The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 25, Number 6
Apr 2002



Richard McCoy posted a list of "online conservation resources" on the Conservation DistList March 12: He mentioned but did not list CoOL because that is so well known. [soon to be completed] site on "Services")

The November 2001 newsletter of ICOM published two lists of internet sites.

WAAC Newsletter vol. 23 #1 from January 2001 is a list of conservation related web sites compiled by Marie Svoboda.


Natural Ventilation in Buildings, by Francis Allard, Ed. Oikos, 1998. 368 pages, hardcover. Item # 7158, $75. Order from Iris Communications, Inc., PO Box 20, Lorane, OR 97451. (800/346-0104 or 541/767-0355; fax 541/767-0357). More info at

The publisher's blurb says, "Ventilating buildings naturally—with minimal use of mechanical devices—offers environmental, economic, comfort and health benefits. Approaches can be high-tech or low-tech, but always need to be part of an integrated design strategy. A range of technical barriers, such as building codes, fire regulations and acoustics, also need to be taken into account."

The book includes a CD-ROM with software to assist in the calculation of airflow rate in natural ventilation configurations, provided your computer has enough memory and the right kind of software.


"Why do we Need to Keep This in Print? It's on the Web...": A Review of Electronic Archiving Issues and Problems, by Dorothy Warner.

Patricia Cruse, of the California Digital Library, Office of the President, Univ. Cal., Oakland, CA, recommended this article April 12 on the GOVDOC List.

Robert Schnare of the Naval War College in Newport, RI, saw it there and forwarded it to the PADG (Preservation Administrators' Discussion Group) List with Pat Cruse's comment: "There is a terrific article on some of the pitfalls associated with digital preservation in the current issue of Progressive Librarian. One of the nice things about this article is that it talks about many of the issues associated with preservation and archiving government information. There is also an extensive bibliography and information about a report done by the State Documents Interest Group of the Document Association of New Jersey."


"Defining Permanent Paper," by Janet Gertz. Information Standards Quarterly, v. 14 #2, April 2002, p. 1-5.

The author reviews and explains clearly the standards development process, the nature of permanence, ASTM paper aging research, accelerated aging, and three new ASTM test methods (aging with light, pollutant, and dry oven exposure). She says that the library and archival community will set the performance levels required for permanence on each test. "Reaching consensus on these limits will undoubtedly be interesting and challenging."


Restaurator, International Journal for the Preservation of Library and Archival Material, v. 23 No. 1, 2002:

"The Influence of Unbleached Pulp Content on the Permanence and Durability of Archive and Library Materials on Paper," by Meta Letnar. P. 1-14:

Higher lignin and hemicellulose content in the sulfite pulp tested by the author caused significant hydrolytic and oxidative degradation, despite the fact that all papers met the specs in ISO 9706 except the requirement for a low lignin level. (The pulps were a mixture of 50% bleached, 50% unbleached sulfite pulp.) The author says the results confirm "the necessity to use paper made of quality raw materials for books and documents requiring a permanent value. It is important to assure optimum technological conditions of manufacture, corresponding to the international standards and recommendations for permanent and archive purposes."

"Fastness of Printing Inks Subjected to Gamma-Ray Irradiation and Accelerated Aging," by R. Rocchetti et al.

"Generally, it can be stated that the changes in color of the printed material (paper + ink) due to the combined treatment of irradiation and aging were, exclusively or almost exclusively, the result of a darkening of the paper."

"Testing CSC BookSaver®, a Commercial Deacidification Spray," by A. L. DuPont et al.

CSC BookSaver is a new magnesium-based deacidification agent that was recently introduced to the European market. The spray form of the agent was used on mechanical pulp paper and a control paper, and results were analyzed. The alkaline reserve was too high when the spraying was too heavy, but the agent very efficiently protected the cellulose macromolecule from chain cleavage caused by NO2 pollution, even in the ligneous paper. The pH of treated papers was high:10.37 and 9.58.

Restaurator, v. 22 No. 2, 2001:

"Hydrolytic and Oxidative Degradation of Paper," by Simona Margutti et al.

From the Conclusions section: "The results of this research support the hypothesis that there is a symbiotic action between acidity and oxidation on the depolymerization of cellulose. The presence of functional groups formed by oxidation (carboxyl and carbonyl) increases the susceptibility of the glucosidic bond to hydrolysis reactions catalysed by a high concentration of hydrogen ions...." The first author's e-mail address is <>.

"Papyrus: The Need for Analysis," by Françoise Flieder and Elisabeth Delange.

"Analysis of the mineral and organic elements, in particular starch, showed that the plant material strips, which make up a papyrus, adhere to each other without any additional glue."

"Gamma Radiation Treatment of Paper in Different Environmental Conditions: Chemical, Physical and Microbiological Analysis," by M. Adamo et al.

"We concluded from our experiments that an irradiation dose of 5 kGy caused statistically significant variations on almost all the paper properties. The treatment at 2 kGy, however, does not induce, in many cases, statistically significant modifications of the commercial paper.... The advantage of irradiation with respect to other disinfectant treatments is that it does not leave behind any harmful residue, so that the subsequent handling of the documents is free of hazards."


The New Yorker for March 8, 1999, has a good 4-page article on the challenge of preserving all of the National Archives' sound recordings: "Overload," by Alexander Stille. It is still relevant, and full of quotable passages, e.g.:

"One of the great ironies of the information age is that, while the late twentieth century will undoubtedly record more data than have been recorded at any other time in history, it will also almost certainly lose more information than has been lost in any previous era."
"'Twenty-eight different kinds of movie sound-tracking systems were devised during the thirties and forties in an effort to improve the quality of sound," [Charles] Mayn explains. "Most of them are incompatible."'
"For several years, a disturbing rumor has circulated that the data from the United States census of 1960 were lost. According to the story, the information exists only on obsolete thirty-nine-year-old computer tapes, which can no longer be read. The Archives has reassured the public that the material has been safely copied onto more modern media, but, because census data are kept confidential until seventy-two years after their collection, the rumor will probably persist until 2032, when the data are made available to researchers."


Advanced Book Information: Containing over 1,050 watermark illustrations, this work published by Oak Knoll Press is the most comprehensive catalog on American watermarks to date.

In 1979 Thomas Gravel and George Miller published an interim edition of their watermark research which illustrated over 700 watermarks together with provisional thumbnail sketches of the paper mills that produced them.

This new edition, revised with the assistance of Elizabeth Walsh of the Folger Shakespeare Library, incorporates enhanced illustrations of all original 700 watermark photographs, and adds more than 320 new watermarks found by Mr. Gravell during the past twenty years.

In all, 1,057 watermarks have now been computer enhanced and tripled indexed for better identification. This new corpus of research includes revised and up-dated paper-mill histories, an updated bibliography, a new glossary of paper-making, and new name, geographic, and iconographic indexes.

A new Foreword by Keith Arbour recounts Thomas Gravell's contributions to paper history.

This expanded and revised edition of American Watermarks 1690-1835 is the most comprehensive catalog of American watermarks to date. To paper historians, imprint and manuscript curators, reference librarians, autograph, ephemera, and financial history collectors, and other scholars, this catalog makes available in easy-to-consult, triple-indexed format, the latest information on early American watermarks.

Order No. 64718, Price $85 or UKP58.50.

You can order this book at

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