The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 14, Number 1
Feb 1990


New Foundation Will Test Permanence Of Philatelic Products

The Collectors Club of Chicago (CCC) has formed the Arthur Salm Foundation to conduct research on philatelic products and other philatelic (stamp-collecting) matters. The foundation will purchase, from retail outlets, commercial philatelic products from around the world that are sold in the United States and have them tested by independent laboratories and institutions for durability and permanence.

Funding for the foundation was donated by the family of Arthur Salm, past president of the CCC and world renowned collector. A matching grant was provided by the Collectors Club, making a total of $50,000. Additional voluntary contributions may be sought.

The foundation will issue reports, similar to those that appear in Consumer Reports magazine, on March 4 of each year, the birthdate anniversary of Arthur Salm. These reports, which will be distributed worldwide, will contain results of the research and will include--the names of testing laboratories. A technical advisory committee will assist the officers of the foundation. An insurance rider has been obtained to cover the activities of the foundation.

The concerns of collectors that will be addressed by the testing program will be permanence, durability, pH, yellowing, grain direction, ink receptivity, accuracy of placement of holes and quadrille lines. Completed reports will publish without comment the manufacturer's name, price per package and per page, and lab findings. Tools and equipment, as well as paper and supplies, will be tested.

The first report will be issued in March 1991. Collectors may request that the foundation consider certain products for testing. These requests will be taken under advisement. Requests may be sent to the Arthur Salm Foundation, Collectors Club of Chicago, 1029 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60610.

NLM Funds Filming Of Historical Biomedical Literature

In 1983, the National Library of Medicine decided to put together a plan to preserve the biomedical literature; in 1985 they published their plan; in 1987 they invited publishers and papermakers to a "Hearing on the Use of Permanent Paper," where arguments for and against it were heard (AN, March 1987), and set up a Task Force to encourage its use; now, in view of the fact that one library can't do it all, they are helping other biomedical libraries preserve collections unique to then, by funding preservation projects in libraries around the country.

As part of its National Preservation Program for the Biomedical Literature, NLM has initiated a program of cost-sharing contracts for the conservation and microfilming of important research materials that are in fragile condition in the collections of U.S. biomedical libraries.

With the aid of $14,275 from NLM, Yale Medical Library will microfilm the diaries of an internationally known scholar in physiology and medical bibliography, and microfilm and provide conservation treatment for twenty-five valuable medical manuscripts dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

The UCLA Biomedical Library, with $25,669 from NLM, will microfilm and preserve 267 volumes from its collection of rare Persian and Arabic medical manuscripts from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

For more information about the National Preservation Program for the Biomedical Literature, contact Margaret Byrnes, Preservation Section, Room B1-E21, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD 20894.

U.S. & Canada To Develop Shared Preservation Database

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has announced a $1 million grant to the Commission on Preservation and Access to be used over a three-year period to develop an international database of bibliographic records for preserved library materials (microfilmed books). There will be a series of pilot projects in various European countries, which will open the way for worldwide preservation and access to scholarly resources. Hans Rütimann, consultant for the Commission s International Project for the past year, will serve as project manager.

Oregon And Virginia Take A Second Look At Stored Microfilm

Wilson Library Bulletin Identifies Acid -Free Reference Books

Starting with the January 1990 issue, the Wilson Library Bulletin will identify with an infinity sign the reference books reviewed that test positive with a chlorophenol red pH pen and are thus shown to be acid-free.

Additive Found To Remove NOx From Smokestack Cases

Scrubbers to remove sulphur dioxide are required by law in new plants in the U.S. They work by spraying calcium carbonate and water into the flue gas as it leaves the boiler. This dissolves the SO2 but not the nitric oxide (NO), which makes up about 95% of most NOx emissions. The result is gaseous pollution which deteriorates collections in cultural institutions, including libraries--as well as acid rain and acid dust.

The January 27 Science News reports that chemists at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory have discovered that yellow phosphorus, when added to the scrubber spray, removes the nitric oxide. It does this by reacting with oxygen in the flue gas to form ozone, which reacts with NO to form water-soluble nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which gets washed away. It works very well in the lab; the next step is field trials.

Oxygen Scavenger Retards Deterioration, Kills Bugs

"Ageless" is an oxygen-removing agent manufactured by Mitsubishi, originally for the food industry, in the form of little sachets used like silica gel. It is actually a small pack of finely divided iron filings. One packet can remove oxygen from a liter of air. In an enclosed space, this would prevent rust, suffocate bugs, and make oxidation impossible, thus retarding deterioration. This is the sane effect conferred by sealing an object in a container filled with an inert gas, but it is achieved much more simply. There are different kinds of "Ageless" and an indicator called Ageless-Eye which is supposed to tell you when it is used up. Details are in the AICCM Newsletter, in a one-page article by Dr. Mark Gilberg of the Australian Museum in Sydney. He does not give an American source, naturally; he says "Further information regarding AGELESS may be obtained from Swift Watts Winter and Co., 85 Egerton St., Silverwater, NSW [Australia]." His article can be sent on request to readers.

Bookbinding Workshops

In London, Jen Lindsay is organizing a series of seven two-day workshops: two on boxmaking, one on coptic binding, one on limp paper binding, and three on limp vellum binding. Limit: four students. Fee: £90 per person per workshop, except the limp vellum ones, which are £110. For more information contact her at 87 Holland Park, London W11 3RZ.

There will be four 5-7 day workshops at Soundwell College in Bristol, England, in July:

July 7: Creative Binding, 7 days with Jeff Clements and Katinka Keus. £220.
July 16: Jan Sobota, 5 days. £170.
July 23: Jiri Hadlac, 5 days. £170.
July 30: Bernard Middleton, 5 days. £170.

For information contact Greg Harrowing, Bookbinding Coordinator, Soundwell College, St. Stephens Rd., Soundwell, Bristol BS16 4RL, England.

Hugo Peller will revisit the U.S. this May, to give workshops in New Haven, Boston (North Bennet St. School and New England chapter of GBW) and Dallas.

The Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, Connecticut, is giving four workshops in April and May to honor Polly Lada-Mocarski and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the bindery there. Hedi Kyle will teach innovative bindings April 28-29; Hugo Peller will teach pop-up boxes May 12-13, and there will be an opportunity to make a small leather Bradel binding too; and Monique Lallier will teach edge-to-edge doublure techniques May 19-20. Contact Gisela Noack in New Haven (203/432-1710).

The New England chapter of the Guild of Book Workers is sponsoring a two-day workshop by Hugo Peller May 19-20, at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, on a new "trick box" he designed, and on a binding with onlays to go inside. $100 + materials fees. Deadline: March 15. Contact Deborah Wender at 508/927-8558.

Programs For AAM & MARAC Meetings Emphasize Preservation

Handling Artifacts for Exhibition
The Next Step: Developing and Implementing a Long-Range Conservation Plan
Emergency Planning: Mitigating the Disaster
Fading Memories: Developing a Consortium Approach to Conservation Education
Surviving a Museum Fire: How Prepared Is Your Museum?

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