The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 19, Number 2
May 1995

Supplies & Services

Note: Elizabeth Morse, Assistant Conservator at Harvard, is the column editor for "Supplies and Services," and her material appears first. Announcements from other sources follow. Suppliers should send their news and samples to Ms. Morse, Harvard University Library, Preservation Center, 59 Plympton St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (617/495-8596, fax 496-8344).

Looking for polypropylene faucets or fixtures for your pure water systems? Try Gibson Associates Inc., 325 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, MA 01776 for a full line. Their phone is 508/443-7497 and ask for Chuck Napier.

Casing (book) press. Pete Jermann has designed a lightweight, portable casing press that has its screw placed toward one edge so as to apply pressure closer to the book's spine. Special edged press boards slide into the upper and lower platens much like drawers; the platens have a broad notch cut into them so that they ride up and down on the side posts as the press is opened and closed. The press fits on the edge of a bench, held by C-clamps. The casing press costs $300; a stand for it is $125; and backing boards are $75. Shipping is $25. They also have a fan-gluing press--;an aligning device for production of fan-glued bindings--;which sells for $300 + $10 shipping. Contact Pete Jermann at TeMPeR Productions, 117 South 14th St., Olean, NY 14760 (716/373-9450). Their email address is

Copy cradle for fragile books. A new copy cradle has been designed specifically for conservators and librarians who work with rare books. The cradle holds a book in position under a copy camera and minimizes stress to the binding and pages by holding the book open at a small angle and flattening only the pages on the side being photographed. The cradle also speeds up the copying process by making the repetitive handling tasks associated with copying a book easier for the copyist. For details contact Curt Lang, 216-B West 17th St., North Vancouver, BC, Canada V7M 1V6 (604/985-4794).

Paige archival boxes, alkaline & buffered. The Paige Company (Parker Plaza, 400 Kelby St., Fort Lee, NJ 07024, 800/957-2443, fax 201/461-2677) is known for furnishing ingeniously designed, sturdy assemble-it-yourself boxes for storage of documents. Until now, Paige boxes have always been non-archival, that is, without a calcium carbonate buffer to keep the pH from falling over time. Now, however, they are making boxes that conform to the specifications of the National Archives: lignin-free, pH 8-10, with a mold inhibitor and 3% calcium carbonate filler, and no residual sulphur.

These new boxes sell for about a dollar more than the old ones. There are three kinds: the "Archival Storage Box," for file materials, and "Archival Document Boxes" (the usual kind found in archives), for both letter-size and legal documents.

The old boxes, each available in a selection of sizes, are still sold. They are called:

The Miracle Box
The Wonder Box
Quick Stack
The Record-Tainer
Micro Storage Boxes
Utility/Moving Boxes

Digital Publication Copying System. Minolta has sent the Abbey office some informational material on its DPCS 3000, the new scanner/copier that work together as a system, described in the December 1994 issue on p. 106. A personal computer can be added on, with a print server and other devices to allow faxing of the copy for ILL, sending by e-mail, storage on optical media, printing and so on; but the two basic pieces (planetary scanner and digital copier) can also work alone, either singly or as a pair. The scanner does not touch the page of the open book, but records it through a camera from above. No cradle or glass plate is necessary to hold the pages flat, because the camera automatically adjusts for the curve of the page. Two pages are scanned at once.

The DPCS 3000 costs about $25,000, and the individual pieces are $10,000 to $12,000 each. For more information contact Dawn A. Fisher, Assistant Product Manager, Document Imaging Systems Division, Minolta Corp., 101 Williams Dr., Ramsey, NJ 07446 (201/818-3543, fax 201/444-8736).

Artifact enclosure film. An enclosure film that reacts with corrosive gases to protect artifacts and electronic equip-ment within the enclosure was announced in the May 16, 1992, Science News. It is now being manufactured and is in use at beta sites that include the Getty Museum, Colonial Williamsburg, the Vatican and the Guggenheim Museum. Jerry Shiner of Keepsafe Systems (70252.763@compuserve .com) says it is being tested extensively, but has not yet been thoroughly evaluated for use in the conservation field.

