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CPA Newsletter #17, Oct 1989

Commission on Preservation and Access

The Commission on Preservation and Access

Newsletter October 1989 Number 17

Translation of Report

on Mass Deacidification The translation of an article originally published in German that summarizes a substantial study of deacidification techniques is being distributed by the Commission. The study summarized in the report was conducted by the Battelle Institute for the West German Library. The nine-part report first reviews the problem of acidic books, the development of paper production, aging processes of paper, and approaches to solutions (including transfer onto microfilm and preservation in the original form), and then describes three mass deacidification procedures: The American diethyl zinc (DEZ) process, the Wei T’o magnesium methyl carbonate process, and the French magnesium methyl carbonate process. The article’s author is Peter Schwerdt, a co-author of the full Battelle Report. Among the report’s findings:

It should be stressed that all mass deacidification processes developed so far result only in an extension of the remaining life expectancy of books at the time of treatment, depending on their condition. A restoration of the original durability of the paper is not achieved in this manner…. The preservation of endangered library and archival collections can be successful only through the use of a comprehensive concept that combines all presently known measures of preservation and accommodates the possibility of future expansion.

The Commission funded the translation and distribution of the report as a contribution to the knowledge base on this technical issue. Several hundred copies have been distributed to universities and libraries. Additional copies are available at no charge, by writing Pamela Block at the Commission. This article first appeared in issue 36 (1989) 1 of Zeitschrift für Bibliothekwesen und Bibliographie. The full report is expected to be made available in German in Fall 1989 in an offprint from the same journal, under the title “Massenkonservierung für Bibliotheken and Archive,” from Verlag Vittoria Klostermann GmbH, Frauenlobstrasse 22, D-6000 Frankfurt a.M.90.

Henriette Avram Elected to

Commission Henriette Avram, recently appointed Associate Librarian for Collection Services at the Library of Congress (LC), has been elected to the Commission for a three-year term. In her new position at LC, Mrs. Avram has overall responsibilities for preservation programs and activities. She also oversees acquisitions, cataloging, and certain research activities. Mrs. Avram began at LC in 1965 as Assistant Coordinator of Information Systems. In a succession of advancements, she became Chief of the MARC Development Office (1970), Director of the Network Developing Office (1976), Director for Processing Systems, Networks and Automation Planning ( 1980), and Assistant Librarian for Processing Services (1983). During the past three decades, Mrs. Avram has been an influential leader in the development of the comprehensive and cohesive computerized bibliographic structure that is now well established nationally and internationally. As a forceful advocate of bibliographic causes and an intellectual leader in librarianship, she has been honored by institutions and professional organizations throughout the world. Last year, she was awarded the ALA Joseph W. Lippincott Award for distinguished service to the profession.

Change Magazine Spotlights

call for New Preservation Strategies The Forum section of Change: the Magazine of Higher Learning, (September-October 1989) features an article by Patricia Battin on “Crumbling Books: A Call for Strategies to Preserve Our Cultural Memory.” The article calls attention to the national and global challenge of preserving resources for scholarship and asserts that “we cannot afford, economically or intellectually, to solve the preservation problem in isolation from the fundamental changes occurring in research and publishing.'” Change is published by the American. Association for Higher Education, Washington. DC. The Commission is making reprints of the article available at no cost. (Contact Pamela Block at the Commission.)

Update on House Permanent

Paper Measure House action on legislation to establish a national policy to promote and encourage the printing of books and other publications of enduring value on alkaline, permanent papers is expected later this month or in early November. according to the Washington office of the American Library Association. H.J.Res. 226 introduced by Rep. Pat Williams (D-MT) has been referred to the Government Operations Committee and the Administrative Committee of the House. Both committees must act within the next month or two to secure final passage this year, and a small pro forma hearing may be called, according to the ALA office. The House measure had garnered 52 cosponsors as of last month The companion Senate measure. S.J. Res. 57, introduced by Sen. Claiborne Pell, was passed by voice vote on July 31.

Ad Hoc Group to Explore

Test Project for Preservation Reprints Collection development and preservation librarians, a reprint publisher, and Commission staff will be meeting this month to explore the feasibility of reprinting and making available at reasonable cost a small, specially selected set of materials requiring preservation. The meeting is being sponsored by the Commission as one of a number of efforts to explore alternatives to access for preserved materials. The proposed project also ties into the Commission’s interest in developing collaborative arrangements among librarians, scholars. and publishers. The project under consideration would test the feasibility of one or more libraries working with a publisher to identify, reprint, and market selected materials from those that have been identified as requiring preservation. In addition to Commission staff, the meeting will include David Farrell. U.C. Berkeley; Tony Ferguson, Columbia University; Michael Keller, Yale University; Jan Merrill-Oldham, University of Connecticut; and Leo Balk, Garland Publishing Inc.

