Video: How to flatten paper

Two interns from University of Southern Maine and Montserrat College of Art working at the Maine Historical Society Research Library in Portland, Maine, demonstrate how to safely humidify and flatten rolled Coombs Brothers architectural drawings.

UPDATE

Comment from a paper conservator via Archives List:

The dusting off was a bit harsh for public viewing, though actually those starch cloth things are pretty tough. But still, it’s best to put your BEST and gentlest foot forward for the public. The dust was just going on the table; that’s ok. (We usually surface clean things on a “tray” made of craft paper folded up on three sides, and then we can throw it away or empty it out without having dust and crumbs going all over the table. We often surface clean with grated eraser crumbs rubbed across the paper, and they tend to get everywhere.) A bit more worrying was all the rust and crumbly green verdigris powder on the fasteners, and then on her hands, and the same surface cleaning brush, and all the pages as she was taking them apart. Abrasive!

So here are the bullet points of the main things I don’t like in the theory, setting aside the rough practice demonstrated there:

* Humidifying things while rolled up and vertical is dangerous because
o it can dent the “bottom” edge of the roll that’s in contact with the trash can
o any condensation buildup will form drops that will run down the surface of the paper – especially if hot water is used, as suggested
o the object might stick to itself while rolled
* Its very slow, which makes it impractical for a big collection

However, to be fair, the slowness of that method can be a good thing that prevents condensation. And those starch cloth things they were working with can be tricky, so whoever came up with that scheme may have had starch cloth’s characteristics particularly in mind. I think the interns were just doing and filming what they were taught to do without necessarily knowing the reasons for all of the steps. (Such as saying at the beginning, “Only drawings on linen should be humidified.”) Now back to the bullets.

* Humidifying by spraying with a standard plastic spray bottle is dangerous because:
o The water droplets are large, which can cause tide-lines, bleeding and uneven humidification
o It’s always best to humidify front and back evenly, but spraying only on the back doesn’t do that, and spraying on the front with such large water droplets defeats the purpose of using spray as a safer method
* Items shouldn’t be sprayed while lying on the blotters, because it dampens the blotters that need to be dry
* Items put between blotters should be weighted down by heavy boards or put in a press to avoid uneven expansion and contraction when drying, and to ensure that they dry flat (which the ones in the video were not)
* It’s preferable to have three layers of blotter between each layer of objects being flattened, to better absorb the moisture and prevent mold growth
* It’s also preferable to put the object between layers of nonwoven polyester (eg Hollytex, Reemay, or Bondina) to prevent the object from sticking to the blotter or the media from transferring to the blotter
* The objects should be left flattening for much more than 8 hours that they recommend, ideally 2-3 days or more to make sure they’re completely dry – otherwise they might get moldy in storage or they might revert to their previous wrinkles.

Archive (?) im Film: "Nachts im Museum 2"

“Der zweite Teil der Museums-Action greift auf altbewährte Muster zurück: Aufregende Erfahrungen sind Mangelware, seit der ehemalige Museums-Nachtwächter Larry (Ben Stiller) eine Laufbahn als Geschäftsführer eingeschlagen hat. Doch dann erreicht ihn ein Notruf seines Miniatur-Cowboy-Freundes Jedediah (Owen Wilson): Der soll, zusammen mit anderen lebendigen Ausstellungsstücken, ins Archiv eines Museums in Washington abgeschoben werden. ….”
Quelle:
http://www1.ndr.de/kultur/film/kino/neustarts766.html

Köln: THW-Kräfte aus dem Ortsverband Brilon bergen Urkunden

“20 Kräfte des Technischen Hilfswerks (THW) aus dem Sauerland haben tatkräftig bei der Bergung von Kulturgut im eingestürzten Stadtarchiv mitgeholfen.
Zusammen mit Mitarbeitern der Feuerwehr Köln haben Helferinnen und Helfer aus den Ortsverbänden Arnsberg, Soest, Brilon und Büren nach historischen Dokumenten gesucht.
52 Stufen einer Gerüsttreppe führen in die zehn Meter tiefe U-Bahn-Baugrube, in der die Helfer arbeiten. Über ihnen war früher die Severinstraße, bis das Archiv nach vorne kippte, Beton, Steine, Glas und Stahl die Straßendecke durchschlugen und hier unten landeten. Die Helfer berichteten »Die Trümmer, die wir gerade durchsuchen, waren einmal der vierte Stock des Stadtarchivs«.
»Wir holen alle Dokumente aus den Trümmern, die sich mit bloßen Händen bergen lassen«, erklärt der Zugführer. Wenn kein Papier mehr zu sehen ist, wird das Geröll mit einem Bagger abgetragen. Danach beginnt erneut die vorsichtige Suche per Hand. »Ich habe ein Schriftstück aus dem Schutt geholt, auf dem die Jahreszahl 1497 steht. Da empfindet man schon eine gewisse Ehrfurcht«, sagt ein Helfer. Archivare der Stadt Köln die hier unten einen ersten Blick auf die geretteten Papiere werfen. Die geretteten Urkunden packen die THW-Kräfte, die von ihren Arbeitgebern für den sechstägigen Einsatz freigestellt worden sind, in Pappkartons. Die werden in Müllcontainern gestapelt, die dann von einem Kran aus der Grube gehoben werden. Die Pappkisten werden mit Lastwagen zu mehreren städtischen Gebäuden gefahren, wo Mitarbeiter des Archivs die Papiere sichten und entscheiden, was mit ihnen geschehen soll. Die Arbeitsbilanz vor Ort kann sich sehen lassen: Insgesamt rund 300 Rollcontainer – jeder 1 m3 Volumen – randvoll mit in Kartons gesicherten Papierschnipseln, Bücherseiten, Urkunden und Dokumenten gefüllt, konnten von den Helfern geborgen und somit vor der unwiederbringlichen Vernichtung bewahrt werden. ….”
Quelle:
http://www.sauerland-nachrichten.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5151&Itemid=15

