The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 17, Number 1
May 1993


ANSI/NISO Z39.48 Revision is Approved, and in Press

The ANSI standard for Permanence of Paper for Publications and Documents in Libraries and Archives, which now covers both coated and uncoated papers, is on the verge of publication, and can be ordered from Transaction Publishers, Department NISO Standards, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 (908/932-2280). It costs $30 + $2 or $3 for shipping, prepaid; it can be ordered on Visa, MasterCard or American Express. (3A9.6)

The standard was first published in 1984, and has become the most widely used paper permanence standard in the world. The ISO standard was based on it, though it is not identical.

Follow-Up on That Prematurely Aged Plywood in NJ Attics

The October 1990 issue of the Abbey Newsletter carried an item on p. 115 about deterioration in the national news: "[A certain] fire-resistant plywood. . . has been used on roofs of nearly a million town houses during the past decade. The heat of the sun triggers a chemical reaction that causes the wood to blacken, decay and eventually collapse. This leads to leaks, repairs and lawsuits. . . ." Those lawsuits have begun to bear fruit. Last November a $50 million settlement was announced by the state of New Jersey. About 11,000 homeowners in the state will get new roofs for as little as $200. Suits are still pending for 24,000 other New Jersey homeowners. (1F)

Private Donations Fund University's Hand Bindery

In 1990, Mrs. Lawrency (Lucy) Crump donated her bindery to the Special Collections Department of Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. She and her late sister, Elizabeth Shropshire Addams, as well as many friends, made donations to support the running of the bindery. Last fall a part-time, two-year binder-in-residence position was filled by Gabrielle Fox Butler of Cincinnati. Since then, the bindery has been organized to restore, preserve and rebind the University's rare books and its 18th century medical collection. (1G1)

Ohio Makes Fresh Start on its Statewide Plan

Over ten years ago, a group of Ohio librarians organized the Ohio Committee for Regional Library Conservation and planned for an information center and a regional conservation lab. In October 1983 it changed its name to the Ohio Conservation Committee; in October 1984 it was planning to open a mass deacidification facility, and the following year it reported that an NEH grant had been applied for, to build a facility like the one in the Canadian National Library. For a while after that, there was no more news of that effort. Today we can appreciate the size of the task they were trying to accomplish, and some of the obstacles they were trying to overcome. That pioneering effort probably gave Ohio librarians some of the experience they are drawing upon now in a small NEH-funded two-year program to preserve Ohio's historical materials. The program will be led by the Ohio Historical Society and the State Library, and will involve establishing a statewide planning committee, which is to produce a document called the Ohio Model Preservation Action Agenda. This document is to be updated every two years.

The news item in the State Library of Ohio News for February/March did not specify how the materials were to be preserved. (1G3)

Cooperative Preservation in MD, KS and NY

Maryland has a Statewide Preservation Planning Project, which includes both libraries and archives. The group behind it is called the Task Forces to Initiate Preservation Planning in Maryland. The NEH-funded planning project will be completed in January 1994.

In Kansas, the NEH planning grant went to the Kansas Library Network Board. Despite the network's name, a wide variety of institutions will be involved in the plan, including public libraries, local museums and historical societies. The focus, as in Ohio, will be on preserving the history of the state.

In New York state, a six-month project to preserve architectural records is being carried out with funding from the New York State Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials. It is being carried out by seven major libraries in the state, and includes a seminar, needs assessment survey, development of individual institutional preservation plans, and identification of group priorities in preparation for a cooperative grant proposal. The project director is Martha Hanson. (1G3)

Australia Gets a National Preservation Office

The preservation office of the National Library of Australia has served for years as IFLA's PAC Focal Point (coordinator of preservation activities) for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. This year the Library established a National Preservation Office (NPO), with Dr. Jan Lyall as Director. It will have an Advisory Body to advise the Director General of the Library on National Preservation issues and make recommendations. State preservation groups can provide access to the NPO for other groups. Likely activities of the office are to assess and disseminate information on preservation topics, coordinate preservation activities, develop and promote standards for quality and treatment, develop model preservation policies and codes of practice facilitating both preservation and access, support creation of a national register of preservation masters, promote awareness, offer an advisory service, and support and conduct research.

[For a copy of the announcement on which this condensed report is based, contact the Abbey Publications office.] (1G5)


New ISO Committee will Cover Indoor Air Quality

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has been selected as the secretariat for a new ISO technical committee (TC). Titled ISO/TC 205, Building Environment Design, the new committee will cover thermal comfort, indoor air quality and energy conservation in new and existing buildings. ASHRAE expects the development of international standards will bring worldwide benefits in conservation of nonrenewable energy sources. Contact ASHRAE, 1791 Tullie Circle N.E., Atlanta, GA 30329 (404/636-8400). (2C)

ISO Prepares to Work on Document Storage Standard

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has set up a working group (WG3, under TC46/SC10) to write the "Document Storage Requirements" standard (referred to as WI 147); gathered existing national standards from Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Britain, and the USSR; appointed a chairman, David Cooper of Corpus Christi College, Oxford; and filled out the membership of the working group. The twelve members besides Dr. Cooper are:

