The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 15, Number 3
May 1991


Now the Whole World Knows

The Commission on Preservation and Access continues to receive reports of foreign language versions of "Our Printed Past in Peril," a Reader's Digest article by Robert Wernick that calls for action to save books made from acidic paper. The article has appeared in the following editions: Portugal (August 1990), Brazil (date unknown), Far East (Hong Kong, February 1991), and Danish (August 1990), in addition to the French, German and British editions. Reader's Digest plans to publish adapted versions of the article in most, if not all, of its 39 international editions, which are translated into 17 languages and read by 38 million people.

Regional Associations

The Southwest Association for Conservation (SWAC) has been formally dissolved, and its bank balance donated to the FAIC.

The Northern Arizona Preservation Network (NAPNet) was organized December 3, 1990 "to promote preservation of Northern Arizona's cultural heritage, to enhance professional development, to procure grants and to provide emergency response via networking." It grew out of the disaster committee at the Cline Library at Northern Arizona University.

Nine papers, including three on paper conservation, were given at the April 27 joint meeting of the Toronto Area Conservation Group and the Western New York Conservation Group, held in Toronto. Speakers on paper topics were Johanna Wellheiser, S Zachary and Betsy Palmer Eldridge. Rick Sherin is president of the New York group.

A Texas regional chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, the Lone Star Chapter, was officially formed on February 12 when membership applications and checks from over 20 Texas residents were received by GBW President Frank Mowery in Washington, DC. It will encourage, develop and acknowledge fine book work done in the state of Texas, and sponsor an exhibition or presentation project each year. For more information contact Priscilla Spitler, 1212 W. 13th Apt. M, Austin, TX 78703.

States with Permanent Paper Laws

Montana has joined the growing list of states with laws regarding the use of permanent paper for important documents or material of lasting value. House Joint Resolution No. 22 was passed by the 52nd Legislature. It resolves that the State Library and the Montana Legislative Council work together to produce guidelines for the use of acid-free paper for state documents, and make recommendations on the use of acid-free paper by all agencies of state government. (By not referring to a standard, which can be updated as papermaking practices change, the effect of the law may be weakened. Fewer than half of alkaline papers are also permanent, to judge by the papers tested recently for a standards-setting body. -Ed.)

Other states for which laws are on file at the Abbey Newsletter office are: AZ, CO, CT, IN, MA, NC, NE and VA. The NCLIS said, in an April press release, that Florida also had passed a permanent paper law. The Commission on Preservation and Access, which has begun to keep track of this issue, lists nine other states which have passed or are considering legislation on the use of permanent paper: DE, KY, MN, MO, NY, RI, SC, UT and VT.

NCLIS Urges States to Use Permanent Paper

The National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) was established by act of Congress in 1970 to advise the President and Congress on the needs of American libraries and information services, to evaluate their effectiveness, and to coordinate their activities at all levels. Recently it has become active in preservation matters. Two years ago it passed a resolution endorsing the use of permanent paper (AN May 1989, P. 26). In March, the chairman of NCLIS wrote to governors of all the states, calling their attention to the law signed last October by President Bush, which makes it a federal policy to use permanent paper for materials of enduring value, and urges American publishers and state and local governments to do the sane. He asked them to send him copies of any lads they passed, and enclosed a packet of resolutions and government documents on the subject.

International List of Microfilming Projects Begun

Hans Rütimann, International Project Director for the Commission on Preservation and Access, has begun compiling a collection-level list of preservation Microfilming projects abroad. The working list, which is by no means complete, now contains brief descriptions of filming activities in 15 countries: Brazil, China, Hungary, Israel, Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Poland, Spain, Taiwan, and Venezuela. He asks that persons with information about additional projects contact him at the Commission: 1785 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 313, Washington, DC 20036 (202/483-7474).

