The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 16, Number 4
Aug 1992


Spain Funds Conservation in Latin American Archives

The General Directorate for Fine Arts and Archives of the Spanish Ministry of Culture has announced a Pta1OO million funding program for archives in Central and South America which relate to Spain's colonial past. The money will be used to step up technological know-how, to purchase restoration equipment and set up entire restoration studios in some countries including Colombia and Cuba. In Costa Rica a microfilm center will be started while a loan will enable Cuzco in Peru to build up an archive. In addition, a General Directory of Latin American Archives has been launched for which 30,000 archives will be put onto a database. This will complement the already existing database of documents in Spanish archives relating to Latin America. (From The Art Newspaper [London], v. III No. 19, June 1992.)

Cornell Digitizing Project is Alive & Well

Cornell University's pathfinding project to preserve texts with images and symbols by digital imaging is still going strong. It has received additional funding and has one more year to go on the NEH grant. (This information was from Anne Kenney in mid-June.)

A Few University Bookdrops are Closed

A query put out on Email earlier this year turned up the names of three libraries that had closed their bookdrops recently: Syracuse University, Brigham Young University, and Ohio State.

A Systematic Search for CFC Replacements

Chlorofluorocarbons ("freon" or CFCs) are used for preservation purposes in fire suppression, deacidification, cleaning of old films and sound recordings, and room air conditioners. Because they escape and damage the ozone layer, substitutes have to be found. A new task group in ASTM on CFC replacement for cleaning these materials is seeking interested laboratories and suppliers to participate in validating techniques and replacement reagents. Committee G-4 has established the new task group, which is drafting test methods to evaluate the cleaning efficiency of prospective reagents. The task group met July 14. (For more information see Standardization News for August 1992 )

Preservation of Agricultural Records & Materials

The need for preservation of the materials in the National Agricultural Library (NAL) was documented in its preservation plan in early 1990 (AN, Dec. 1991, p. 135), but there has been no news that any of its major recommendations have been implemented. The position of preservation officer has been vacant since last September.

On a national scale, there has been more progress. Last October, the NAL and the U.S. Agricultural Information Network (USAIN) sponsored a two-day Preconference on National Preservation Planning in Agriculture. Thirty librarians and archivists and several preservation experts were there. The Cornell project to identify and preserve the core literature of the agricultural sciences (AN, April 1991, p. 17) was described, and participants considered its potential to form part of a national plan. In large and small groups, funding and other aspects of a national plan were discussed, and a set of recommendations made for further action.

Sam Demas, Head of Collection Development and Preservation at Mann Library, Cornell University, and chair of the preconference planning committee, summarized the preservation work already done in this field, but it was very little, unless microfilming projects are counted. There was no mention of preservation standards being followed in any of the microfilming done. He did a telephone survey of 17 landgrant institutions, but turned up only three that had preservation projects focusing on agricultural materials, and all three were microfilming projects (This preconference was reported in Technicalities for December 1991, and in the November/December issue of ALIN, Agricultural Libraries Information Notes.)

NAL also feels the responsibility to preserve agricultural literature around the world. Visitors from Eastern Europe, especially, have been visiting NAL in increasing numbers, according to an article in the March/April ALIN, "World Turns to NAL to Preserve Agricultural Knowledge." It describes the visit of a Czech librarian who came because her country's precious agricultural knowledge is in jeopardy from lack of proper housing and from air pollution. The article is silent about any help or advice she received on her preservation problems, but it says she learned a lot about information management.

Australian Analog to US Conservation Education Programs

A new course of study in conservation of library and archival materials and in preservation administration is being initiated by the University of New South Wales in Australia: the Bachelor of Information Studies (Conservation). It was developed with the assistance and encouragement of leading figures in the field, including Guy Petherbridge, Preservation Policy Adviser at the Australian Archives, Jan Lyall, Director of Preservation Services at the National Library of Australia; and Jeavons Baillie, Chief Conservator at the State Library of Victoria. The first students will enter in 1993. For information contact Dr. Paul Wilson, School of Information, Library and Archive Studies, University of NSW, PO Box 1, Kensington, NSW 2033 (Fax 011 61 2 313 7092).

UT Austin's Conservation Education Program Funded

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a two-year $661,000 grant to the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at The University of Texas at Austin to establish a conservation education program, NEH Chairman Lynne V. Cheney announced June 22. The $575,000 outright grant and up to $86,000 in federal matching funds will enable the University to provide space and re-

sources for the faculty and administration of the Conservation Education Programs, formerly a component of the School of Library Service at Columbia University. The programs' new name in Texas will be the Preservation and Conservation Education Programs for Libraries and Archives.

The University expressed an interest in acquiring the programs in June 1990, when the trustees of Columbia voted to phase out the School of Library Service. After many site visits, the programs' faculty and administration selected UT Austin for its new location. Dean Brooke E. Sheldon of the UT library school said that the existing GSLIS program in Archival Enterprise and early interest on the part of Professor David Gracy, now an associate dean of the library school, were major factors in inviting the Columbia programs to relocate.

