The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 19, Number 5
Nov 1995


Dummy Book Backs

Donald Farren is compiling information about the use of false book backs to cover walls and other surfaces, and he appealed to readers of the Autumn 1995 CBBAG Newsletter to supply instances of any and all sorts, including those used in movie sets and lampbases, and at Dumbarton Oaks. He only draws the line at books hollowed out to make cigarette boxes. Contact him at 4009 Bradley Lane, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 (301/951-9479, fax 951/9479, email

Acid-Free Paper for Bookplates

Gary McLerran of the Hoover Library called the Abbey Publications office a few weeks ago to ask where he could find a suitable paper for bookplates. The paper had to be gummed, acid-free and suited for printing, because the Library wanted to use its own design. Mr. McLerran had called the companies that made the label papers listed in North American Permanent Papers 1994, and found that none of those papers was gummed. The Editor did a bit of research in the Paper Buyer's Encyclopedia and found that Eastern Fine Paper sometimes makes a gummed acid-free label paper, and had a roll on the warehouse floor. They sent samples that looked good.

Like most mills, Eastern does not sell in small quantities, however. They may or may not be willing to sell less than a whole roll, the kind of roll that can only be moved with a forklift. Buyers may find it necessary to place a group order or talk a supplier into being the middleman for them. But the mill can sheet or slit the paper roll if the buyer requests it.

Mr. McLerran's fax is 415/725-4655. Samples of the gummed label paper are available from the Abbey Publications office (512/929-3992). Eastern Fine Paper is in Brewer, Maine, and the Manager of Sales Service for the Coated Products Division is E. Stephen Eyles (207/989-7070, fax 989-2149). ("Eyles" is pronounced "isles.")

Early Recipes for Iron-Gall Ink

Dr. Johan Neevel, of the Central Research Laboratory in Amsterdam, can greatly extend the life of paper that has been written on with iron-gall ink by treating it with an aqueous antioxidant (magnesium phytate) and a deacidification agent (aqueous calcium and magnesium bicarbonate). This research will be published in Restaurator, 16/3, Fall 1995.

In connection with this project, Dr. Neevel is looking for iron-gall ink recipes from the period 1400-1750. He can be contacted at the Central Research Laboratory, Gabriel Metsustraat 8, 1071 EA Amsterdam, The Netherlands (31 20 673 5162, fax 31 20 675 1661, e-mail <>). The phone and fax numbers have three parts: country, city and seven-digit telephone number. The e-mail address is that of the coordinator in the Department of Conservation and Restoration Research.

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