Volume 10, Number 2, May 1988, pp.9-10

Technical Exchange

Chris Stavroudis, column editor

Conservation Materials

As of April 4 Conservation Materials has moved to 1165 Marietta Way. The rest of their address, P.O. Box 2884, Sparks NV 89431, and phone number, (702) 331- 0582, remain the same.

Permanent Papers

The American Library Association passed a "Resolution on Use of Permanent Papers in Books and Other Publications" that recommends all publishers, both private and governmental, to "use uncoated paper meeting ANSI Standard Z39.48-1984 for publications of enduring value, and coated paper that is alkaline and can be expected to meet a similar standard for permanence". They further recommend that publishers include a "statement identifying publications using such paper on the verso of the title page of a book or on the masthead or copyright area of a periodical publication".

WAAC will investigate publishing on permanent paper, as it is hoped that the Newsletter is of enduring value. The entire Resolution appears on pages 30-31 of The Abbey Newsletter, Vol. 12, no. 2, February 1988.

Photocopying Guidelines

The Research Libraries Group provides guidelines for photocopying in its 1986 RLG Preservation Manual. Two sets of guidelines are published, one is for making preservation replacements (as an alternative to microfilming), and the other is for making copies requested by other libraries (interlibrary loan). Ordering information and a reprint of "Interlibrary Loan Photocopying for Preservation Replacement" can be found on page 44 of The Abbey Newsletter, Vol. 12, no. 3, April 1988.

Soviet Library Fire

The Los Angeles Public Library has lost the dubious distinction of suffering from the most destructive fire in history. On February 14, 1988 a fire destroyed 400,000 books and damaged 3.6 million others at the Soviet Academy of Sciences Library in Leningrad. The Library was founded by Peter the Great in 1714, and contained many rare works from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

According to accusations in the Soviet press, the library officials tried at first to hide the extent of the damage, but as the news spread, book conservators from around the world offered their help, including Peter Waters, Sally Buchanan, and Don Etherington from the U.S.

The disaster recovery steps undertaken include the freezing of 250,000 wet books at food processing plants in Leningrad, hanging books over "clothes lines" to dry in undamaged parts of the library, and inviting the citizens of Leningrad to take books home to dry. As in the LAPL fire, thousands of people volunteered to help and, according to Sally Buchanan, all of the books taken home, many of them rare, had been returned to the library. Don Etherington said, "It's an amazing story. They revere the library and books much more than we do. They're not so tied to TV."

Sources: The New York Times, Friday, 1 April 1988, p1, and The
Los Angeles Times
, Wednesday, 27 April 1988, p3. Compiled by: Joanne Page, LACMA

ICOM Committee for Conservation Control of Biodeterioration

Working Group 25 on Control of Biodeterioration met during the 8th Triennial Meeting of the ICOM Committee for Conservation in Sydney. Members of the working group are professionally involved in problems of biodeterioration and receive questions worldwide on pest control.

One of the actions resolved at Sydney was the establishment of a registry of pest control actions. This follows the suggestion of Dr. Garry Alpert of Harvard University. He proposed that since pesticides and fumigants were used in museums both under more critical conditions than those commercially encountered and for insect species other than those rigorously tested for pests of commercial significance, it was important to collect case histories.

Working Group 25 is also maintaining a file on all aspects of museum related biodeterioration research, worldwide. Anyone doing work in this area is requested to complete a questionnaire and to consider becoming a formal participant in the Working Group. Although desirable, no membership in ICOM is required. For more information or copies of the questionnaires, contact:

Fred Greene The Glenbow Museum 9th Ave & 1st Street S.E. Calgary,
Alberta, Canada, T2G 0P3


Alan W. Postlethwaite Conservation Analytical Laboratory
Smithsonian Institution (MSC) Washington, DC 20024 (301) 238-

Mowilith 20

Last December private paintings conservators Dianne Dwyer and Mario Modestini, NYC, visited LACMA for three days as consultants in the paintings conservation department. They toured the galleries, discussed approaches to treatment and demonstrated various techniques. The two conservators use Mowilith 20 for varnishing and as an inpainting medium. The material is a poly vinyl acetate resin manufactured by Hoechst Celanese and is a good substitute for Union Carbide's AYAB, which is no longer available on the market. Mowilith 20 is useful in producing an even, overall surface quality. It may have particular application as a varnish for pictures which have problematic surface irregularities. The product, which is difficult to find, can be obtained from Hoechst Celanese, route 202-206 North, Somerville, NJ 08876, (201) 231-3654.


The newly organized AATA Board of Editors met in December, 1987, and agreed to expand and reorganize AATA's coverage of architectural conservation. Gertrude M. Helms, Editor of the Architectural Conservation section proposed an expansion of that section and it was approved by the group effective in Volume 25, Number 1.

Although this process of evaluating coverage of particular subject areas is an ongoing one, two other speciality areas will be under close review in the coming months: ethnographic/natural history and archaeological conservation.

As always, AATA needs volunteers to help abstract the world's conservation literature. There are a number of specific areas where our coverage could improve: the Latin American conservation-related literature, as well as several specific subject areas. To make sure your region's literature is well represented in AATA, please contact the Editorial Office. Remember that all of Volume 25 will be published during 1988: Number 1 will be released in mid-May and Number 2 in late October. Please allow up to three months for surface mail delivery.

For more information, contact:

Jessica Brown, AATA Managing Editor, Getty Conservation
Institute, 4503 Glencoe Avenue, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

Mastic Crystals

As I had great difficulty finding mastic crystals in the San Francisco area, I thought I would pass this information on. The Greek American Foods at 223 Valencia in San Francisco sells Mastic Crystals for $39.00 a pound or $1.50 per packet. Their phone number is (415) 864-0978. They will, however, not ship.

Jean Carlson

Adhesive Questions

On April 7th, Werner Zimmt, retired polymer chemist with DuPont, spoke to an informal group gathered at the Arizona State Museum concerning adhesives and polymers for conservation. When Zimmt was told of the negative results conservators have been experiencing with soluble nylon and polyvinyl alcohol, he expressed a strong interest in seeing any documentation or reports involving these products that describe problems. If anyone has any questions or would like to share their experiences with him, he would be grateful. Any correspondence can be sent to him at Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85720.

Conservation Analytical Laboratory

The telephone area code and exchange for the Conservation Analytical Laboratory (CAL) has been changed to area code 301, exchange 238. There is no change in the actual extension number. Please make note of the change for all CAL numbers.

As an example, the old (202) 287-3700 will become (301) 238-3700. In the absence of this advice, prolonged ringing of the old number will produce redirection advice.

A Call to Oars

"The Trireme [a classical Greek warship propelled by three banks of oars] Trust is looking for a few 'galley slaves' to assist in phase two of the sea trials next summer. Scheduled from July 18 to August 5, the trials may include a 235 kilometer row from Poros to Navplion. The forty Americans in the international crew will assemble in Boston before flying out for two days of training in fixed-seat boats....If you have rowing experience--preferably fixed seat--a good sense of humor, and lots of self discipline", see: Archaeology March/April 1988, page 29.

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