The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 15, Number 1
Feb 1991


ACRL Members Identify Preservation as a Top Issue

The Association of College and Research Libraries, one of 11 divisions of the American Library Association, surveyed its members in the fall of 1989 on a variety of topics and asked them to identify "top issues of concern." out Of seven issues identified, these were the top three:

  1. Rising journal prices
  2. Providing access to information
  3. Preservation of library materials

Executive Director JoAn Segal reported to members the action taken by ACRL on the top five issues. Among the actions she mentioned for preservation were cosponsorship of a program with ALCTS adding a field to the Choice review that recognizes publications on alkaline paper, and by publishing all ACRL journals and non-serial publications an such paper.

Columbia Invites Preservation Students for 1991/92

The Columbia University School of Library Service Preservation Education Program are accepting applications from librarians and archivists with the MS or equivalent degree for the Advanced Certificate program in Preservation Administration for the 1991-92 academic year.

The Advanced Certificate requires 30 points of credit, 10 courses taken in two semesters. Because Columbia University is phasing out the programs of the School of Library Service, the Advanced Certificate will have to be completed full time in the academic year 1991-92. Applications should be received by the School of Library Service by Summer 1991. For scholarship consideration, scholarship aid applications must be received by April 1, 1991.

The Preservation Education Programs expect to be operational at another site beginning in the Fall of 1992; however, the site is at known at this time.

For further information, contact Preservation Education Program, School of Library Service, 516 Butler Library, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (212/854-4178).

Four Tape-Removal Presentations at WCG Three-Ring Circus

The Washington [DC] Conservation Guild is unique in its practice of having one meeting a year with three simultaneous sessions, on paper, objects and paintings/textiles. Each session has three or four presentations. The meeting held January 10 featured the following four papers on hinge, tape and adhesive removal:

Removal of "Archival" Tape Hinges from Japanese Prints - Abigail Quandt

Removal and Reattachment of Pressure-Sensitive Tapes from a Modern Lithograph - Antoinette Dwan

A Less Toxic Solvent Mixture for Tape Stain Removal - Kitty Nicholson

Removal of Pressure-Sensitive Tape from Two Harold Edgerton Gelatin Prints - Meredith Mickelson

F/TAAC Becomes Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA)

The Film and Television Archives Advisory Committee adopted a more descriptive name and debated whether to become a formally organized body at its fall meeting at the Oregon Historical Society. Draft bylaws were discussed, and will be sent out for a decision to all those who have attended at least two meetings in the last seven years.

The National Center for Film and Video Preservation, at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, currently serves as secretariat for the AMIA

Friends of Art Bookbinding in Italy

A flyer and a program for a conference held in October have been received from an organization called Amici della Rilegatura d'Arte (ARA), based in Venice. Both are in Italian, but it is possible to make out certain basic facts nevertheless. Three of the 16 members of the "Comitato d'Onore!' are familiar to people outside Italy: Anthony Hobson, Martino Mardersteig and Michel Wittock. Marina Regni is a regional representative from Aosta. The ARA is interested in both early and modern bindings, apparently from a connoisseur's point of view, or a historian's, rather than a binder's. Its address is Fandazione Querini Stampalia, Castello 4778, 30122 Venice, Italy, and it welcomes new members.

States Prepare for White House Conference

This year the President is convening a White House Conference an Library and Information Services (WHCLIS) July i-13, to examine Federal Policy. A specified number of delegates are being elected by each state at public conferences where issues are discussed by librarians, archivists, library users, and public policy makers.

New York State held its conference November 28-30. It elected 28 delegates and adopted eight resolutions, of which one was on preservation:

FCR2003 -- Preservation of Books and Historical Documents Resolved:

(1) That local, state and national publishers, including governments at all levels be encouraged to use stable alkaline paper for the production of information materials (including government records) with significant value for research,

(2) that New York State increase the resources available to support its conservation/preservation program, and

(3) that New York State aggressively pursue the increase of Federal and local government and corporate and other private support for the conservation and preservation of information materials vital to the State's future productivity, democracy and scholarship.

The first part of this resolution was put forward by New York author and activist Barbara Goldsmith, with support from Torn Wolfe, Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Caro. It received more votes when proposed than any other resolution.

It is not known how many other states have passed resolutions on preservation.

The Conservation Unit [UK] Has Moved

The Conservation Unit, which used to be on St. James's Square, moved last October. Its address is now: The Conservation Unit, Museums & Galleries Commission, 16 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1H 9AA (tel. 071-233-3683).

Dieu Donné Series on Books & Paper

Dieu Donné Papermill Inc. is sponsoring a lecture series in New York City this winter and spring. The ones still ahead are: John Krill, March 13; Leonard Schlosser, April 10; and Sue Allen, May 8. For a copy of the schedule, write Dieu Dorm6 Papermill, 3 Crosby St., New York, NY 10013 (212/226-0573).

News of Conservator Students at Columbia

Five new students began the three-year program in September 1990: Alan Balicki, Maria Bessa, Kathleen Donkin, Alexis Hagadorn, and Marjorie Young.

