The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 19, Number 3
Aug 1995


[Note: The classification number that follows each entry helps keep similar material together, and facilitates indexing by subject.]


Investigations by the Central Research Laboratory, 1993: Research Abstracts. Central Research Laboratory for Objects of Art and Science, Gabriël Metsustraat 8, 1071 EA Amsterdam, The Netherlands (tel. 020-673 51 62, fax 020-675 16 61).

Page 5-24 is in English, and p. 25-55 is in Dutch. The Director, Agnes Gräfin Ballestrem, tells us in her preface that this is a new publication, meant for colleagues and institutions not only in the Netherlands, but abroad: "It is hoped and expected that those interested in one or more projects get in touch with the CRL so as to come to an exchange of views and experiences." There are 40 informative summaries of research projects in addition to lists of short investigations and the subjects of advice given during consultations. Some of the most interesting research summaries are:


"Accelerated vs. Natural Aging: Effect of Aging Conditions on the Aging Process of Cellulose," by David Erhardt and Marion F. Mecklenburg. Pages 247-270 in Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology IV (Vol. 352--Proceedings from the 4th Symposium on Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology, May 16-21, 1994, Cancún, Mexico). Eds: P.B. Vandiver, J.R.Druzik, J.L.G. Madrid, I.C. Freestone and G.S.Wheeler. Materials Research Society (9800 McKnight Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15237, 412/367-3012), 1995. ISBN 1-55899-252-9. U.S. list price $68; foreign, $85.

This paper discusses the kinetics of aging and its implications for the evaluation of changes in the aging process, especially as applied to accelerated aging. The problem of comparing accelerated aging conditions is shown to be separate from that of evaluating changes occurring under one specific set of conditions. Thus tests and measurements that can be used to evaluate the results of a specific accelerated aging experiment are not necessarily valid for use in determining whether two sets of aging conditions are comparable. This distinction is crucial in trying to determine whether a set of aging conditions is comparable to, or accurately simulates, natural aging.

The criteria for comparing two sets of aging conditions are defined, and applied to the problem of evaluating accelerated aging conditions. Data from the analysis of individual reaction products of artificially aged paper samples are used to determine the effects of temperature and relative humidity (RH) on the rates of individual reactions. Changes in the distribution of reaction products are used as indicators of changes in the aging process. The aging process of cellulose under the conditions studied (60-90°C, 30-80% RH) is shown to be RH dependent, but relatively temperature independent. Thus raising the temperature at constant RH speeds up the aging process without significantly altering it. If the RH is changed, then the aging process is altered and equivalent states of aging cannot be reached. Accelerated aging should be conducted at the same relative humidity as the conditions to which the results are to be applied. The data also indicate that lowering the relative humidity from 50% to 30% slows the rate of hydrolysis by a factor of three to five times. [Author's abstract, published with permission] (3B1.21)


"Manage Your Metals with a Multipurpose Chelant," by A-R. Beaudry. Paper presented at 1994 Pulping Conference held at Sandiego, CA, 6-10 Nov. 1994. Book 3, p. 1245-1271. TAPPI Press, 3 vols. $155. (Abstract #2420, Paper & Board Abstracts, v. 28 #6, 1995) Buckman Labs has developed a multipurpose chelating agent for bleaching and pulping. It is said to enhance the bleaching process, improve pulp viscosity, increase brightness, and reduce color reversion. (3B1.5)


Book Arts Supplies & Suppliers 1995. Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild, 1995. 20 pp. The first part lists supplies and who sells them, and the second part lists suppliers and what they sell. Most of the suppliers are in Canada or the U.S., but others are in England, France, Germany, Italy and other countries. This booklet is issued every two years. For information on ordering, contact the CBBAG Supplies Committee, 35 McCaul St., Suite 221, Toronto, ON M5T 1V7, Canada (416/581-1071, fax 905/851-6029). (3J3)


The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide, by Monona Rossol. 2nd ed. Allworth Press, 10 East 23rd St., Suite 400, New York, NY 10010 (212/777-8395, fax 777-8261). 344 pages, paperback, $19.95. ISBN 0-880559-18-8. The author is probably better than anyone else in the country at getting people to face the reality of the risks they take as they work with dangerous materials and conditions in art and conservation. She has heard all the familiar rationalizations and has antidotes to all kinds of wishful thinking. Her facts are accurate and her writing is clear; the references to laws and regulations have been updated for this edition. There is an index, a glossary, a list of other information sources, and numerous tables of information.

Most of the book deals with art (painting, ceramics, stained glass, and so on) but a dozen chapters relate to conservation in libraries and archives, e.g.:

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