Senior lecturers Carolyn Harris and Paul Banks and program coordinator Allert Brown-Gort moved to Texas in July, and Harris and Banks will begin teaching preservation administration courses this fall. For more information call the UT News and information Service, 512/471-3151 (Fax: 5812).

Meanwhile, the Columbia University School of Library Service has withdrawn its proposal to move the School to the City University of New York, because it did not seem possible to raise the funds to make the move possible. The School closes this summer.

Biodeterioration Conference in Yokohama Next October

The program for the Second International Conference on Biodeterioration of Cultural Property, October 5-8 at the Pacifico Yokohama, Japan, looks good. All the presentations, discussions and submitted materials will be in English. The first day is on museum objects and problems, but there is some overlap with library and archival problems. The third day is devoted to an excursion and banquet. The schedule for the second and fourth days includes the following papers and sessions:

Gamma Radiation as an Alternative Means for Disinfection of Archives - P. Justa (Czechoslovakia)

Studies on Biodeterioration of [a] Greek Medieval Manuscript - J.P. Petushkova (CIS)

[A session on foxing, with papers by C.E. Cain, V. Daniels, F. Gallo/G. Pasquariello, A. Mori/N. Tachibana, H. Arai, and M. Matsuo et al. The last paper is entitled "Screening of Defoxing Microorganisms and Their Enzyme."]

[A session on environmental control, with papers from China, Japan, US and Brazil. The one from Brazil is on the Sterilair appliance.]

[Two sessions on fumigation and inert atmospheres, with eight papers from five countries on the use of six gases.]

[A session on miscellaneous control methods, with five papers from five countries, on pheromones, cockroach control, fungicides, cyphenothrin mist, and microwave heating.]

Registration fee after July 31 is Y45,000 (about $360). Hotel room rates range from $55 to $192 plus service charge & tax; rooms must be reserved by August 10, through Japan Travel Bureau, Inc., International Travel Division, Convention Center (Ref. CD10-7251-92), 1-13-1 Nihombashi, Chuoku, Tokyo 103, Japan (Fax: 011-81-3-3276-7806, or 3-32714134). For a registration form and information, contact Secretariat of ICBCP-2; c/o International Communications Inc.; Kasho Bldg., 2-14-9, Nihombashi; Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103; Japan. (No telephone or fax number for the Secretariat is given in the announcement.

Two Preservation Research Meetings in September

The Commission on Preservation and Access (CPA)is sponsoring an invitational science workshop for preservation program managers, to be held in the Washington, DC, area September 9-11, 1992. It is expected to be the first of a series of workshops on the use of scientific research information in preservation decision-making and the solution of critical preservation issues. The objectives of the event are 1) to develop a dialogue between preservation managers and scientists that will help managers to better understand and interpret scientific research and to use scientific information in preservation decision-making, and 2) to discuss specific technical problems and develop a research agenda for helping researchers find solutions to these problems.

Leading scientists active in preservation research will join the 14 invited participants in interactive seminar discussions and lectures. The program topics include approaches to conducting scientific research, how to use scientific information, specific technical subjects, and cooperative approaches for setting research agendas for the future.

The Commission is developing the workshop with the assistance of Peter G. Sparks, scientist and former Director of Preservation at the Library of Congress. The planning of the workshop follows several years of working with preservation managers to develop a research agenda and a systematic collaborative review of scientific research articles. (From the CPA Newsletter, April 1992.)

The Library of Congress' Preservation Directorate is planning a small invitational Conference on Library Preservation Research and Development in late September. The conference will bring together some of the major players in library preservation research. Invited research and library managers will present papers briefly describing their programs and will participate in round table discussions in an effort to identify common interests and to clarify preservation research needs and priorities. The proceedings will be published.

The need for this conference evolved from a meeting of preservation and collections development officers and library administrators that was convened recently to foster the development of a National Preservation Program. The University of Chicago and the Association of Research Libraries jointly sponsored the meeting, which was held in Chicago at the end of May. [That conference is described in the report of the ALA meeting in this issue.]

ICI Prize Competition

The Conservation Division of Information Conservation, Inc., a library binding company, is again conducting its competition for the best way to spend $3,000 toward preservation of a library or archival collection. Any institution within the United States can apply by writing a proposal for using one or more of the services presently offered by the Conservation Division. These include paper treatment, boxing, encapsulation, repairing or rebinding.

The proposals will be judged by a panel of three preservationists. The author of the winning proposal will receive a $200 cash award and the institution will receive conservation services that total $3,000.

Entries must be received on or before November 30, 1992 by Don Etherington, Conservation Division, Information Conservation, Inc., 6204 Corporate Park Dr., Brown Summit NC 27214 (919/375-1202). The successful entry will be announced in January 1993.

News of Organizations

Brief Notices

Sterilairs are in use at the Getty Museum, a museum in Amsterdam, and in a display at the Cairo Museum, a company source said in February. The Reading Room and the Print Room of the Pierpont Morgan Library will be closed from August 17th through September 7th. Garland Publishing Inc. began working in 1989 with libraries at Columbia, Yale and University of California Berkeley, on the initiative of the CPA, to explore the market feasibility of reprinting titles selected by the libraries. In February of this year, a company representative said the project had been put on hold because of the economy.

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