical collections appear to be those most concerned, other libraries cannot afford to ignore preservation since they depend on the research libraries to supply the occasional needs of clients for older titles;

WHEREAS, the existence of secondhand bookshops and book auctions, eagerly-awaited community events such as library sponsored book sales, and book collection legacies show that older books are needed and prized;

WHEREAS, some publishers are now using permanent/durable paper, acid-free ink, and other acid-free materials to produce their books, thus showing that it can be done competitively;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Council affirm the need to move toward the production of volumes free from selfdestructive substances for all texts of lasting usefulness;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress be requested by ALA to call together representatives of those organizations responsible for the several elements which make up the printed volume, such as,

American Paper Institute
Book Manufacturers Institute
Association of American Publishers
American Association of University Presses
Library Binding Institute
American Institute for Conservation

to join in a cooperative effort with ALA and other members of the library community to urge the production of books which will endure as long as they are needed.

ICOM Working Group On Training, 1983


That the recommendation be made to international and national associations concerned with art history, architecture, anthropology, archaeology, ethnography, librarianship and related professions to formally recognize that no training in these disciplines be considered complete without at least an introduction to the basic principles of conservation, not in the sense of conservation practice, but with the aim of generating an awareness of conservation and instilling an understanding of its function and importance to other disciplines, both in terms of preservation and in the acquisition of new knowledge.

International Conference On Preservation Of Library Materials, 1986


The International Conference on the Preservation of Library Materials held in Vienna from 7-10 April 1986:

1. Having been made aware of the enormous scale of the needs for urgent conservation measures to protect library materials--a need confirmed by the participants of the Conference, including those from the developing countries;...

6. Endorses the steps already taken by IFLA to establish its International Core Program on Preservation and Conservation;

7. Welcomes the initiatives of the Library of Congress (USA), the Bibliothéque nationale (France) and the Deutsche Bücherei (German Democratic Republic) in establishing an international and two regional centers for preservation and conservation in the framework of the Core Program;

9. Recommends that the international library community bring to the attention of the broad public in every country the importance and urgency of preserving library materials which form an essential part of the intellectual heritage of all nations--and stress the irreversible consequences for future generations of continued failure to undertake massive preservation and conservation measures;

10. Recommends that IFLA encourage member associations a) to urge national policy-making bodies to establish guiding principles for formulating and implementing national programs for preservation and conservation of library materials;

b) in due course to appeal to governments for the supplementary funds certainly required to implement well-conceived national preservation programs;...

13. Urges Unesco and other competent international intergovernmental organizations

a) to increase the attention given in their programs to promoting the undertaking of preservation and conservation measures by publishers, printers and paper manufacturers, as well as by librarians, archivists and other information personnel, and

b) to augment their financial support for activities leading to improved knowledge of the problems involved in preservation and conservation and to the solutions of both retrospective and prospective needs in this field;...

[From IFLA Journal 12(3): 241-242, 1986. IFLA is the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.]

International Council Of Museums, 1986



NOTING that all of mankind's cultural material heritage is in great danger, threatened by negligence, inadequate maintenance, natural decay and acute lack of any preservation treatment and preventative care;

RECOGNIZING that only a coherent preservation policy on all levels can provide the necessary remedies; the 14th General Assembly of ICOM, meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 4 November 1986,

1. Calls on local, national and international authorities to give the highest priority to the preservation of the cultural material heritage;

2. Recommends appropriate education and advanced training of all personnel concerned with these endeavors;

3. Recommends that education authorities develop curricula at all levels of education with a view to fostering appreciation of the cultural heritage;

4. Encourages all related professions in fields such as architecture, anthropology, archaeology, art history, etc., to formally recognize that no training in these disciplines be considered complete without at least an introduction to the basic principles of conservation, not in the sense of conservation practice, but with the aim of generating an awareness and understanding of conservation and its importance to other disciplines;

5. Recommends as the highest priority the creation and promotion of conservation centers, workshops, information networks and international conservation organizations as well as a network of assistance for disasters;

6. Recommends that conservators and other related specialists be involved at every stage of planning and construction of exhibit facilities, storage space, and during archaeological excavations.

