CPA Newsletter #36, Jul 1991

Commission on Preservation and Access

The Commission on Preservation and Access

Newsletter

July 1991

Number 36

Guidelines for International Database Nearing Completion

Several nations cooperating to develop minimum data requirements for an international register of microform masters are close to reaching an agreement that will help assure broad access to preserved materials.

Collaboration on the requirements document has been steadily underway since a Commission-sponsored meeting in Zurich. Switzerland, May 13-16,1990. Meeting participants included representatives from the United States, Canada, Venezuela, United Kingdom, France, West Germany, East Germany. and Switzerland. (See the February 1990, June 1990 and July 1990 Newsletters for background information.)

Tom Delsey, Director of Policy and Planning, National Library of Canada, is coordinating the development of the document. “It is clear that we are close to reaching an agreement on the minimum data requirements,” he noted in a recent report to the Commission. Comments received on the second draft have been generally supportive. Participants are now considering proposed courses of action to deal with the remaining outstanding issues.

Commission Engages Margaret Child as Program Consultant for Non-Print Materials

As this newsletter was going to press, the Commission announced it had engaged Margaret Child, former Assistant Director for Research Services of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, as a part-time Program Consultant. Dr. Child will be working with the library and archival community to develop and coordinate collaborative programs for the preservation of non-print materials. More information on this initiative will be announced in future newsletters.

Giant Brittle Book Travels to Iowa

The Giant Brittle Book exhibit travelled to Des Moines, Iowa, June 6-10, where it was displayed by the State Historical Society of iowa at the 1991 Conference of the Congress of Historical Organizations.

Preservation Management Seminar Participants Selected

The College Libraries Committee’s education sub-group has selected 16 persons, including the winner of a Commission-sponsored scholarship, to attend the Preservation Management Seminar for College Librarians this month at Washington ; Lee University, Lexington, VA. The seminar, co-sponsored by SOLINET and the Commission, is geared for library staff with part-time preservation responsibilities. A primary goal is to help staff members develop the management skills and implement the activities that contribute to successful preservation programs. The Commission and SOLINET are sharing costs of design and first-time operation, with the expectation that the event may be repeated. The names of those selected are listed below.

Anne Armour. Head of Archives and Special Collections
Jessie Ball duPont Library, University of the South
David Kearley, University Librarian

Krista L. Armstrong, Assistant Librarian, Technical Services
Howe Library, Shenandoah University
Christopher A. Bean, Director of Library Services

Ruth Ash, Archivist
Memorial Library, Berry College
Ondina S. Gonzalez, Director of the Library

Art Bagley, Jr., General Librarian
Merl Kelce Library, University of Tampa
Lydia Acosta, Library Director

Robin Brabham, Special Collections Librarian
Atkins Library, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Raymond Frankle, Director of the Library

Margaret Clerkin, Bindery Supervisor
Starr Library, Middlebury College
Ronald E. Rucker, Library Director

Catherine L. Crohan, Assistant Librarian
Jerome Dawson Memorial Library, Siena College
Catherine E. Welsh, Library Director

Gail Garfinkle, Asst. Reference Librarian; Coordinator of Special Collections
Robert Scott Small Library, College of Charleston
David J. Cohen, Director of Libraries

Robert Garzillo, Technical Services Librarian
RISD Library, Rhode Island School of Design
Carol S. Terry, Director of Library Services

Jane A. Hedberg, Bibliographic Services Librarian
Margaret Clapp Library, Wellesley College
Micheline E. Jedrey, College Librarian

Vickie L. Kline, Head of Technical Services
Schmidt Library, York College of Pennsylvania
Susan M. Campbell, Library Director

Annette Morris, Collection Conservator
Edward Bennett Williams Library, Georgetown University Law Center
Robert L. Oakley, Director of the Law Library

Victoria Thomas Stanton, Head, Serials Department
Thomas G. Carpenter Library, University of North Florida
Andrew Farkas, Director of Libraries

Rebecca Stuhr-Rommereim, Preservation Officer
Burling Library, Grinnell College
Anne Kintner, Acting Librarian of the College

Michael Sutherland, Special Collections Librarian
Mary Norton Clapp Library, Occidental College
Jacquelyn M. Morris, College Librarian

Yolanda Warren, Reference Librarian and Assistant Professor
University Library, Washington & Lee University
Barbara J. Brown, University Librarian

excerpts from seminar applications

“This training will enable the UNF library to further develop preservation archives, and will provide insight into work on special collections, microfilming and stack maintenance. In addition, in three to five years, we will begin planning for an addition to our building, and issues of environmental control will have to be addressed in the planning process.”

