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CPA Newsletter #37, Aug 1991

Commission on Preservation and Access

The Commission on Preservation and Access


August 1991

Number 37

In keeping with a two-year tradition, the August Newsletter once again focuses on summertime good news. Among the positive developments: The availability of new Commission reports, progress of cooperative preservation projects, endorsement of permanent paper use in Europe, and acceptance of a new Commission board member….

Dr. John L. Heilbron Joins Board

Dr. John L. Heilbron, Vice-Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, has accepted an invitation to join the Commission’s board. Dr. Heilbron was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Berkeley campus in June 1990; in that position he is the senior campus executive under the chancellor, with a broad range of responsibilities including planning and academic coordination.

Dr. Heilbron is Class of 1936 Professor of History and the History of Science at U.C., Berkeley. He writes about the history of the physical sciences and their institutional settings from the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century forward. His work on the 18th century includes Electricity in the 17th & 18th centuries: A Study in Early Modern Physics (1979), and Elements of Early Modern Physics (1981). His latest book, written in collaboration with R.W. Seidel, is A History of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Vol. 1, Lawrence and his Laboratory (1990). He is currently completing a small book with the working title, Quantitative Science Around 1800.

Dr. Heilbron earned his undergraduate and masters degrees in physics and his PhD. in history at U.C., Berkeley. He served as assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania and as A.D. White Visiting Professor at Cornell University, and was Chairman of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate of the University of California for two years prior to his appointment as Vice-Chancellor. He is an elected foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1987) and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1988). Dr. Heilbron holds an honorary doctorate in philosophy from the University of Bologna (1988) and is a member of the American Philosophical Society (1990).

New Report on Availability Of Latin American Preservation Microforms

A new report issued to the Commission’s constituency last month–The Production and Bibliographic Control of Latin American Preservation Microforms in the United States–summarizes the current state of Latin Americanist microfilming activity in the United States and, to a lesser degree, in other world areas. The 40-page report was prepared by Dan C. Hazen, Selector for Latin America, Spain, and Portugal at Harvard College Library, who conducted a six-month study under contract to the Commission.

The study addressed one of the major issues raised by participants in a May 1990 planning meeting convened in Zurich, Switzerland by the Commission. At that meeting, representatives of eight countries discussed the need for an internationally-compatible database capacity for preservation microfilm records. One immediate concern was that inadvertent duplication of filming of Latin American materials might occur as preservation activities increased during international preparations to celebrate the quincentenary of the Spanish and Portuguese presence in the Americas.

In addition to providing specifics on the filming of Latin American materials, the report is expected to be useful to scholars, to contribute to further development of international preservation strategies, and to encourage similar reviews in other collections organized by geographical area. Accompanying the report is a support document, “Preserved Research Collections on Latin America.” This eight-page listing was extracted from a more extensive database of federal- and state-funded preservation grants compiled by the Commission’s Communications Program.

The Commission has distributed complimentary copies of both reports to those on its mailing list. Additional copies are available while supplies last for $5.00, with required prepayment by check (U.S. funds only). Checks should be made payable to “Commission on Preservation and Access,” and sent to the attention of Trish Cece, Communications Assistant. Commission sponsors receive all publications at no charge.

Updated Brochure Available

The Commission has published an updated brochure that describes its initiatives for 1991-92. The brochure briefly discusses the Brittle Books program; selection of materials for preservation; technologies that offer options for enhanced access to preserved materials; improvement in the quality of materials used to produce documents of enduring value; the International Project’s efforts to contribute to a compatible, international database of preservation records; integrating preservation into library school instruction; supporting cooperative programs; linking diverse constituencies through the Communications Program; and expanding the public’s access to preserved materials.

The 8-page brochure also lists the Commission’s sponsors, members, committees and task forces. A form is included for readers to request more information on various topics related to preservation, a list of publications and resources, and/or a newsletter subscription. Single or multiple copies of the brochure are available upon request from Trish Cece, Communications Assistant. If you’re requesting multiple copies, please let us know how you plan to use them.

Yale Completes Report on Feasibility Study of Converting Microfilm to Digital Imagery

A new report to the commission from Yale University explores the feasibility of a project to study the means, costs and benefits of converting large quantities of preserved library materials from microfilm to digital images. The 41-page report, From Microfilm to Digital Imagery, was developed under contract to the Commission by Donald J. Waters, Head, Systems Office, Yale University Library.

In his study, Waters identifies requirements for a major, multi-year project to convert microfilmed texts to digital images, to provide both intra- and inter-institutional access to the stored images, and to investigate the broader implications for enhanced intellectual access to digitized scholarly materials. The report includes a vision statement, a model of incremental investment, a description of system architecture, and a detailed plan of work for the larger project.

Complimentary copies of From Microfilm to Digital Imagery have been distributed to the Commission’s mailing list. Additional copies are available, while supplies last, for $5.00, with prepayment by check required (U.S. funds only). Checks should be made payable to Commission on Preservation and Access,” and mailed to the attention of Trish Cece, Communications Assistant.

Commission Intern Investigating Cooperative Preservation Strategies

During the months of mid-May through July, the Commission hosted an intern. Connie Stevenson, from the School of Library and Information Science at the Catholic University of America, came to the Commission to earn credit for a practicum in the area of preservation in the school’s MLS program. In conjunction with the Communications Program at the Commission, Connie informally collected information on cooperative preservation programs and projects.

The perpetual and rapidly declining state of collections due to acidic paper, the economic strain of preservation and conservation upon budgets, and the difficulty of duplicating preservation resources at individual institutions has brought cooperative preservation to the top of many state, regional, and local agendas. It is this new demand for cooperative preservation efforts that prompted Connie’s research project. The research will produce an information resource to be made available through the Commission.

