The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 13, Number 3
Jun 1989


Selected Contents


The Guild of Book Workers Journal, vol. 26 (1987-88) includes two long interviews with leading bookbinders (Monique Lallier interviewing Don Etherington and Marie Trottier interviewing Hugo Peller) and a detailed, well-illustrated account of the fine binding course with James Brockman the 1987 Institute of Fine Binding and Book Conservation at the HRHRC in Texas.


Volume 10 of the Paper Conservator is Part 1 (of three parts) of the proceedings of the IPC' s 1986 Oxford conference, "New Directions in Paper Conservation." It is all high quality, but the most interesting parts, from a three-year perspective, are the collection of almost 100 SEM pictures of normal and damaged paper in Jan Michaels and John Boyd's article, and the five-paper section on "Alternative Approaches to the Treatment of Mould." Roger Craig's paper, "Alternative Approaches to the Treatment of Mould Biodeterioration - An International Problem," is first rate, and belongs in the working collection of any repository that is having trouble with control of RH or mold. Nieves Valentin, in her paper, "Biodeterioration of Library Materials: Disinfection Methods and New Alternatives," presents research results showing (among other things) that ethylene oxide sterilization makes paper much more susceptible to mold, a finding that has become well-known in the last three years. And so on. This volume costs $52, from Institute for Paper Conservation, Leigh Lodge, Leigh, Worcester WR6 5LB, England.


Conservation News for March has a 2½-page report of trials with the Rentokil Bubble using carbon dioxide and methyl bromide (separately, not together). This is an inflatable fumigation chamber/quarantine chamber. Following that, Alan Derbyshire reports a method of pulp repair using nonaqueous pulp, based on a suggestion by Bob Futernick.


Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, vol. 28 #1, Spring 1989:

Darkening of Paper Following Exposure to Visible and Near-Ultraviolet Radiation, by S. B. Lee, J. Bogaard, and R. L. Feller. (pH and lignin affected the extent of darkening.)

A joint book review of James Reilly's Care and Identification of 19th Century Photographic Prints and Siegfried Rempel's The Care of Photographs, by Valerie Baas.


Paper Conservation News for March contains an illustrated summary of a presentation on starch pastes, by Derek Priest of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and Anne Leane, paper conservator from the National Maritime Museum. Ms. Leane described the Kleiner method of making simulated furu-nori and was surprised that paper conservators had not tried it in the eight years since the original publication of the method in Studies in Conservation. On the next page, Clare Prince describes the Centre Interregional de Conservation des Livres (CICL) at Arles, from a visit she made in the summer of 1988.


Restaurator 9:3, 1988:

Fixing of Ink Dyes as a Basis for Restoration and Preservation Techniques in Archives, by K. Bredereck & A. Siller-Grabenstein. A major article, 26 pages long, originally given at the 1987 IADA Congress. Both authors are at a textile research institute at the University of Stuttgart, and are naturally familiar with methods of fixing all kinds of dyes. Their work opens the door (at least partway) to aqueous mass treatment methods for paper.


Restaurator 9:4, 1988:

"Natural" Air Conditioning of Stacks, by H. Stehkämper. By making best use of building material (brick), wall design (slab curtain with air space for insulation) and window layout, the 1971 building of the Cologne City Historical Archives is able to keep temperature fluctuations to 5°C in a given month, and RH fluctuations to 22%. Average was 17°C and 60% RH.

A Bibliographical Survey of the Bleaching of Paper, by A. Lienardy and P. van Damme. A careful survey of the international literature to 1987. 51 ref s.

Conferences & Professional Publications


"Papierspalten von zerfallenem Schriftgut--Risiko oder Perfektion?" by Günter Müller. Restauro 1/1989, p. 56-63. Describes the working methods used for paper splitting at the UB Jena restoration lab, with recipes of the gelatine and glue mixtures. The before and after pictures of brittle paper restored by this method are pretty impressive.


Midwest Regional Conservation Guild Newsletter IX #1, March 1989, has a report of a recent two-day technical seminar on fumigants and pheromones in Indianapolis, for pest control professionals, at which the Rentokil portable gas-tight fumigation bubble was introduced. It will be available soon through a U.S. distributor, according to Dr. Peter Cromwell, Technical Director of Rentokil, and is already being used in the British Museum. When used with CO2, no outgassing period is required.