Andrew Farkas
Director of Libraries
University of North Florida

“As you can tell, the Georgetown University Law Library is fully committed to its preservation program, and hopes to be a key library in the development of programs and policies for the preservation of legal materials.”

Robert L Oakley
Director of the Law Library
Georgetown University Law Center

“The content of the week-long seminar is ideally suited for Wellesley ‘s needs at this time. Though we have made progress in meeting our objectives regarding preservation, we are at a critical stage in development. The initial planning for the facility has highlighted the need for a comprehensive programmatic statement for preservation. I believe that the training Ms. Hedberg will receive will serve as a catalyst for our efforts by providing a framework for decision-making and policy-setting.”

Micheline E. Jedrey
College Librarian Wellesley College

Phase 6 Of ATLA Preservation Program to Begin This Month

This month the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) begins Phase 6 of its Monograph Preservation Program–the filming of embrittled monographs from the 19th and early 20th century that are denominationally specific. Phase 6 will continue for ten years.

ATLA’s goal is to document the 19th-century American religious experience and migration of religious ideas, thought, and culture from Europe, Africa and beyond. This will be accomplished by filming a wide range of materials produced by, on or about individual religious groups. A systematic approach will be used as particular topical areas are covered annually of each denomination. These include denominational histories, doctrines, liturgies, missions. religious education, hymnody, biographies, and popular religion and piety. ATLA will preserve not only the history of those religious bodies that have survived, but also the history, theology and mission of those groups that no longer exist.

Denominations to be filmed in Phase 6 (1991-92) include Methodists, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Quakers and Unitarians. For more information about Phase 6 call ATLA at (708) 869-7788.

Mass Deacidification Update International Developments

In a recent update to the Commission, Hans Rütimann, Program Officer for the International Project, reported some news about mass deacidification activities in France and Germany.

The Bibliothèque de France has signed a contract with USSI (Usine Speciale de Separation Isotopique) and the German chemical company Hoechst for the development and application of a treatment that promises the advantages of existing methods (short treatment period, closed process with no environmental damages, paper strengthening, etc.) with no disadvantages. More information is expected from the Bibliothèque de France and the Bibliothèque Nationale this month.

The Deutsche Bibliothek Deacidification Plant developed by Battelle in Frankfurt am Main was officially dedicated in the Fall of 1990, and further testing is currently underway. The plant’s concept is based on a nonaqueous MMC process, using magnesium-methylcarbonate or other organic alkaline magnesium compounds dissolved in a mixture of alcohols and CFCs. The main features of the concept are to close the solvent cycle, to stop the emission of CFC-solvents, to reduce the total treatment time per batch with respect to higher capacities and reduced treatment cost per book, and to make possible easy in-library operation. Further tests will be conducted–based on experiments elsewhere–to avoid damage to treated materials. Battelle has announced that the first German pilot plant will have an annual capacity of 80,000 to 250,000 books. The project is financed by the German Ministry of Research and Technology.

Cooperative Preservation Photocopying Project: A Case Study

The following report describes a cooperative preservation strategy developed by 41 law libraries to provide continuing access to a major reference tool in response to a lack of interest from the reprint publishing community. Their experience represents a creative alternative for re-issuing embrittled titles on acid-free paper. and provides some promise that the preservation market can become a more viable economic venture for publishers in the future.

In 1988 Georgetown University Law Library, together with more than 40 other law libraries nationwide, completed a cooperative preservation photocopying project. involving a 3 I-volume legal reference set They contracted with LBS Archival Products in Des Moines. Iowa. to disbind and reproduce the brittle volumes on acid-free paper and then bind the reproduction.