The second-year conservator students have mw gone to their third-year internships in the following laboratories:

Richard Horton - Northeast Document Conservation Center Rafael Reyes-Ayala - West Dean College, Sussex, England Olga Souza - Conservation Analytical Laboratory, Smithsonian Institution

Janice Stagnitto - Trinity College Library, Dublin Holley White - Pierpont Morgan Library, New York

In between these two classes is a class of six students who will begin their internships next fall: Claire Dekle, Erich Jacobs, Emily Ramos, Paula Schrynemakers, Fei-Wen Tsai, and Ursula Wille.

Workshops on Early Books as Physical Objects

A rare book firm based in England and Canada has arranged with a study center in Florence to present a series of workshops on early Renaissance books during August and September, and invites Americans to attend. All quite international and possibly confusing, except that the names of two or three of the instructors are familiar. Here are the facts, and details:

The rare book firm, from which information and registration materials are available, is Turvey, Walwyn and Associates Rare Books. In England they are at 79 Rutherford Dr., Over Hulton, Bolton, BL5 1DL. In Canada they are at 650 Parliament St., Suite 808, Toronto, M4x lR3 (416/9222171). They refer to these workshops as "International Courses on the Renaissance Book," and they will be given at the Centre for Rare Book Studies at the Centro di Dante Alighieri, Florence, in English, from August 5 to September 8, 1991. Each course is one week long and costs $475 U.S. for those who register before March 15 ($550 after that). The courses are:

Physical Evidence in Early Printed Books - Paul Needham

Development of Typography - instructor to be announced

Renaissance Bookbinding Structures - Christopher Clarkson

Structural History of the Book 1450-1600 - Richard Landon

Techniques of Bibliographical Analysis - Brett Walwyn

Courses include a large practical component, with examination of early books and binding methods in the workshop. Librarians, catalogers, conservators, bibliographers and scholars in Renaissance studies are particularly urged to attend. The tuition fee includes all course materials and field trips to archives and libraries.

Eight-Day Preservation Seminar for College Librarians

SOLINET's Preservation Program, in cooperation with the Commission on Preservation and Access's College Libraries Committee, is presenting a Preservation Training Seminar for College Librarians July 20-27 at Washington University in Lexington, VA. Registrants will be the College Libraries Committee on an application basis; deadline for application is March 15. Costs for tuition, roan and board are expected to be $1,200. Write SOLINET Preservation Program, 400 Colony Sq., Plaza Level, Atlanta, GA 30361-6301 (800/999-8558).

The seminar was designed for college librarians with part-time preservation responsibilities. It will cover every major aspect of preservation.

Campbell Center Courses Announced

The Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies (203 East Seminary, PO Box 66, Mount Carroll, IL 61053, 815/244-1173) will give 25 short courses from June through September, of which the following may be of interest to readers:

Environmental Monitoring and Control (Aug. 13-17)
Care of Photographic Collections/Debbie Hess Norris (July 11-13)
Care of Works of Art on Paper/Judith Walsh (July 23-27) Preservation of Library Materials (TBA)
Disaster Mitigation/Barbara Roberts (June 19-22)
Works of Art in Transit: Packing & Shipping/Blues Farley (July 24-27)
The Vellum Leaf - Treatment of Support & Media/Abigail Quandt (Sept. 24-28)

Course fees average $500-$600, including housing and two meals a day.

Humidification can be Dangerous to your Health

[The following notice, originally entitled "Steam Humidification Hazards," is reprinted from ACTS FACTS, Monona Rossol, Editor, 181 Thompson St., #23, New York, NY 10012. It summarizes an item in Mortality & Morbidity Weekly Report, CDC, Vol. 39, No. 4 , No-. 47, Nov. 30.

Dry winter air is often modified for health and comfort by releasing steam into the air. Apropos, the Centers for Disease Control published an article about a 1988 incident in which 77 employees in a manufacturing plant became ill when boiler steam used to humidify the air was contaminated with the corrosion-inhibiting chemicals diethylaminoethanol (DEAE) and cyclohexylamine.

The report also listed three previous clusters of illness related to boiler steam containing DEAE or related corrosion-inhibiting chemicals that were investigated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. One of these incidents was at an art museum where DEAE not only made people feel ill, but deposited on surfaces and caused damage to the varnish on paintings.

Steam humidification, properly used, can keep people comfortable and healthy, and keep artifacts from drying and cracking. Steam also can be used to create special effects in some entertainment facilities. However, the source of water for steam should be carefully monitored for contamination.

OSHA's Fines to Rise

One provision of the five-year deficit reduction package signed recently by President Bush provides for a seven-fold increase in the schedule of some OSHA penalties. For example, the maximum penalties for safety and health violations is raised from $1,000 to $7,000 per violation. In addition, the measure establishes a new minimum penalty of $5,000 for each willful violation and raises the allowable civil penalty for each willful or repeat violation from $10,000 to $70,000. [Reprinted from ACTS FACTS, Monona Rossol, Editor, 181 Thompson St., #23, New York, NY 100121

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