Pergament: Geschichte, Struktur, Restaurierung, Herstellung heute. (Proceedings of the 1987 Marburg Colloquium, reported by Ursula Dreibholz in the December 1987 issue of this Newsletter) Edited by R. Rück. Signaringed: Thorbecke. (Historische Hilfswissenschaften 2)


"A Better Leather for Bookbinding," by Trevor Jones. Designer Bookbinders Newsletter, Spring 1989. A half-page account of the author's experience using the archival leather developed by Betty Haines. The Russell goatskin he bought was very soft and flexible with a pronounced grain texture, without horny areas, very easy to work.


Meeting the Preservation Challenge, by Jan Merrill-Oldham. Papers presented at the 111th Membership Meeting of the Association of Research Libraries on Oct. 22, 1987. Published originally in Preservation: A Research Library Priority for the 1990s: Minutes of the 111th Membership Meeting of the Association of Research Libraries. ARL, Washington, DC, 1988. 70 pp. $28 ($14 to ARL members) from ARL, 1527 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036 (202/232-2466). Prepayment required. ISBN 0-918996-15-5.

The 119 member libraries of the Association of Research Libraries are perhaps the most appropriate audience in the country for the program recorded in this book. The preservation message has been seeping up (as opposed to trickling down) from the grassroots for many long years now, becoming refined and sophisticated in the process. The ideas and issues are so well worked out here that one is tempted to say that there is nothing left to accomplish. In fact, this collection of papers focuses so well on what is most important that it should be very useful as an aid to evaluation of existing preservation programs, whether by a library director, a consultant, preservation program staff, or other staff of the library. Contents:

A Challenge for Research Libraries - David C. Weber

The Moral Imperative of Conservation - James H. Billington

The Role of the Library Director: Wherefore and Wherewithal - William J. Studer

The Preservation Program Defined - Jan Merrill-Oldham

Staffing the Preservation Program - Carolyn Clark Morrow

Prospective Preservation - Wesley L. Boomgaarden

Preservation Selection and Treatment Options - Barclay W. Ogden

Preservation Planning and Perspective - R. Gay Walker The Responsibility of Leadership: Making it Happen - Patricia Battin

A View from the Sidelines - James M. Morris

Preservation on the International Front - Merrily A. Smith

A Time to Act - David C. Weber


"On Thymol Fumigation," by Norbert S. Baer and Margaret Holben Ellis. Int. J. Museum Mgt. and Curatorship 7, 185-188, 1988. Because of danger for both the artifact and the conservator, and its temporary effect as a disinfectant, "the conservator is advised to undertake thymol fumigation only when the alternative is severe fungal attack; routine introduction of thymol strips into framed glazed prints, etc., is to be avoided; and the best strategy for managing the risk of fungal damage remains proper environmental control."


"Mass Deacidification for Libraries: 1989 Update," by George Martin Cunha. Library Technology Reports 25:1, Jan./Feb. 1989, p. 5-81. This revision of the 1987 survey of methods available has more good news than its predecessor. There are now two mass deacidification facilities in North America (at the National Archives in Canada, and BPA in New Jersey), twice as many as before; and three others are very close to being ready (DEZ, Bookkeeper Process and Lithco' a process). BPA's and Lithco's processes also strengthen. The big problem is that almost all the information we have about these processes cones from the developers. What is needed now, the author says, is an independent investigation by a single laboratory of (a) the effect on books and paper by each of the processes, using identical test procedures on a predetermined selection of a wide range of book and record papers; (b) the overall costs and cost-effectiveness for each system; (c) the degree of effectiveness of any purported sterilization and strengthening; (d) the long-range effect of any emissions from the systems on the environment; and (e) an exhaustive study with definitive opinions in regard to all of the accepted (and suspected) safety and toxicity considerations.

Single issues of LTR cost $45. Order from American Library Association.


The Canadian Conservation Institute is offering for sale a set of over 470 Analytical Research Services reports on commercial products tested over the last 13 years. No aging or performance testing was done. $100 Can. + $10 P&H. Copies of up to 10 reports will be provided free of charge. Order from Extension Services, Canadian Conservation Institute, Communications Canada, 1030 Innes Road, Ottawa, Ont., K1A 0C8 Canada.


Theory and Practice of the Preservation of Library Materials (English translation of the Russian title) is a 163-page publication from the Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library in Leningrad. It is #14 in the Collection of Scientific Works Series. Everything but part of some of the bibliographies is in Russian. Yulia P. Nyuksha's l9-page article is about brittle paper and preservation planning, to judge by the bibliography; M.G. Blank and a co-author have an article on deacidification and accelerated aging; L.E. Sergeyeva and co-author write about the effect of gamma radiation on cellulose; and so on.

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