The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 21, Number 8


Note: The classification number that follows each entry is there to help the editor arrange, file and find the citation.

When the publisher's address is not given, it can usually be found in the list of Useful Addresses that is mailed yearly to subscribers.


"Round 'Em Up, Move 'Em Out: How to Move & Preserve Archive Materials," by Kris White and Glenn S. Cook. CAN No. 57, April 1994, p. 16-17. The American Heritage Center, an archive of 70,000 cubic feet, was moved to a new building in 1992. Planning began in 1991, giving priority to physical protection and maintenance of bibliographical control. Materials moved included glass plate negatives, phonograph records, various oversize materials, and film reels.

Advice: Budget for new boxes (to replace old ones too weak for the move) and for packing materials. A box was designed for storage of glass plate negatives, since suppliers had few in their catalogues. The box with its corrugated padding boards (to separate the glass negatives) is described in a paper by Kimberly R. Welles ("American Heritage Research Paper: Storage of Glass Negatives," April 14, 1993. New handling methods and ways of tracking material in groups had to be devised, and one of the aids to handling (a dolly for map drawers) is pictured.

Apropos of that, BiblioTech, Inc., a firm that provides "relocation software," exhibited at ALA Midwinter 1997. Their "BiblioPlanTM" software provides three database formats for collections, organized on a linear footage, item by item, or carton basis. It coordinates with major and local classification schemes, and calculates space needs for oversize materials. For information call 203/773-1020. (2D3)


"Storing Information: Come Up and See my Etchings." The Economist, May 30, 1998, p. 77. This describes a new way to store information that is compact, durable and immune to the fashions of information technology. It was invented by Norsam Technologies, a firm based in Los Alamos, NM. It uses a modified form of the micro-etching techniques of electronics to produce atomic scale images on nickel discs. The images could be read by anyone with a microscope powerful enough to read it.

The product is called the HD-Rosetta disc. It will be able to carry 250 times as many pages as a CD of equivalent size, and the per-page cost will be about the same as for microfilm. The company is developing a "reading machine" to provide access. It is based on IBM's "near-field" optical microscope, which can see objects only five times larger than an atom. For more information, go to (Sent by Vic Laties.) (2E7)


Micrographia, by Robert Hooke. London, 1665. A CD facsimile from the Warnock Library collection, published by Octavo Corp., 394 University Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301-1715. ISBN 1-891788-02-7. $25.

[From the Editor: I can't help making this a personal narrative, with comments.] Anyone who has wanted to own a rare book, or a pioneering work of science (and even people who did not realize that they wanted to own one) will be pleased with this facsimile, which seems to make the book materialize on the computer screen. One of us at the Abbey office mounted it for me on our Power PC (which speaks both Mac and PC), but after glimpsing the first few pages, she was entranced. In the next office, I could hear her saying to herself, "Amazing!--This is amazing!" over and over. She read the page on which Hooke dedicates his book to the king with a lot of flattery and self-deprecation, and told me about it, saying, "This man is grovelling!" She felt she knew him personally. (I told her this is what they used to do in the 1600s instead of applying for grants.)

She asked me to show her how to read one of the pages that had some obsolete words and lots of s's that looked like f's on it. She kept printing out the images of the pages, and taking them in to me. I was impressed too. I've always wanted to read this book, with magnified pictures of insects and plants that no one had never been able to observe in detail before. (Hooke invented the compound microscope.)

Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 is needed to read the book, but you can download it easily, because the CD-ROM connects you to the Internet automatically for that purpose. Complete instructions are given for any operating system you may have. For more information see Octavo's website: (By the way, book conservator Kathy Orlenko works at Octavo. Her number is 650/470-0157, and e-mail is (3A5.1)


IPH Congress Book, 1994, vol. 10 (formerly Yearbook of Paper History). Papers of the 22nd International Congress of Paper Historians, Annonay, France, 2-8 September 1994. Edited by Peter F. Tschudin. Available for Swiss Fr. 60.-- plus postage to nonmembers, from the IPH Secretary, Ludwig Ritterpusch, Wehrdaer Strasse 135, D-35041 Marburg/Lahn, Germany. 146 pp., including an index of proper and geographical names.

The 19 papers in this volume are in French, German or English; each has a title and summary in all three languages. Here is a selection, using the English titles in all cases:

Among the 47 attendees were Lily and Jean Froissard, Dr. Henk Porck, Henk Voorn, Elaine and Dr. Sidney Koretsky, and Dr. John Krill. (3B4)

Reading maketh a full man,
conference a ready man,
and writing an exact man.

Francis Bacon, 1561-1626
Apothegms, Of Studies, 1624

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