Initially, it was not the intention of Georgetown University Law Library to administer a large-scale cooperative preservation photocopying project. However, the library needed a serviceable copy of Federal Cases, 7789-1880, an important legal reference set….

Georgetown University Law Library owned two sets, but a detailed inventory showed that both were in poor condition. Some volumes were worse than others, but many of the bindings were becoming detached. The paper in most volumes was brittle or weak, so they could not easily be rebound or repaired. The set was available in microfiche through Law Library Microform Consortium, but Georgetown Law saw a need to have a hard copy edition of this reference set to meet the daily research needs of students and faculty.

Georgetown Law contacted several other major academic law libraries that acknowledged their Federal Cases volumes were also very deteriorated. We began discussing how we might persuade West Publishing Company, the original publisher, or some other reprinter to reprint the set. We also considered whether our respective libraries would be interested in having the set reproduced on acid-free paper by commercial high-speed photocopy methods. We wondered whether we could obtain a reduction in the price of preservation photocopying if we did several copies at once.

In answer to further inquiries, West Publishing Company stated that Federal Cases volumes were no longer available, and that they did not intend to print more. They had no objection to our finding another reprinter. We asked the major law reprinters if they could reprint, but found that for the most part they lacked interest. We were told it is not economical to reprint with a limited market of potential customers….

Because of its size, the project threatened to become a logistical nightmare; it did present a definite challenge. Archival Products had successfully completed a similar large-scale project involving the Florida Territorial Laws in which about 400,000 page-copies were made. The Federal Cases project, however, was even more massive. When completed, 1.8 million pages of Federal Cases had been photocopied….

The last reproduction set of Federal Cases was sold in 1990. Since that time an additional request has been received. As it is Archival Products’ policy to retain printing masters for all sets, they will be able to reproduce more sets. Considering the size of the job, it may be economical to wait until several requests are received and run them at the same time. In the meantime, Archival Products continues to improve their equipment, supplies and processes. Any librarian interested in obtaining a copy of Federal Cases may wish to contact LBS Archival Products directly at (800) 526-5640.

Excerpted with the permission of Linda Nainis from her article in Abbey Newsletter, April 1991 volume 15, pp. 26-28. Nainis was Assistant Law Librarian for Collection Management when she shepherded the reproduction project for Georgetown University Law Library, Washington D.C]

LC Moves Forward with Mass Deacidification Program

As reported in a recent issue of the LC Information Bulletin, the Library of Congress (LC) is moving ahead with plans to preserve its collections using commercially available mass deacidification technologies.

The program’s goal is to process one million books a year and extend the life of books at least threefold, from 300 to 500 years for new books, by neutralizing acid and by depositing an alkaline reserve (an acid neutralizer) to protect them from pollution. It will take 20 years to process the 14 million books in LC’s general and law collections and all incoming books. A panel of experts is evaluating proposals for a five-year contract.

In September 1990, LC issued a request for proposals for deacidification of its collections. The solicitation is performance-based, that is, the performance requirements are stated in terms of expected results. Proposals for various processes were received by LC in March and are under evaluation by a panel of experts including library administrators, conservators and scientists.

LC hopes to contract for mass deacidification services this summer. Assuming one year for the construction of the processing facilities, production-level deacidification of the LC’s collections will begin in 1992 and continue, under this five-year contract through 1997. This contract is for the deacidification of books only.

Harvard University Library Task Group Publishes Report

The Harvard University Library Task Group on Collection Preservation Priorities has published a 74-page report, Preserving Harvard’s Retrospective Collections (April 1991). The publication is the group’s first step towards the development and systemization of a comprehensive preservation program for Harvard’s library collections.

In the executive summary, the group states: ‘Harvard’s response must also be shaped by the preservation activities of others (and outside funding), as well as by our desire to contribute as significantly as possible to the national and international effort to preserve texts through microfilming.” Topics discussed include Selection for Preservation Action, Preservation Strategies and Preserving Access. The report concludes with a summary of recommendations, which is intended to suggest a direction and priorities for individual library directors, senior librarians and university officials.

The publication is available for $15.00 from the Harvard university Library Publications Office, 25 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.


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
Patricia Cece–Communications Assistant