The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 17, Number 7
Dec 1993


Hot Topics Discussed at ALA Midwinter in PLMS

People who go to the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting to attend the committee meetings and discussion groups of the Preservation of Library Materials Section (PLMS) always spend some time comparing notes on activities that have been successful in the last year or so and reporting any observed surges of interest in preservation matters, whether among specific professional groups, or in institutions of a certain kind, or concerning a certain aspect of preservation. They want to be able to respond to emerging trends and new constituencies.

At the February 4-8 meeting in Los Angeles, topics that came up in several meetings were: 1) the demand for local workshops, especially on disaster recovery, given by local people (this has been noted at previous meetings, but there are not enough qualified people to provide every locality with a local instructor); 2) the need for current, comprehensive bibliographies on preservation; 3) the shortage of textbooks; 4) selection for preservation, on a national scale, involving collection management people and scholars as well as preservation people; 5) focusing on disciplines, rather than on great collections or specific formats, for national preservation programs (this new focus was borrowed from the archivists, who "document" a field or subject by going out and getting whatever it takes to cover the field); 6) preserving the records of science and technology; 7) outreach to other groups (small libraries, college students, children) that are not yet involved in preservation; and 8) digital scanning of text and image. Most of these topics have been discussed before, but this year the involvement of collection management and development people and the focus on systematic preservation of whole disciplines, were new.

CAN Moves to Austin

Conservation Administration News (CAN), a quarterly newsletter for preservation administrators, was established by graduates of the Columbia Institute (August 1978) to help them keep in touch. It was first published in 1979 and has been edited and published for years from the University of Tulsa by Bob Patterson and Toby Murray. Now CAN has moved to the University of Texas Graduate School of Library and Information Science, home of the Preservation and Conservation Studies program. The first issue in the new location is expected in April. The address is CAN, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712-1276.

SAA Offers Preservation Publication Award

Established in 1993, this award recognizes the author(s) or editor(s) of an outstanding work, published in North America, that advances the theory or the practice of preservation in archival institutions. Eligible publications include articles, reports, chapters, and monographs in print, audiovisual, or electronic form. [From the January 1994 issue of Archival Outlook, the newsletter of the Society of American Archivists.]

Swiss Book & Paper Conservation School Opens

This winter semester the first official program for paper conservation was started at the Schule für Gestaltung Bern. Theory and practical work are given equal emphasis, and a two-month internship is required each year. The first four semesters of this three-year diploma course will provide a basic education in the conservation of archival matter, books, drawings, prints and photographs. In the third year a specialization in one of these areas is possible. It is planned to extend the course to a four-year program in the near future.

The new course is led by a team of two conservators: Sebastian Dobrusskin, teaching conservation of prints and drawings, and Erwin Oberholzer, teaching book conservation.

They are very interested in cooperation with conservation institutes or private conservators to provide internships.

For more information, contact Schule für Gestaltung Bern, Fachklassen für Konservierung und Restaurierung, Studiengang Schriftgut und Grafik, Studerstrasse 56, CH-3000 Bern 4, Switzerland (tel.: +41 (31) 331 0575; fax: +41 (31) 302 1123).

Akzo to Buy Nobel Industries for $2 Billion

The [London?] Financial Times for Nov. 9, 1993 (p. 21) reported that Akzo will pay SEK16.6 billion ($2 billion) for Nobel Industries, which will create the biggest paint group in the world.

Akzo is the company that recently dropped development of the diethyl zinc deacidification process, which it was already selling to a dozen American libraries on a small scale.

PTI is Optimistic about its Bookkeeper Process

Preservation Technologies, Inc., which markets a deacidification process originally known as the Koppers process, submitted some books to the Library of Congress for a test run last summer, and expects to hear the outcome when the Evaluation Committee completes its work, probably early in 1994. Earlier LC had tested three other processes, deacidified by Akzo, Wei T'o, and FMC (Lithco), and found them all defective (reported in the Abbey Newsletter, v. 15, p. 121).

The Bookkeeper process is suitable for small-scale as well as centralized operations. It uses a liquid suspension of magnesium oxide microparticles. The company has been accepting work on a trial basis for $8.00 per book, but raised this to $12.00 per book in December. The original pilot machine, Bookkeeper I, is being redesigned; the new machine will be called Bookkeeper II, and is expected to appear in early 1994. The company has tentative plans to make it available for sale. For more information call 800/416-BOOK.

MAPS has a New Name: Preservation Resources

Originally called the Mid-Atlantic Preservation Service (because it was established by a group of libraries in the New York area), MAPS changed its name in 1990 to "MAPS The MicrogrAphic Preservation Service" when it was bought by OCLC, the bibliographic utility, and started serving the international market. Its mandate was widened to include provision of consultation and workshops on the preservation of research materials for a variety of cultural institutions, here and abroad, as well as preservation microfilming.

MAPS' new (1990) name was more descriptive of the work it does, which is preservation microfilming , but still awkward. In January it changed its name again to Preservation Resources, a division of OCLC. Its new telephone number is 800/PRES-222 (773-7222). Meg Bellinger is the new president. It will serve smaller and more diverse organizations than before, and plans to digitize and index images from preservation microfilm, to make them more widely available.

Safety/Security Discussion Group Formed in ALA

The Buildings and Equipment Section of ALA's Library Administration and Management Association has formed a discussion group for librarians in safety and security as they relate to the design, construction, renovation and equipment of library facilities. For information contact Susan Cirillo at the University of Massachusetts Library Communications Center, 508/999-8664.

 [Contents]  [Search]  [Abbey]

[Search all CoOL documents]