The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 18, Number 2
Jun 1994


[Note: Each entry is followed by a classification number, an aid to indexing by subject in the yearly index.]


Surveyor is a specialized software package for the Macintosh, providing a complete set of survey tools for general research collections. It consists of two modules: an extensively customized database and a random number program to produce lists of survey samples. Based on the random sampling techniques first used at Yale and Stanford, Surveyor makes it possible for libraries to collect and analyze extensive information about the condition of their collections for use in preservation planning, project planning, and fund raising. It will be available for purchase from the Harvard University Library Preservation Office in September. For more information contact the Preservation Office at 25 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (617/495-8596). (1A5)


The Paper Conservator for 1993 (v. 17) consists mostly of four of the papers from the Survey Workshop held at Oxford on September 25, 1992:

Helen Creasy - A Survey in a Day: Cost-Effective Surveys of Museum Collections in Scotland

Bronwen Evans - The Duke Humfrey's Library Project: Using an Item-by-item Survey to Develop a Conservation Programme

Katherine Swift - The Oxford Preservation Survey. 1: The Main Survey

Nancy Bell - The Oxford Preservation Survey. 2: A Method for Surveying Archives (1A5)


Dictionary of Art & Picture Framing Terms. Professional Picture Framers Association, 4305 Sarellen Rd., Richmond, VA 23231-4311 (800/832-PPFA, fax 804/222-2175). 1994. 39 pp.

Although this booklet may serve the needs of some framers and their customers in other ways, as a dictionary it is amateurish because the author or authors do not construct definitions in a professional way. The definition provided for an adjective may be a description of a noun (e.g., "Alkaline: Substances which have a pH above 7"); the definition of a word may be too specific or too general (e.g., "Encapsulate (ion): To enclose an item in a protective sandwich of polyester film, held together witha polyester double sided tape"; or "Bark cloth: Plant fiber paper"). Words are misspelled, e.g. its appears as it's; calender (to press between rollers, as in a paper mill) is mistakenly spelled calendar; and Cibachrome, a trademark name, is spelled without a capital. Technical aspects are inaccurate or handled poorly (e.g., "Acrylic paint: Artists' colors made by polymerizing a methyl methacrylate by emulsification, thus dispersing the resin into tiny particles in water"). Some terms in the list do not really need definitions in this specialized list, because they are adequately defined in general-purpose dictionaries: blotter, leather, linen.

Some preservation terms are included (acid-free, acid migration, archival, artifact, barrier paper, etc.), but it is hard to see how their inclusion in this dictionary, without being related somehow to a guide or manual, could be very helpful.

The bibliography of 46 "published sources for definitions" does not give publisher or year for the books, and sometimes cites only a magazine or vendor's catalog, without specifying article or page number. Fewer than half the terms in the dictionary cite any of the sources in the bibliography. (1C2)


"Abandoned in a Field: Librarians Save a Rare Bible," by Van Lesley. American Libraries, June 1994, p. 582, 584. The publisher's introduction says, "During the final days of the former Soviet Union, Lithuanian librarians rescued a pillaged trove of rare books." Four-hundred-year-old Bibles and works of classic literature were dumped into a field in 1987 on a Soviet Army base by order of the base commandant. They were rescued in 1988, and the conservators at the National Library have been working on them ever since. (1E1)

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