The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 14, Number 7
Nov 1990



The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has issued its annual book of preservation statistics, covering 1988-89 activities for 107 libraries in the U.S. and Canada. A total of $60 million was spent on preservation, which was a 23/ increase over 1987-88. Total preservation staff is 1620, 12.5% more than in 1987-88. They put 60,500 volumes on microfilm. Copies of the report ($20 members, $60 nonmembers) are available from ARL, 1527 New Hampshire Ave., W, Washington, DC 20036 (202/232-2466).


The Institute for Paper Conservation will act as the Cooperating Body in a research project being undertaken under the direction of Dr. Derek Priest at the Paper Science Department of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST).

The aim of the project is to establish the theory and practical principles for a method of determining nondestructively the mechanical properties of paper in a book, for use in condition surveys of library books.

A portable ultrasonic sensor, used with a portable computer, may be developed, based on the sensors already in use in paper mills for online readings of paper strength as it comes off the machine. A graduate student will work on the project for three years from September 1990.



The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded the Book and Paper Specialty Group for the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) a three-year grant in the amount of $72,559 to continue development of the Paper Conservation Catalog, a unique knowledge base (not a manual) of techniques in use today.

The funds will be used to prepare three new editions of the Paper Conservation Catalog, covering fiber identification, mold and foxing treatments, dry cleaning, hinge tape and adhesive removal; inpainting; and encapsulation, as well as solvent, and suction table treatments.

The majority of the work on the Paper Conservation Catalog is carried out by a dedicated group of Book and Paper Specialty Group members who volunteer hundreds of hours to the publication each year. The editorial board includes: Catherine I. Maynor - Project Director, Paper Conservator, National Museum of American Art; Sylvia Rodgers Albro, Senior Paper Conservator, Library of Congress; Margaret Sarah Bertalan, Paper Conservator, Library of Congress; Antoinette Dwan, Supervisory Paper Conservator, Smithsonian Institution; Janet English, Conservator, National Museum of American History; Meredith P. Mickelson, Conservator of Art on Paper, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Catherine Nicholson, Senior Conservator, National Archives; Kimberly Schenck, Assistant Paper Conservator, Baltimore Museum of Art; and Dianne van der Reyden, Senior Paper Conservator, Library of Congress. Karen Kitteredge serves as editorial assistant.

The seventh edition, just published, covers washing, support problems and spot tests. The fifth, sixth and seventh editions are currently available for $8 per copy plus postage and handling from the AIC office at: 1400 16th St., N.W., Suite 340, Washington, DC 20036 (202/232-6636).


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of the U.S. has given $875,000 to a Canadian cooperative project to promote a coordinated national approach to the conservation effort and avoid duplication of work and expense in the production of microforms to replace brittle books. It will establish technical standards for microfilming as well as procedures and systems for reporting preservation [microfilming] activities and microfilm masters to a national register. This will complement similar activities in the U.S. and help coordinate the international effort. The National Library of Canada will administer the three-year project, which involves McGill University, Université Laval, and the universities of Alberta, British Columbia, and Toronto.




The ALCTS Newsletter (formerly the RTSD Newsletter) v. 1 #6 reports some events from the ALA meeting that were not reported in the August issue of this Newsletter.

The Standard Subcommittee on Preservation Microfiche (in the Reproduction of Library Materials Section, RLMS) reviewed tests currently under way regarding the production of microfiche and discussed the problems of 105mm film as a preservation medium.

In the Resources Section, the Micropublishing Committee discussed the roles of commercial micropublishers in the national preservation effort and will use this as a basis for a future program. The committee decided to explore the possibility of working with other ALA groups in establishing an electronic bulletin board to alert colleagues about problem detected in micropublications.

The Guides Subcommittee in RS is planning a guide on preservation in acquisition processing

In the preconference, "Preservation Issues in Collection Management," Sherry Byrne and Jan Merrill-Oldham conducted a practicum on preservation decision-making for printed materials, and made these points: The role of collection management in preservation is to assist in planning procedures and work flow, develop methods to identify materials, provide prescreening and presearching for bibliographers, know the rationale for treatment decisions, and implement procedures.

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