Leather Research

Several centers where research on leather is done are described in the latest Leather Conservation News, among then the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and the Leather Conservation Centre in Northampton. Rene Larsen in Copenhagen has organized a cooperative research program supported by the Commission of the European Community to look into the correlation between natural and artificial aging of leather and to set up criteria for a standardized aging method. Five institutions are involved in the project.

The Leather Conservation Centre, established in 1978, has a staff of only two (Christopher Calnan and Rosemarie Selm), but still manages to conserve leather objects, analyze and identify leather, consult and do surveys, train, provide information and publish a Monograph series.

For information on either of these centers' Work, write the Centre at 34 Guildhall Rd., Northampton, NN1 1EW, England.

University of Connecticut Upgrades Its Diplomas

The acidic nature of UConn's diplomas were discovered a month or so ago (AN, April 1991, front page), and prompt action has been taken, though it is too late for May graduates this year. According to the Hartford Courant for March 16, the Class of 1992 will receive alkaline paper diplomas. In a sidebar, instructions are given for extending the life of diplomas by proper storage and display.

Preservation Poster Wins Award in Richmond

The Virginia Historical Society is trying to raise money to build a new conservation lab and darkroom for its collection of 130,000 photographs and negatives. To help its "Save the Photographs" campaign, the Society hired an advertising agency, Earle Palmer Brown, to do a poster. It was entered in a contest sponsored by the Advertising Club of Richmond, and cane out ahead of all 408 of the other contestants. It has a picture of a Civil War soldier with his gun, in a framed daguerreotype, and underneath is printed (in a typestyle more appropriate to the War for Independence, but it's still effective), "129 years later, he's being exposed to chemical warfare. Chemicals like oxidative gases and acetic acids are lethal to many of our 130,000 archival photographs and negatives. Please, help us conserve them by giving generously. Because while old soldiers may never die, they do fade way. Save the photographs."

To get the poster, you have to contribute at least $50 to the "Save the Photographs" fund.

Fulbright Awards Offered for Work in the U.K.

The Fulbright Commission in London has announced that there will be awards for one librarian and one archivist in the United Kingdom during 1992-93. The purpose is to enable participants to acquire knowledge and experience of library work in a different setting. Applicants are given a great deal of latitude in designing their project or arranging for their work, which might very well include preservation. For a detailed announcement, application, and a list of libraries approved for affiliation, call or write the Council for International e of Scholars, 3007 Tilden St., NW, Suite 5m, Washington, DC 20008-3009 (202/686-7878). Direct specific questions to Dr. Karen Adams, 202/686-6245 or to Ms. Thitaya Somphanh, 202/686-6239. Deadline for application is August 1, 1991.

Preservation of Government Records is 1991 NAGARA Goal

The National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA), the same organization that did the GRASP program to help archives put together a preservation program without outside help (AN Feb. 1990, p. 1), published its 1991 program Workplan in its newsletter, showing that preservation was one of ten goals set for the year. Here is the exact wording, except for the names of the committees that are supposed to carry out each part:

4. Promote the improved preservation of government records.

4.A. Complete the NAGARA Guide and Resources for Archival Strategic Preservation Planning (GRASP) project: distribute copies to the states and to other selected recipients, and work out arrangements with SAA for distribution by them.

4.B. Continue representation on the ASTM Subcommittee D6.040 until a standard for recycled paper is promulgated.

4.C. Continue participation on Advisory Council to the Commission on Preservation and Access.

4.D. Poll at least the 50 state archives, asking each to define their five top preservation priorities, and use this information to establish NAGARA's preservation agenda for the next two (plus) years.

4.E. Use the survey information as a basis for developing a preservation agenda for government records and coordination between NAGARA and NARA in areas of mutual interest.

4.F. BP-gin discussions with funding agencies an support for application of NAGARA GRASP in several state archives; prepare grant application if there is sufficient interest.

Image Permanence Institute Moves

The IPI's telephone number and electronic mail address are still the same, but its new address is: Rochester Institute of Technology, Image Permanence Institute, Frank E. Gannett Memorial Building, PO Box 9887, Rochester, NY 14623-OM7.

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