Commission Distributing

1988-89 Annual Report The Commission on Preservation and Access Annual Report 1988-89 summarizes a year full of activities and accomplishments for all concerned with the national preservation program. As noted in the report’s introduction, for the librarians. archivists, scholars, and university administrators who have long been striving to preserve scholarly resources, this period might well be remembered as a watershed twelve months–a time when the passage of major federal funding enabled the preservation movement to advance into a new stage of multi-faceted awareness and action. The Commission’s major initiatives for 1988-89 as analyzed in the report include institutional support, communication linkages. selection criteria, new technologies, and copyright implications. Other issues–paper quality, deacidification techniques, and statewide planning for preservation–seemed best served by supporting the efforts of existing organizations. The report also highlights a major Commission program, the International Project. The report is being mailed to all persons on the Commission’s mailing lists. Additional copies are available from Pamela Block at the Commission.

Commission Fall Meeting to

be Held in Chicago In what is expected to be the first of a series of regional meetings with sponsors. the Commission will be holding its fall 1989 quarterly meeting with library directors and preservation librarians from Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) institutions. The Chicago-based meeting on November 9 will provide an opportunity to discuss priorities and prospective agenda items directly with some of the Commission’s primary constituents to ensure that its work is consonant with the needs of the higher education community.

Photo [omitted] courtesy of Preservation Department Milton S. Eisenhower

Library, The Johns Hopkins University

Who Receives This


National Advisory Council on Preservation
Research Library Committee
Oberlin Group–Library Directors
Association of Research Libraries – Directors
University Chief Academic Officers
Scholarly Advisory Committee on History
Scholarly Advisory Committee on Philosophy
Scholarly Advisory Committee on Art History
Mid-sized Research Libraries Committee
College Libraries Committee
Technology Assessment Advisory Committee
Editors and Publishers
Preservation Officer/Administrators
Archives Administrator
Regional or State Agencies/Networks
Professional Organizations/Associations
University Administrators/Faculty/Scholars
U.S. Government
Librarians/Library Directors (in addition to above)

How to Correct or Change

Your Address Label This newsletter is mailed non-profit bulk rate using mailing lists maintained by the Commission. Send your address corrections and changes directly to Pamela Block, Administrative Assistant, at the Commission.

More Reviews to Cite

Acid-Free Paper Info Along with Choice and Library Journal, the American Archivist is now including information on the use of acid free paper in its bibliographic citations accompanying book reviews. It also will begin using the infinity symbol in reviews beginning with the Winter 1990 issue, according to Anne R. Kenney, editor.

Task Force on Environmental

Conditions: Course for Physical Plant Managers The Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA) has selected three persons to work with the Commission on developing a course on environmental conditions for books and museums. The three APPA planners are: George Preston of the Art Institute of Chicago, Richard Slegle of the Smithsonian Institution, and John E. Deedrick of the Atlanta College of Art. Along with the Commission’s task force members, they are working to develop a curriculum for a two- to three-day seminar for physical plant managers. Current plans are to develop the course in time to offer it in the spring of 1990. The Commission task force members are: Patti McClung, RLG; Joel Clemmer, Macalester College; and Don Kelsey, University of Minnesota.

Commission on Preservation and Access

1400 16th Street, NW, Suite 740 Washington, DC 20036-2217 (202) 939-3400 Fax: (202) 939-3407 The Commission on Preservation and Access was established in 1986 to foster and support collaboration among libraries and allied organizations in order to ensure the preservation of the published and documentary record in all formats and to provide enhanced access to scholarly information. The Newsletter reports on cooperative national and international preservation activities and is written primarily for university administrators and faculty, library and archives administrators, preservation specialists and administrators, and representatives of consortia, governmental bodies, and other groups sharing in the Commission’s goals. The Newsletter is not copyrighted; its duplication and distribution are encouraged.

Patricia Battin–President

Maxine K. Sitts–Program Officer, Editor Pamela D. Block–Administrative Assistant Return to CLIR Home Page >>

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