The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 24, Number 5
Feb 2001



"What's a CEU?" (anon.) Archival Outlook, Newsletter of the Society of American Archivists), Mar/Apr. 2000, p. 10-11, 20.

The Continuing Education Unit, which came into use in 1970, is defined here and the ten criteria for awarding CEUs are described. One of the criteria, for instance, is "Each activity has clear and concise written statements of intended learning outcomes."


Countdown to a New Library: Managing the Building Project, by Jeannette Woodward. 205 pp., paperback, $48. ISBN: 0-8389-0767-9. $43.20 for ALA members. Available from ALA Order Fulfillment, 155 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606.

The brief announcement in the November American Libraries says that the author explains how to communicate the library users' needs to architects and construction managers as well as how to talk the language of architects and builders, plan for technology access, meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and keep the project on budget and on schedule. It apparently does not mention ways of keeping workmen from accidentally setting the building on fire or flooding the existing collections, events which happen more often than one might expect.


Architectural Photoreproductions: A Manual for Identification and Care, by Eleonore Kissel and Erin Vigneau. New Castle: Oak Knoll Press and the New York Botanical Garden, 1999. 135 pp. $65. ISBN 1-884718-62-0.

Nancy Carlson Schrock of Harvard College Library reviewed this volume in the Guild of Book Workers Newsletter, October 2000, p. 19. Her opening sentence certainly gets your attention: "Thirty years ago, older architectural drawings were more likely to go to the dump than an archive." Today, people are more likely to recognize their value, but still need help identifying the processes and understanding the preservation needs of each. This manual devotes a chapter to each major type of reproduction, giving identification method, support material, synonyms, history and use, and manufacturing process. Degradation and storage requirements are described. The illustrations are excellent, the reviewer says, and flowcharts help with the identification process. A glossary, index, and appendices with useful information (except on conservation methods) make it an essential reference book.


Museum Exhibit Lighting. An Interdisciplinary Approach: Conservation, Design, & Technology. Presentations made at a presession to the AIC 25th Annual Meeting, San Diego, California, June 9-10, 1997. Presented by the National Park Service and the AIC. xliii, 324 pp, supplied 3-hole drilled and shrink-wrapped. $25 + p&h from AIC.

The Introduction (p. xxiii-xliii, which is 20 pp.) includes presentations by Toby Raphael, Stefan Michalski and Steve Hefferan on basic concepts; Hefferan and Richard Skinner on current lighting technology; Michalski on effects of light on collections and on minimizing light damage; Hefferan on "Teaming up"; Michalski on conservation standards; and Hefferan on successful exhibit lighting applications.

Then come four two-part workshops, which cover setting up a lighting plan, distorted color, fiber optic applications, control of UV, evaluating light damage for window films & light sources; assessing objects for exhibition, and exhibit case lighting made simple.

The main section of the book contains reprints of 63 previously published papers, lists, tables and other material from innumerable sources (including many authored by speakers in the introductory section, above). On top of that, there are three one- and two-page bibliographies.


Postprints of the two-and-a-half-day Indoor Air Quality 2000 meeting will not be published this year, but the abstracts can be found on the web via the workgroup's home page: <>. Some of the topics covered in papers given there are: air pollution standards (four papers), modeling of pollutants in an enclosure, standards specification for display cases, calculation of acetic acid emission rates, and soiling by coarse particles.


Handbook for Digital Projects: A Management Tool for Preservation and Access. 1st ed. Maxine K. Sitts, Ed. Northeast Document Conservation Center, Andover, Massachusetts, 2000. 180 pp. $38. ISBN # 0-9634685-4-5. To order, contact Juanita Singh at 978/470-1010 or

This handbooks covers the following topics in detail:

Rationale for Digitization and Preservation
Guidelines from Case Studies
Selection of Materials for Scanning
A Technical Primer
Digital Longevity
Project Management
Vendor Relations
Copyright Issues
Scholar Commentary: An End-User Speaks Up

Many past and present School for Scanning faculty members have contributed to the publication, including Howard Besser, Paul Conway, Stephen Chapman, Diane Vogt-O'Connor, Melissa Smith Levine, Stephen Puglia, Franziska Frey and Janet Gertz. Other authors include Eileen Gifford Fenton, Steven Smith and Charles Rhyne.

There are ten sections to the text. One of them is "Overview of Copyright Issues," by Melissa Smith Levine. Another is "Developing Best Practices: Guidelines from Case Studies," which includes six subsections, among them "Working with Photographs," by Franciska Frey, "An OCR Case Study," by Eileen Gifford Fenton and "Digitization of Maps and Other Oversize Documents," by Janet Gertz, who also contributed a separate section on "Vendor Relations."