The first meeting of the working group will be in Oxford, June 3-4, 1993. (2C)

Preventive Conservation in Latin America

Money for conservation is short in many Latin American countries, but even a small amount of money spent on preventive conservation goes pretty far, much further than money spent on conservation treatment. Interest in this approach is high, and a two-day seminar on the subject will be held in Washington, D.C., August 19-20, with Spanish as the official language and simultaneous translation into English. This will be just before the August 21-27 meeting of the Conservation Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

It is organized by the Asociación para la Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural de las Americas (APOYO), the Conservation Analytical Laboratory of the Smithsonian Institution, the Getty Conservtion Institute, and the Library of Congress. The primary goal is to encourage a greater exchange of information among conservators working in the area of preventive conservation throughout the Americas. There is no fee, but space is limited; apply in writing to Amparo Torres, PO Box 76932, Washington, DC 20013, or contact her by fax at the Library of Congress Conservation Office: 202-707-3434. (2C2.6)

Yet Another Conference on Preventive Conservation

A fifth conference on preventive conservation has been announced, in addition to the one planned to precede the ICOM conference, and others sponsored by IIC, IADA, and ARAAFU. (Preventive conservation in its broadest sense encompasses care and handling, light, temperature, relative humidity, pollutants, and pest management.)

ARSAG, the Association pour la Recherche Scientifique sur les Arts Graphiques, will focus on pollution and biodeterioration in its week-long symposium in Paris during May 1994. The title is Environnement et Conservation de l'Ecrit et de l'Image. Two days will be devoted to the conservation of modern materials. Contact Françoise Flieder or Sibelle Monod, ARSAG, 36 rue Geoffroy-Sainte Hilaire, 75005 Paris, France; tel (1) 45 87 06 12, fax (1) 47 07 62 95. (2)

Preservation Consulting in Latin America

Scanning & Discarding Old Books to Make Room for New

The Columbia University Law Library announced this year a plan to scan 10,000 brittle law books yearly, store the images on a supercomputer, and use the shelf space for new material. (This is an economical alternative to building an addition to the library building.) The Chicago-Kent School of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology, and a few other libraries, do the same thing on a smaller scale. The cost per book is no greater than the cost of converting to microfilm, and there is no copyright problem with the older books.

At Columbia, the books are stored in the "Connection Machine," a supercomputer made by Thinking Machines, Inc., which allows user-friendly searches and lets the user view the documents found. [Information from Wall Street Journal, Feb. 8, 1993, Section B.] (2E3)

Good Home Found for Unclaimed Stolen Books

The final residue of unclaimed rare books and manu-scripts from the 30,000 recovered three years ago at the Iowa home of Stephen C. Blumberg is more than 3,000. For a while it looked like Blumberg would get to keep them, but the FBI has announced that it was donating them to the library at Creighton University, Nebraska, which provided twice as many volunteers as any other library for the job of locating the owners. [Story on p. 377 of the May American Libraries.] (2G)

Straw into Gold: Domtar Will Turn Old Boxes into Fine Papers

Necessity was the mother of invention for Domtar, Inc., a Canadian pulp and paper company based in Montreal. Like other Canadian paper companies, it lost money for the last three years. There was more money in recycled paper, but office papers are hard to deink, and good office waste paper is harder to find in sparsely-populated Canada than it is around the big cities in the U.S. Normally, recycled paper is made from waste papers of the same or a superior grade--i.e., office waste paper can go back into office paper, or into tissue, but tissue can't go into office paper.

Domtar recently patented a process for converting old corrugated containers into recycled bleached kraft pulp for fine papers, used for printing and writing. It will be installed at two Domtar mills, starting with the Cornwall, Ontario mill late 1994 or early 1995. The pulp will have superior strength because of the long softwood fibers, and will require minimal deinking, though paper made from it will have brightness levels of 87. The story in Recycled Paper News for April does not say what the effect on permanence will be. Obviously the fiber from old boxes will have to be bleached if it is to be made into fine paper, but not all kinds of bleaching will remove lignin. (3B3.6)

Regional Organization Formed for Pacific Northwest

Conservation Associates of the Pacific Northwest (CAPNW) is an organization that has been working since 1989 to develop services and programs to address preservation and conservation concerns and to establish a facility and information center to serve the public, cultural heritage organizations and private collectors of the Pacific Northwest. It is nonprofit and membership is open to conservators and professionals associated with preservation. Institutional memberships are available. For a current newsletter and membership information write to CAPNW c/o Alice Bear, Membership Secretary, PO Box 2756, Olympia, WA 98507-2756. (1G3)

Brief Notices

The Japanese Paper Place, which had a devastating fire January 21, has a new address in Toronto: 887 Queen St. West. . . . The "Preservation Strategies for Collection Management Regional Institute," which was to have taken place May 3-4 at the University of Notre Dame, was called off due to low registration. . . . An incredibly small paper clip was received at the Abbey Publications office with some material sent by a Brazilian correspondent. It is only 1.3 cm (1/2") long. Whoever wants it can have it.

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