The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 26, Number 3
Nov 2002

Editor's Page

Photograph of Ellen McCrady

The Internet Spreads the Word

Walter Henry, the Webmaster for Conservation OnLine (CoOL), maintains our website there. A few months ago he reported to me that we were getting "quite a bit of traffic." In July, the average number for pages per day was 2,569; the average for the last week of July was 3,561. ("Pages" means actual documents or articles, whether from the Abbey Newsletter, Alkaline Paper Advocate or Mold Reporter.)

Subscription Agents and Claims (A Complaint)

Fifteen or 20 years ago, before we started doing business through subscription agents, we seldom had to satisfy claims. Now, however, about 11% of all the copies we send out are claimed, and have to be re-sent individually.

I have not done a systematic study on the cause of this problem, but my suspicions have grown over the years. The hypothesis I am working on right now is that serials departments do not claim issues for any of the obvious reasons: we got the address wrong, or forgot to mail that copy in the first place, or because the Post Office lost them. Libraries claims issues because claiming is the easiest way to deal with a temporarily misplaced issue. And besides, it's a free service for the library. When you have an automated system in your serials department, the computer probably automatically claims any issue not checked in properly by the expected date. The issue may be in the building, being passed around on the way to the Serials Department, or in somebody's desk drawer, or mistaken for a similar periodical, or stolen. Who cares? The library doesn't have to pay a cent to have it replaced. When and if the original issue turns up, no one has to refund anything to the publisher. No one ever says, "Sorry—We had it all along. Here's $10 for your trouble."

In an attempt to get a handle on the cost of satisfying claims, I asked our editorial assistant Meiling Guentzel to do a survey of claims made by our 920 subscribers for the six issues in Volume 25, June 2001 to April 2002. We received 99 claims for issues in that volume, and each claim had to be handled individually. If Meiling makes $10 an hour, and has to interrupt her other work to reply to the questions in the agency's faxed claim notice, type the address label, find the postage and the envelope and the correct issue to send, and file the papers away afterward, that would cost about $3 per claim if there were no complications; $4 or $5 if there was any communication difficulty that had to be settled with the subscription agent. If $4 is the cost for an average claim, we must be spending close to $400 a year on claims.

We used to have a subscriber (in Singapore, as I recall) who claimed each issue once or twice. It was not cheap to send all those issues halfway across the world. I finally notified them that I would not renew their subscription, and had no further trouble with them. The solution to our current problem is not as simple. I wonder what other serials publishers do.

Ellen McCrady


The article entitled "Permanent Paper Project in Pondicherry" should have had the following contact information:

These Donors Keep Us Going

The Editor and Trustees of Abbey Publications, Inc. are grateful for the support received from the people and organizations listed below, as well as from those who gave smaller amounts. Without their help, we are not sure how we could make it from year to year. All donations go toward publishing the Abbey Newsletter and the Mold Reporter, and serving the information needs of readers.

Below we have listed the 2001-2002 donors. We have received a total of $4127 this year so far.

Sponsors ($500+)  
Ellen McCrady Terry O. Norris
Patrons ($100-$499)  
Joan T. Batchelor John F. Lewis
Michelle Biddle Ralph F. Ocker
Emeritus Brooks Mark Parker
David and Maire Digges La Touche Roberta Pilette
Robert L. Feller Martha Smith
J.M. Larson, Bridgeport  
Contributors ($25-$99)  
Everett and Sandra Balsam Bill Minter
Diana Hobart Dicus Carol Pratt
Betsy Palmer Eldridge Jeffrey Rigby
David and Laura Gracy II Ingrid Rose Co. Ltd.
Walter Israel Nancy Carlson Schrock
Finn-Olaf Jones William K. Wilson

Authors Please Take Note

Authors of articles and other contributions accepted for publication in the Abbey Newsletter will be assumed (unless they notify the editor otherwise) to be granting permission to publish their work in both print and electronic format, and to archive it and make it retrievable electronically. Authors retain copyright, however, and may republish their work in any way they wish.

Similarly with previous publishers of material who have given permission for their copyrighted material to be reprinted in the Abbey Newsletter. the permission will be assumed to cover the electronic as well as the printed form.

This policy has been adopted for two reasons: 1) It helps the cause of library and archive preservation, and 2) existing copyright law considers electronic reprints to be merely extra copies of the original publication, in another format.

The ABBEY NEWSLETTER: PRESERVATION OF LIBRARY & ARCHIVAL MATERIALS (ISSN: 0276-8291) is published six times a year with a separate index by Abbey Publications, Inc., 7105 Geneva Dr., Austin, TX 78723, and has about 1000 subscribers. Application to Mail at Periodicals Postage Rates is pending at Austin, TX 78752. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Abbey Newsletter, 7105 Geneva Drive, Austin, TX 78723.

Personal subscriptions are $35; institutional subscriptions are $65, and subscriptions for students are $20. These prices will be $45, $85 and $20 starting with V. 26 in 2002. Checks and money orders should be made out in U.S. dollars, payable to Abbey Publications. Visa and MasterCard are also accepted.

Job advertisements are billed at the rate of $50 for the heading and the first ten lines, plus $2 per line thereafter. Any notice that is appropriate and newsworthy will be printed if there is room for it.

It is the policy of Abbey Publications to use permanent paper for all publications. Claims for issues never received will be honored within a year of publication.

The Editor's permission must be obtained before making more than 20 copies at a time of lengthy or signed articles. This lets us make any necessary corrections or updates, or contact other copyright holders for permission to reprint. Back issues from 1981 onward are on our Web page at

Abbey Publications is a nonprofit corporation set up to encourage preservation of written or recorded information, including the use of lasting materials in the creation of records. the corporation has five trustees (E. McCrady, G. Frost, R. Pilette, J. Wellvang, and Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa) and five officers (E. McCrady, Pres.; G. Frost, 1st V.P.; J. Wellvang, 2nd V.P.; and C. Jensen, Treas.).

Editor: Ellen McCrady
Office Mgr: Jocelyn Ann Vinograd Phone: 512/929-3992
Editorial Asst: Meiling Gunzel Fax: 512/929-3995
Tax ID No. 87-0436104
©Abbey Publications, Inc.

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