Tradition and Innovation: Advances in Conservation. (Contributions to the IIC Melbourne Congress 2000). ISBN 0-9500525-9-0. 220 pp. Members: £25. Nonmembers: £40. Contact IIC, 6 Buckingham St., London WC2N 6BA, UK (tel. +44 20 7839 5975; fax +44 20 7976 1564; e-mail Abstracts of the papers in the book are on the IIC website: They represent the following papers, among others.


"IADA 9th International Conference: English Review," by Sabina Pugh. Papier Restaurierung 1 (2000), 3, p. 9-10. (This is IADA's own journal/newsletter.)

IADA is an international association of book and paper conservators. Its 1999 meeting was held August 15-21 in Copenhagen, with the theme "Active Conservation—Trends in Research and Practice." About 200 people came, most of them from Germany. Over half of the papers were given in German, but simultaneous translation to and from English was available. Speakers included Judith Hofenk de Graaff (who hoped that one day librarians, curators, archivists, scientists and conservators would all be able to communicate on the same level); and Marc Reeves (on the role of digital records and scanned images in conservation); Chris Clarkson and two conservators from the State Library in Munich, who gave separate papers on minimum intervention, and Nicholas Pickwoad too, who commented on some of his own early repairs. An improved board slotting machine was described by F. Zimmern. Other papers were on iron-gall ink corrosion, effects of dry cleaning on papers, microanalytical methods for paper analysis, a ready-made enzyme poultice for local removal of starch paste, digital imaging programs, and the European Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA). Dag Petersen from the Herzog August Bibliotek in Wolfenbüttel made a plea for conservators to help prevent some of the damage that occurs in microfilming.

The preprints are out of print, but the papers are available as PDF-download on IADA online: <>.


Reversibility—Does It Exist? edited by Andrew Oddy and Sara Carroll. [British Museum Occasional Paper No. 135] This is the volume of proceedings of a conference held September 8-10, 1999, in London, by the British Museum Department of Conservation. 180 pp. ISBN: 0 86159 135 6. It can be purchased for around $50 from The Marketing Assistant, British Museum Press, 46 Bloomsbury St., London WC1B 3QQ.

About seven of the papers dealt with paper conservation:


Nonwovens Abstracts, v. 13 #2, Feb. 2001, is a slim issue of abstracts on the subject of cloth-like substitutes for woven fabrics. It is published by Pira International in Leatherhead, Surrey, UK (e-mail:; URL: Subscriptions are £435/year.

Nonwovens are made of plastic and/or various fibers and binders, and used for many temporary and disposable products, as well as permanent parts of structures. Their speed of production has made them popular with manufacturers of woven and knit products. Spunbonded nonwoven sheets are used in paper conservation (though this is not mentioned in the abstract issue); fabric softener substrate is used in most households; and Arthur D. Little predicts a good future for nonwovens in cleanups of oil spillage. There must be a thousand major uses. The table of contents covers raw materials (synthetic, inorganic and natural fibers, superabsorbents and binders), process technologies (web formation, bonding systems and converting and finishing), composites, and nine types of products and end-uses, including personal care and hygiene.


"Treasures of Mogao: The Desert Gateway to China," by Neville Agnew. Conservation, the Getty Conservation Institute Newsletter 14 #2, 1999, 4-16.

The Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, on the Silk Road near Dunhuang, were closed and forgotten about 600 years ago, along with their libraries of ancient Buddhist manuscripts and religious sculptures, banners and paintings, and the Diamond Sutra (868 AD), the oldest printed book in the world. The caves were rediscovered a hundred years ago and have been plundered by collectors and museums all over the world. They were designated a World Heritage Site in 1987, and the Getty Conservation Institute has been working at Dunhuang for ten years, documenting and preserving the art and doing archaeological work.

Agnew's article is followed by "Wall Paintings Conservation at Mogao," a two page article by Francesca Piqué, Shin Maekawa, and Michael Schilling.

The Caves of a Thousand Buddhas has been described in print many times, but seldom so thoroughly, with first-hand knowledge, and so many good illustrations.


Old Master Prints and Drawings: A Guide to Preservation and Conservation, by Carlo James, Caroline Corrigan, Marie Christine Enshaian, and Marie Rose Greca. Translated and edited by Marjorie B. Cohn. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1997. 319 pp., hardcover. Fl. 180. ISBN 90-5356-243-5.

This volume is a revised edition of the Manuale per la Conservazione e il Restauro di Disegni e Stampe Antichi, first published in 1991 by Leo S. Olschki in Florence. It was reviewed in the Journal of the AIC 39 (2000): 275-277, by Craigen Bowen, who confidently predicts that the book will become an essential reference for curators, conservators and students, because of its encyclopedic breadth and organization, and its superb illustrations and text.

 [Contents]  [Search]  [Abbey]

[Search all CoOL documents]