The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 17, Number 3
Aug 1993


BookLab Moves

BookLab, Inc., announces its new expanded location at 1606 Headway Circle, Suite 100, Austin, Texas 78752, as of early October. Telephone numbers and electronic address will not change. Visitors are cordially invited.

New-York Historical Society finds Partner, Survives

An August 10 press release from the New-York Historical Society summarized the agreement reached August 1 between the Society and New York University, whereby the resources of both libraries will be networked and made more accessible to scholars, students and the general public. Administrative responsibility will be assumed by Carlton C. Rochell, Dean of NYU Libraries, who foresees joint programs such as a centralized computer catalog system, book preservation, acquisitions and educational and public outreach programs.

During the one-year term of the agreement, NYU and the Historical Society will examine ways of establishing a longer-term relationship.

In a way, history is repeating itself: from 1841 till 1857, the Society was in residence in NYU's original Main Building on Washington Square.

Conservation Forum Reestablished by METRO in NYC

METRO's Conservation/Preservation Advisory Council (CPAC) has been awarded New York State Conservation/Preservation discretionary funds to restore the region's Conservation Forum Series, formerly held at Columbia University. The seminars for the 1993-94 academic year will take place at METRO headquarters, 57 E. 11th St., 4th Floor, NYC, 10003, from 4 to 6 pm. They are free and will be focussing on disaster preparedness and emergency realities. The first three are:

Oct. 14: Hazardous Conservation Materials Used in Libraries - Monona Rossol

Nov. 18: Chicago Historical Society's Flood Recovery Program - Carol Turchan

Jan. 20: Hazards Preparation [sic]: Planning vs. Reality. A panel of four (B. Higginbotham, J. Gertz, S. Polirer and M. Suter) will cover flooding and resultant mold, shelving collapse and asbestos in buildings.

For more information, call Pam Daniels at METRO (212/228-2320; fax 228-2598).

The Frontier Can Still be Found in Alaska

Alaska State Museums in Juneau did a conservation survey of Alaskan libraries and museums in 1990. Twenty libraries and 17 museums responded. The responses from the libraries showed that

The two top conservation needs were for a paper/books conservator and a photograph conservator. Seventy-five percent said they would utilize a regional conservation lab if it were established.

Gaylord Award Established

Gaylord Bros. announces the Gaylord Collections Conservation Award to support the professional development of individuals engaged full-time in the conservation of general library collections or archives, whether books, paper or photographic materials.

The award consists of a $1,000 grant plus an all-expenses-paid trip to Nashville in June 1994 for the American Institute for Conservation's annual conference, where the award will be given.

Applicants must describe how they would use the grant to improve their ability to care for their collections. Fundable activities include workshops, seminars, courses, short-term internships or conferences on conservation topics. The grant may be used for tuition, registration fees, travel or accommodations. Applications must be received by December 1, 1993, to be considered; the winner will be notified by March 1, 1994. For application forms or information, call Gaylord Bros. toll-free at 800/448-6160, or write Gaylord Bros., Collections Conservation Award, PO Box 4901, Syracuse, NY 13221-4901.

NY State Funds its Own PA Internships

The New York State Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials has awarded $118,850 to support three professional-level preservation administrator internships over the course of the next three years. The interns will be drawn from among students graduating from library schools in New York State and librarians of New York State institutions, and will be hosted by three different libraries. Each internship will last 10 months, and will be flexible and well-rounded.

The three hosting libraries have well-established preservation programs which include fully functioning commercial bindery preparation units, brittle book microfilming preparation units, inhouse repair units, and disaster preparedness teams. Their preservation officers are active both regionally and nationally, and can provide a thorough preservation education on a theoretical and ethical as well as an operational level:

1993-94 - New York University
1994-95 - Cornell University
1995-96 - Columbia University
For a complete copy of the announcement, call Janet Gertz at Columbia University (212/854-5757).

Stuttgart has New Bookbinding School

The Buchbinder-Colleg in Stuttgart, headed by Michael Kühner, was founded in 1990 by bookbinders in the Stuttgart area. It offers courses that range in length from one day to one week throughout the year, rather like the Center for Book Arts in New York City. Some of them, like Beginning Bookbinding, are offered at frequent intervals, while others, like those in historic endbands or paper splitting, are offered less often or only once. There is even a class in law for restorers. Instructors include Gotthilf Kurz, Martin Jaegle, Gerhard Banik, Dag-Ernst Petersen, Ludwig Ritterpusch, Per Laursen, and Janos Szirmai. Cost is roughly 100 marks per day ($60) per course. They provide accommodation at 23-30 marks per night. For information write to Buchbinder-Colleg, Krefelderstrasse 14, D 7000 Stuttgart 50, Germany.

Flood Help

The Library Journal for August said most libraries near the flooded Mississippi River this summer miraculously escaped serious damage, though there was still the likelihood of further flooding at the time of writing. Librarians kept each other informed and requested help by E-mail over Internet.