The materials in the film are covalently bonded nonvolatile reactive solids. A bag no thicker than a plastic garbage bag would last up to 20 years, then would tell you its scavenging ability was exhausted by turning dark. It stops ozone as well as acidic corrosive gases, but its performance with organic gases is less clear.

The manufacturer is calling it "the Intercept Technology" or "Corrosion Intercept." It has been marketed for three or four years in the electronics industry. The inventor is John P. Franey (AT&T Bell Labs, Room 1 B 401; 600 Mountain Ave.; Murray Hill, NJ 07974. Tel: 908/582-2490, fax 6290). The manufacturer is Keith Donaldson (Engineered Materials Inc. [EMI]; 113 McHenry Rd., Suite 179; Buffalo Grove, IL 60089. Tel: 708/215-1725, fax 1743).

Laserclean. An impulse laser called "Laserclean" can clean not only stone, wood and glass but ivory, paper, textiles and hair, the supplier says. Contact Mr. M. Tj. de Wit, Laserclean B.V., Pakistanstraat 1, NL-2408 HJ Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands. Tel: (31) 17 20/7 77 62-9 23 06; Fax 17 20/7 07 30.

MicroClimate boxes. Custom Manufacturing, Inc. (CMI), Manufacturer of MicroClimate Boxes, has developed an improved archival boxmaking material. The board, which is denser and smoother than board from previous runs, also has better abrasion and dirt resistance.

The material has been in development for five years. Its mechanical properties are halfway between solid and corrugated board, and was designed for archival applications.

CMI has also doubled their production capacity, after developing a more advanced automated boxmaking system. In addition, much larger boxes can now be produced.

Most orders are now being shipped within 3 to 5 working days. For more information, contact Custom Manufacturing, Inc., 831 Boyle Rd., Fairfield, PA 17320 (717/642-6304; fax 717/642-6596; email

For the last year or so, Letraset USA has been making empty fillable felt-tip markers, which they sell as the "Tria" for $2.95 each or $17.70/case. They come in three widths, and both the tip and the filler are made of polyester fiber. These would be useful for moistening paper to tear it for use in a repair. Contact David Poynton, Letraset USA, 40 Eisenhower Dr., Paramus, NJ 07652 (210/845-6100), or order through your local Letraset distributor, who can probably be found in the Yellow Pages under "Art Materials and Supplies."

Linen thread & other supplies from Colophon Book Arts Supply. Don Guyot wrote to say that they are alive, well, and doing business as usual, from 3046 Hogum Bay Road NE, Olympia, WA 98516 (360/459-2940/2945). Note that both his zip code and area code have been changed. He enclosed a card of eight linen threads, and an information sheet that explains who really makes Barbour and Campbell linen threads. Since the situation is so confusing, it is probably best to reprint part of his explanation here:

Linen Thread
Barbour or Campbell

The word "BARBOUR" as applied to linen thread is used and registered by two distinct companies in two distinct countries. One of these is in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. The other is in Blue Mountain, Mississippi. Using the same registered trademark for two similar yet distinct products confuses consumers. So it is not done, either because a mutual agreement exists between the two owners, or because a legal order is being enforced.

CAMPBELL linen threads are manufactured by the Irish firm in the same Lisburn, Northern Ireland mills as are the Irish Barbour threads. The only difference is in the label, a difference made necessary to bring Barbour (Ireland) into compliance with international trademark law and commercial conventions.

"Vinegar syndrome" monitor strips from IPI. A-D Strips are film base deterioration monitors that change color as the film they are stored with deteriorates, helping determine when film must be duplicated. They are a new product of the Image Permanence Institute, developer of the IPI Storage Guide for Acetate Film. When placed inside a closed can, bag, box or cabinet, the strips change color from blue to green to bright yellow, to indicate the increasing amounts of acidic vapor given off by the film as it degrades. They come with a pencil that has four numbered bands of color around it, for comparison with the strips.

So far, it is not known how useful the A-D Strips would be with a nitrate collection, but they can be used with all acetate sheet and roll film, cinema film and microfilm. A package of 250 costs $29.95. For more information contact the Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, 70 Lomb Memorial Dr., Rochester, NY 14623-5604 (716/475-5199, fax 475-7230).

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