The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 25, Number 5
Feb 2002



Copy Editor: Language News for the Publishing Profession. This is a newsletter, published six times a year, to help editors keep up with the rate at which the language is changing. It costs $69 per year. For costs of overseas subscriptions, look them up on the Web ( or call 602/395-5850. Current subscribers include the New York Times, Oxford University Press, and Scientific American. A sample issue was sent to the Abbey Newsletter office, and it looked very useful for settling office debates such as whether final consonants are doubled when adding suffixes (e.g., "busses" vs. "buses").


The Preservation Program Blueprint, by Barbra Buckner Higginbotham and Judith W. Wild. American Library Association, 2001. 168 pp. 7" x 10", soft cover. ISBN 0-8389-0802-0. ALA order #: 0802-0-2270. $33.30 for ALA members; $37.00 others. Call 1-800-545-2433 and press 1; for fax: 312-836-9958. Website:

The Introduction opens by pointing out a problem: How can a preservation program be set up without a dedicated, on-staff preservation specialist? This book aims to show the way by describing how to set up a program even if there is no specialist to head it. In such a program, "clear administrative responsibility for every preservation task is assigned somewhere in the library; staff are not "volunteering" to perform preservation tasks, motivated by their sense of professionalism or love of books. Rather, these activities become part of their duties and routines, so that everyone feels ownership of the preservation program." This implies a flattened, team-based organizational structure.

Last June, Yvonne Carignan at the University of Maryland reported on the PADG list the responses she received from three libraries and one conservation lab on this topic. They listed 12 advantages of the flattened or team structure, and five disadvantages. They also gave some advice:

  1. Coaching is necessary.
  2. It helps to bring in a trainer who specializes in organizational development and team training.
  3. Success results from respect for each other's skills and competency.
  4. It is critical for staff to take responsibility for reporting their decisions and actions within a team structure.
  5. Select an organizational model that is well suited to the organization's goals. No single organizational model is best for all organizations!

Chapters are headed:

The library director
The library building manager
Collection development and acquisitions
Circulation and stack maintenance
Binding, repair, and reformatting
Cataloging and materials processing
Access services
Interlibrary loan
Reference and information services
Special collections and archival materials
Microforms, sound recordings, video formats, and new media
Library systems


ASTM Standards on Indoor Air Quality. 306 pp. 1999. Soft cover. $79 in North America; $87 elsewhere. ISBN 0-8031-2728-6. Stock #: IAQ 2000.

28 standards are included in this volume. They establish consistent and reliable methods for sampling and analysis of indoor air, and for interpreting test results.


"Chemical Aspects of the Bookkeeper Deacidification of Cellulosic Materials: The Influence of Surfactants," by S. Zumbühl and S. Wuelfert. Studies in Conservation 46 (2001) 169-180.

The authors investigated the Bookkeeper reagents and their time-dependent chemistry, using X-ray powder diffraction micro-infrared spectrometry, energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and polarized light microscopy, because they wanted to know (among other things) what the alkaline reserve was made up of. It is generally assumed to be formed from MgO particles, which hydrolyze to Mg(OH)2 after they are deposited on the fibers. But the form and composition of the compounds deposited are seen differently by various investigators (Usdowski, Whitmore, Brandt, Pauk and others).

A number of figures show results of EDXRF and FTIR analysis of Bookkeeper sprays on glass slides, soon after application and after 12 or 18 months' storage. The reagent is evenly distributed at first, but on one glass slide it coagulated into widely spaced large (200 µm diam.) MgO crystals after 18 months. Apparently there had been a lot of ion migration over time.

Another FTIR spectrum shows the saponification of carboxylic acids six weeks after application of the reagent. Carboxyl stretches were changed into carboxylates. In their conclusions, the authors mention that the fluorinated additives function as retarders for the hydrolysis of MgO, thus appearing to be largely responsible for the "mildness" of deacidification using the Bookkeeper reagent. Since the additives last for several months on treated surfaces, they "very probably" form an important part of the alkaline reserve. Other compounds that were not found in the alkaline reserve under ambient conditions include magnesium oxides, hydroxides and sulfates, and neutral, basic and acidic carbonate hydrates.

The authors emphasize that conclusions drawn from their single-sheet spray experiments do not necessarily apply to the mass deacidification process. They are continuing their investigations.