The AMIGOS Preservation Service, which normally serves its member libraries on a regional basis in the Southwest (Nevada to Louisiana), disseminated information and assistance to library and disaster relief personnel in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois and Iowa. It offered information on recovering materials, re-establishing temperature and humidity control, and development of a disaster plan.

The AIC, NIC and volunteer conservators sent out information packets to institutions in the flooded area. They included information on the recovery of materials, a medical alert sheet, AIC and NIC brochures relating to the referral service, guidelines for selecting a conservator, and emergency funding sources. (From a report by Barbara Roberts in the September WAAC Newsletter.

"Fumigation" with Oxygen-Deficient Atmospheres

John Burke and conservation scientist Mark Gilberg have been researching an apparatus that will electrolytically remove oxygen from the fumigation chamber, according to a report in the September WAAC Newsletter, and "the results are meeting with much success."

The Rentokil bubble and a Vacudyne fumigation chamber were evaluated at the Getty Conservation Institute and J. Paul Getty Museum for use with the nitrogen anoxia method of insect eradication. The critical feature was the level of oxygen that could be maintained, because it has to be less than 0.1%. With the bubble, it was necessary to use six 8,000-liter tanks of conditioned nitrogen daily to achieve this level, so it was considered impractical with present methods. The fumigation chamber, however, only needed to be flushed every 8-10 days after it was converted for use with the nitrogen anoxia method. (From "Eradication of Insect Pests in Museums Using Nitrogen," by Vinod Daniel, Gordon Hanlon, and Shin Maekawa. WAAC Newsletter, 15 #3, Sept. 1993, p. 15-19. All articles and columns from this newsletter from 1987 on are available on the Internet free of charge, through Conservation OnLine. For access information, see p. 102 in the 1992 Abbey Newsletter, or send the E-mail message INFO COOL to

NB: The above address is obsolete.

Velcro, Skum-X, & Krylon under Investigation

Sarah Gates, of the deYoung Memorial Museum Textile Lab in San Francisco, heard from a local folk art gallery that the Velcro strips and tabs they had attached to a quilt, as a display aid for hanging, had discolored and degraded the quilt beneath it. The manufacturer has told the gallery never to use Velcro for this purpose because it off-gassed. Ms. Gates would like for anyone who has had a similar experience, or who can comment on this situation, to contact her (415/750-7611).

Skum-X is a kind of powdered eraser used for dry cleaning by book conservators. The formula has been changed; it is now very fine and powdery, and contains a sulphur compound. Elizabeth Moffat of the Canadian Conservation Institute is investigating the new version of the product. A report is expected to be given in the CBBAG Newsletter.

The formulation of Krylon products seems to have varied over the last forty years. Conservators working on art that has been sprayed with Krylon Crystal Clear may need to know which acrylic adhesive was used in the product if they have to remove it. B-66 has been commonly used, but there is reason to believe that B-72 was used too. Since the Krylon division of Rohm & Haas was sold to Borden, which later sold it to Sherwin-Williams, the current manufacturer cannot help with history of the formulations. Niccolo Calderaro is trying to locate early company records. (More information in the September AIC News.)

ASTM Committee Tackles Label Adhesive Questions

A new committee in ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) will work on the problem of specifying labels for books and boxes to meet the needs of libraries and archives. Barcode labels, call number labels, bookplates, and other information-bearing labels are used on books and boxes. Sometimes they stick and sometimes they won't; sometimes they cannot be removed and sometimes they can, but leave a stain; and so on. The subcommittee's name is D 14.07 on Label Adhesives for Library/Archives Materials, and all interested users are invited to come to the next meeting at the Hyatt Regency Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport during ASTM's Oct. 11-15 meeting. Call Jennifer Banks, 617/253-5664.

International Symposium on Library Binding

The Etablissement Public de la Bibliothèque de France and the City of Nancy are jointly organizing an international symposium on library binding entitled "Reliure: la renaissance," on October 7-9. This is the first symposium of its kind. Papers by about 36 speakers, including Paul Parisi, Jan Merrill-Oldham, Debra McKern, and Jean-Paul Oddos, will cover library binding in France and abroad, from the viewpoints of edition binders, libraries and binders. There will be a trade fair and exhibition. (See "Events" column.)

Conservation Science in U.S. and U.K.

The British Conservation Science Group met in Glasgow on May 13 to discuss "Funding for Conservation Science," and on May 14 to review current conservation science research.

AIC's Research and Technical Studies (RATS) Subgroup held its first business meeting June 3 in Denver. The Subgroup was organized not only to support research in conservation but to facilitate interaction between scientists and conservators. There are two chairs and two vice-chairs, one from science and one from conservation in each office. RATS activities may include promoting technical exchange, funding reviews of important technical areas, possible publication and dissemination of informative monographs, and other activities. Contact Eric Hansen, Interim Chair, or Mitchell Bishop, Interim Secretary/Treasurer, Getty Conservation Institute, 4503 Glencoe Ave., Marina del Rey, CA 90292 (310/ 822-2299); or Paula Volent, Interim Co-Chair, Conservation of Art on Paper, 509 Rialto, Venice, CA 90291 (310/450-1883).

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