The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 13, Number 1
Feb 1989

Editor's Page

Price Of Back Issues

The complete set of back issues, 1975-1988, now costs $263. As of June 1, the price will be $302.80, and the price of individual issues will be based on the number of pages, at the rate of 27� per page. A new price list for back issues will be issued later.


Ellen Desmarais wrote to say that the ICCROM paper conservation course described on p. 137 of the December issue had happened a year earlier, in the fall of 1987, and that her summary of it appeared on p. 3-6 of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild Newsletter 6(2), Summer 1988. Quite true; many thanks.


Joyce Banks would like a fuller report of what she said at Symposium 88 to be made, so that it will not be taken out of context. Here is a fairer (I hope) and more accurate summary of what she said on the panel discussion on "The Ethics of Disbinding Books, Manuscripts, Atlases, Notebooks, Sketch-books, etc." (The example most frequently referred to, as I recall, was that of the foldout map in the bound book. When is it all right to remove it from the book and store it flat to prevent damage from use? Another example was the bound book of Audubon prints, which is almost always damaged by use because of its size and the grain direction of the paper.) What Ms. Banks said, briefly, was:

The curator's aim is to preserve the book intact, i.e., with full respect for its bibliographical integrity and provenance. Disbinding is only justified in a few cases:

  1. When use would inflict serious damage.
  2. As a first step in conservation treatment, the aim of which is to return it as nearly as possible to its original state. If conservation treatment facilities are lacking, a protective enclosure or phase box should be made for it.
  3. When the curator and conservator have discussed the dismantling of the printed book at length and agreed on a treatment, and consult throughout the work period. If they cannot agree, the book should be boxed.
  4. Full documentation of all conservation treatment undertaken should be prepared, and should be kept with the book, as an aid to bibliographical studies.

"Disbinding in any other circumstances and for other purposes is unacceptable," she said, "and it should go without saying that the removal and permanent separation from the printed book of any of its original elements or parts amounts to breaking, and is unthinkable for the responsible curator or conservator."

The original report of what she said is on p. 145 of the December issue.

The Abbey Newsletter: Bookbinding and Conservation is issued eight tines a year and has about 1050 subscribers. New subscribers automatically receive all issues published in the current year, unless they request otherwise. All subscriptions expire on the last day of the year. To initiate or renew a subscription, send $35 (full-time students and unpaid interns $20), or the equivalent in � sterling to Abbey Publications, 320 E. Center, Provo, UT 84606 (801/373-1598). Checks in U.S. dollars from abroad must bear the name of an American bank on the front.

No paid advertisements are accepted, except from advertising agencies placing job ads. Amy notice that is appropriate and newsworthy will be printed if there is room for it. Written contributions and bits of news are welcome. Claims for issues never received, or received in damaged condition, will be honored within a year of publication. A complete list of back issues, useful for claiming, is available.

The Abbey Newsletter is selectively indexed in Art & Archaeology Technical Abstracts, the Institute of Paper Chemistry Abstract Bulletin and Graphic Arts Literature Abstracts (RIT). All issues but v.1 #2 are in print.

The Editor encourages readers to copy and pass around any article or issue of the Newsletter; but before making more than 20 copies of any part, permission must be obtained from the Editor.

Abbey Publications is a nonprofit tax-exempt corporation (tax ID # 87-0436104). Its other publication is Alkaline Paper Advocate.

Editor: Ellen McCrady Copyright 1988 Abbey Publications


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