Bookbinding 2000 Proceedings (proceedings of the conference held in Rochester, NY, June 1-3, in honor of Bernard C. Middleton). Published by Cary Graphic Arts Press, 2002. Laminated paperback, 7.25 x 10.5 in., 104 pp., color. ISBN 0-9713459-2-9. $21.99.


"Coptic Bindings at the Morgan Library: Their History and Preservation," by Deborah Evetts
"Facsimile Printing for Antiquarian Books," by Bernard Middleton
"Four Levels of Book Art Making," by Philip Smith
"Women Bookbinders in Britain before the First World War," by Marianne Tidcombe
"The Preservation of Library Materials in the Electronic Age," by Peter Waters
"Sixteenth Century Influences on English Bookbinding,," by Mirjam Foot

To order, contact

Amelia Hugill-Fontanel
Cary Graphic Arts Press
Rochester Institute of Technology
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
716/475-6766; fax 715/475-6900.;


"Ink Corrosion: Aqueous and Non-Aqueous Treatment of Paper Objects — State of the Art," by Birgit Reissland. Restaurator 20: No. 3-4, pp. 167-180, 1999. This issue of Restaurator is dedicated to the 12th Triennial meeting of ICOM-CC, Lyon, 1999. It contains nine papers from that meeting.

The author reviews 16 or so different methods of treating paper affected by iron-gall ink corrosion. The main reason so many treatments have been used is that the ideal treatment had not been found by 1999. Also, iron-gall ink damages paper by two simultaneous processes: acid-catalyzed hydrolysis and iron-catalyzed oxidation. She reviews five aqueous treatments: washing in water, use of distilled or demineralized water, tap water, hot water, boiling, and alcohol/water mixtures. She also reviews deacidification with aqueous solutions, calcium carbonate, calcium hydroxide solutions, and magnesium bicarbonate; and three chelates EDTA, calcium phytate, and ammonium caseinate. She also reviews two nonaqueous deacidification treatments, Wei T'o and the Bookkeeper method.

Each method has its advantages and risks, so for each artifact, she says, a method must be chosen which is appropriate to its nature and its problems. At the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage where the author works, a standard method has been developed which allows comparison of treatments with regard to their effectiveness in arresting ink corrosion.


"Aqueous Conservation Treatment of 20th Century Papers Containing Water-Sensitive Inks and Dyes," by Agnes Blüher, Anna Haberditzl & Tanja Wimmer. Restaurator 20: no. 3-4, pp. 181-197.

A number of new fixatives (Mesitol NBS 3%, Rewin EL 3.5%, and Cyclododecane melt) were tried out, alone and in combination, on highly sensitive objects. The procedure described was successful, but too time-consuming. They would like to improve it, in order to make it quicker and usable for normal documents that are not suitable for treatment in a mechanized process.

The other seven papers in this issue are on the following subjects:

Effect of Cooking Agents on Japanese Paper
Determination of the Content of Alkalis and Acids in Paper
The Ecology of the Fungal Fox Spots in a Book Published in 1854
Aging of Laboratory Irongall Inks Studied by Reflectance Spectrometry
What Fiber for Paper Strengthening?
Developing a Ready-for-Use Pad to Locally Remove Starch with Enzymes (the Albertina Compress)
An Irish Gospel from the 8th Century: Investigation and Conservation


Restaurator: International Journal for the Preservation of Library and Archival Material. Vol 22 (2001), No 4, pages 187-250. ISSN 0034-5806.


"A Method for the Non-Destructive Analysis of Paper Based on Reflectance and Viscosity," by Josep Ma Gibert Vives, Joan Ramon Mendo Escoda, Rogelio Areal Geurra & Luís Alberto Hernández.

"The Influence of Mg on the Light Induced Oxidation of Newsprint," by Vladimír Bukovsky & Ivan Kuka.

"Distribution of Chemical Elements of Iron-Gall Ink Writing Studied by the PIXE Method," by Milos Budnar, Jedert Vodopivec, Pier Andrea Mandò, Franco Lucarelli Giuseppe Casu & Ornella Signorini.

"Damage Caused by Destructive Insects to Cellulose Previously Subjected to Gamma-Ray Irradiation and Artificial Aging," by G. Magaudda, M. Adamo, & F. Rocchetti.

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