[From the IIC Bulletin, No. 3, June 1987, p. 5. Also in the February 1987 issue of the ICOM International Committee for Conservation Newsletter.]

American Library Association, 1988


WHEREAS, it has been known for at least three decades that residual acids in most paper produced since the mid-19th century. have drastically reduced the life of books and other publications and documents; and

WHEREAS, the serious deterioration of the holdings of our libraries and archives has been well documented by several research libraries and archives in the United States; and

WHEREAS, it will require expenditures of hundreds of millions of dollars over the next several decades to salvage even the most essential materials by replication on microfilm or archival paper, and to prevent deterioration by deacidification; and

WHEREAS, this problem can be stopped at its source by the use of readily available alkaline paper with a prospective life of several hundred years; and

WHEREAS, standards for permanence of uncoated paper have been promulgated, to wit:

American National Standards Institute
ANSI Z39.48-1984 Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials (uncoated)
ANSI/ASTM Standard D3290-86 Bond and Ledger Paper for Permanent Records (Type I, maximum permanence)
ANSI/ASTM Standard 03208-86 Manifold Paper for Permanent Records (Type I, maximum permanence)
ANSI/ASTM Standard D3301-85 File Folders for Storage of Permanent Records (Type I, maximum permanence)
ANSI/ASTM Standard D3458-85 Copies from Office Copying Machines for Permanent Records (Type I, maximum permanence); and

WHEREAS, the standard for permanence of coated paper is in preparation by a Committee of the National Information Standards Organization; and

WHEREAS, the American Library Association Council adopted in 1980 a resolution from the Resources and Technical Services Division affirming the need to move toward the production of volumes free from self-destructive substances for all texts of lasting usefulness; and resolving that the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress be requested to call together book manufacturers, papermakers, publishers, and commercial binders to encourage that they join in a cooperative effort to urge the production of books that will endure as long as they are needed; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine in February 1986 [actually, 1987] adopted a policy of actively encouraging the publishing industry to use permanent paper in the production of biomedical literature; and

WHEREAS, the Depository Library Council to the Public Printer of the United States on October 16, 1987, adopted a recommendation that permanent paper be used for Federal government publications of enduring value; and

WHEREAS, the National Information Standards Organization is writing to all American publishers to urge the use of paper meeting ANSI Standard Z39.48-1984 for the printing of publications of enduring value; now therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urge all publishers to use uncoated paper meeting ANSI Standard Z39.48-1984 for publications of enduring value, and coated paper that is alkaline and can be expected to meet a similar standard for permanence; and to include a statement identifying publications using such paper on the verso of the title page of a book or on the masthead or copyright area of a periodical publication, and in catalogs, advertising, and bibliographic references; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that the U. S. Congressional Joint Committee on Printing be urged to adopt standards for permanent papers and encourage Federal government agencies to use such paper for publications of enduring value; and that the appropriate agencies of State and local governments be urged to adopt similar policies; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that the following organizations among others are recommended for their leadership in researching and promoting the use of permanent papers for future additions to our heritage of knowledge:

The National Endowment for the Humanities for financing research and preservation activities; The National Historical Publications and Records Commission the Council on Library Resources and associated groups for sponsoring research and promoting the use of permanent papers; the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine and the Depository Library Council for their recent recommendations; the Library of Congress and other research libraries for their preservation activities including the quantification of the extent of the deterioration problem; the National Information Standards Organization and the American Society for Testing and Materials for developing technical standards for permanent record papers for various uses; the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry for developing methods for testing characteristics of paper; and those American publishers, especially many university presses, who have already adopted a policy of using permanent paper in their publications; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be distributed to the appropriate government and private organizations.

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