European Librarians and Publishers Urge Widespread Use of Permanent Paper

The European Librarians and Publishers (ELP) Working Croup has stated that it is urgently necessary from now on to use acid-free age-resistant paper and to support initiatives and strategies leading to such use. ELP is calling for governmental agencies to support further research concerning permanent paper, and is asking the Council of Europe and the Commission of the European Communities for their support and initiatives for standardization.

In issuing a set of recommendations to provide a basis for long-term safeguarding of the printed word, ELP stressed that permanent paper standards have to be compatible within the European Community. The recommendations take into account recent changes in paper making: “There is no longer a particular problem in producing acid-free paper. It is available in increasing quantities, and price can no longer be an objection.”

ABI Technik 11, 1991. N2 page 149.

Two Pennsylvania Foundations Support Preservation Activities

The Pew Charitable Trusts have awarded a grant of $2.77 million for a collaborative library project to improve access to important holdings of rare books, manuscripts, archives, films, photographs and drawings in 16 Philadelphia-area research libraries. The project, Initiative for the 1990s,” is being undertaken by the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries. The five-year effort will add a quarter-million computerized descriptions of holdings in Philadelphia libraries to the electronic cataloging networks. The Pew grant is being matched by $1.38 million from private. public and institutional sources.

Last year the William Penn Foundation began funding a three-year grant for the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts’ (CCAHA) Preservation Needs Assessment Program. CCAHA offers expertise and financial support to small-to-mid-sized local museums, historic houses and other institutions with historic collections. Applications for participation in the second year of the program must be submitted by October 1 5, 199l . For more information contact CCAHA at (215) 545-0613.

National Advisory Council on Preservation Gains New Member

Connie Brooks has joined the National Advisory Council on Preservation (NACP) as the representative for the American Library Association. Brooks serves as chief of the Preservation Department for Stanford University Libraries. The NACP, which meets annually, is composed of representatives from 22 library, academic, governmental and scholarly organizations concerned with preservation and access issues.

Multi-University Cooperative Plans for Small-Scale Mass Deacidification

The Committee for Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Libraries are positioning themselves to begin mass deacidification on a small scale as soon as it can be done responsibly. Following two initial tests of the process, a third test run is now underway. At a meeting in late June, all 13 CIC Libraries decided to send materials to the mass deacidification facilities for this test run. Each participating library will experience first-hand the organizational issues of mass deacidification, including selection of materials, in-house staffing and procedural issues, quality control work, and marking or recording treatment.

All known mass deacidification vendors were invited to conduct the test runs, with two choosing to participate. A total of approximately 1,700 items will be deacidified with the completion of the three test runs. Before the end of the year, the CIC Task Force on Mass Deacidification plans to issue a document reporting on its activities and making recommendations.

The CIC is an academic consortium of major midwestern research universities, including the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of iowa, Indiana University, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For further information, contact Sue Nutty, CIC Mass Deacidification Coordinator, at (708) 467-1379.

We have preserved the Book and the Book has preserved us.

David Ben-Gurion

August 1991 Summer Housecleaning Yields Free Articles, Reports

While cleaning its shelves to make room for new publications, the Commission recently discovered some “oldies but goodies.” The following articles and reports are available free, while supplies last, in single or multiple copies. Send your request to Trish Cece, Communications Assistant.

“American National Standard for Information Sciences–Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials,” 1985. From the National Information Standards Organization: Camera-ready copies in various sizes of the “infinity” symbol used to designate use of permanent paper for printed library materials. Also, guidance on how publishers can comply with the standard and how they can place the statement and infinity symbol in their publications.

” Brittle Books and Journals,” by Philip H. Abelson (editorial), Science, October 30, 1987.

Our Memory at Risk: Preserving New York’s Unique Research Resources–A Report and Recommendations to the Citizens of New York by the New York Document Conservation Advisory Council, 1988.

“Publications on Permanent Paper,” a campus memo from Philip Leinbach (Director, Tulane University Libraries).

Reprint from Research Update, Winter 1990, “Preserving Our Intellectual Record: An Exercise in Mutability,” by Tina L. Creguer. Published by University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, Ml.

” RLG Contributes to National Preservation Effort,” The Research Libraries Group News, Issue No. 20, Fall 1989.

“Strathmore Paper Report–Archival Paper Research,” published by the Strathmore Paper Company, 1990. Discusses art conservation, archivability and acid paper.

National Conference on the Development of Statewide Preservation Programs – Report of a Conference held March 1-3, 1989. in Washington. D.C. has been 3 distributed by the Commission to its sponsors, state library and archives agencies, and others on the mailing list. Remaining copies are available, while supplies last, for $15.00 (U.S. funds required) from the Commission. Send checks made payable to the Commission on Preservation and Access” to Trish Cece, Communications Assistant. The publication has been submitted to ERIC, the Educational Resources Information Center.

I, “Stability, Care and Handling of Microforms, Magnetic Media and Optical Disks” by William Saffady (Library Technology Reports, V.27, n. 1, January-February 1991) addresses the materials sciences aspects of nonprint media. and is of interest from both technical and practical aspects. according to Alan Calmes, a member of the Commission’s National Advisory Council on Preservation. The report also serves as a bibliographical essay on a wide variety of up-to-date references regarding the materials, systems, uses. and expectations of each medium. Library Technology Reports is published by the American Library Association. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Single issues. when available, are $45.00 each ($30.00 to current subscribers).

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–President
Maxine K. Sitts–Program Officer, Editor
Pamela D. Block–Administrative Assistant Patricia Cece–Communications Assistant

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