ECA 2010

Das Schweizerische Bundesarchiv organisiert zusammen mit der Europäischen Regionalvereinigung (EURBICA) und der Sektion der Berufsvereinigungen (SPA) des Internationalen Archivrats (ICA) die 8. Europäische Konferenz über digitale Archivierung, die vom 28. – 30. April 2010 in Genf durchgeführt wird. Auf der eigens eingerichteten Website

http://www.bar.admin.ch/eca2010/index.html?lang=de

steht seit einigen Tagen der “Call for Papers” zur Verfügung, der nähere Informationen zur thematischen Ausrichtung der Tagung umfasst, die sich grundsätzlich mit der “Stellung und Funktion öffentlicher und privater Archive in der Informationsgesellschaft” befassen wird. Vorschläge für Beiträge können bis zum 31.8.2009 eingereicht werden.

Via
http://weblog.histnet.ch/archives/2418

Der erste "Archivführer Kreis Steinfurt" wird am 25. Mai vorgestellt.

“Interesse für Lokal- und Regionalgeschichte? Der erste “Archivführer Kreis Steinfurt” wird am Montag, 25. Mai, um 15.30 Uhr im Kreishaus in Burgsteinfurt im Rahmen einer öffentlichen Ausstellungseröffnung erstmals präsentiert. Die Schau zeigt einige Seiten aus dem Archivführer auf großformatigen Ausdrucken.
Die 130-seitige Broschüre enthält viel Wissenswertes über die
Archivwelt der 24 Städte und Gemeinden des Kreises Steinfurt. So erfährt der Leser neben den Archivadressen, Ansprechpartnern und Öffnungszeiten der Archive auch sehr viel über deren Bestände, über Foto-, Karten- und Zeitungssammlungen. Eine kleine Literaturauswahl und Angaben zur Geschichte des Ortes runden das Bild zu jedem Ort ab. Die Bilderfülle macht neugierig und lässt erahnen, wie viele Schätze die Archive im Kreis Steinfurt zu bieten haben.
Am Montag wird der Archivführer kostenlos abgegeben, danach gibt es ihn gegen eine Schutzgebühr von einem Euro in allen Stadt- und Gemeindeverwaltungen und im Kreisarchiv. Dieses ist im Kreishaus, Tecklenburger Straße 10, Zimmer 86, untergebracht und unter Telefon 02551/69-2086 zu erreichen. “

Via Mailingliste “Westfälische Geschichte”

Nachtrag (26.05.2009):
Link zur 6,1 MB starken PDF-Datei:
http://www.kreis-steinfurt.de/C12573D40046BB0C/files/archivfuehrer.pdf/$file/archivfuehrer.pdf
Dank an Kollegin Langkamp für den Hinweis!

Enhancing the Debate on Open Access

http://www.internationalpublishers.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=96&Itemid=251

Enhancing the Debate on Open Access

A joint statement by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and the International Publishers Association

The debate about open access in scholarly communication is an important opportunity for the international library and publishing communities to explore how technology and new business models can resolve the challenge of growing scholarly publishing output which puts pressure on publisher prices and library resources. IFLA and IPA welcome the widespread attention this extremely important issue has received. The debate has, however, occasionally been harmed by unnecessary polarisations and sweeping generalised statements.

IFLA and IPA believe that the time is right for the debate to develop, as hypotheses and speculation can gradually be enhanced by case-by-case experience and empirical data. The debate should be conducted in an open-minded way, encouraging experimentation and arguments based on empirical facts and following the principles of academic discourse.

IFLA and IPA share a common set of basic understandings and believe that the observance of the shared ground as set out below would enhance the overall debate.

1. IFLA and IPA value the contribution to scholarly communication that publishers and libraries have made and believe that mutual respect is important to enhance the quality of the public discourse on open access.
2. IFLA and IPA recognise that the concerns of academic authors must be at the heart of this debate – their scientific freedom, and their needs as researchers, teachers, authors, reviewers and users are paramount.
3. IFLA and IPA acknowledge that the broadest possible access to scholarly communications is an important shared objective and that potential access to all research by all researchers, irrespective of geographical location or institutional affiliation is a shared aspiration of libraries and publishers.
4. All assumptions surrounding open access and scholarly communications should be open to scientific scrutiny and academic debate. All stakeholders are encouraged to innovate, experiment and explore the new opportunities that technology brings.
5. IFLA and IPA recognise that access must be sustainable, i.e. that economic long-term viability and long-term archiving are important elements of this debate.
6. IFLA and IPA agree that the debate is most effective if it recognises the potential diversity of scholarly communication in different academic disciplines and different types of publications, e.g, research journals, review journals, monographs, text books, etc. IFLA and IPA support a debate that avoids general conclusions for all scholarly communication but gives a closer, differentiated focus on the potentially very different framework in various academic disciplines and types of publications.
7. Equally, scholarly publishers and their specific roles and functions can vary greatly. Scholarly publishing includes publishers with a variety of commercial and non-commercial affiliations and interests, outside and within the research community.
8. IFLA and IPA believe publishers, librarians, government and funding agencies should at this stage support innovation, experimentation and pilot schemes on access to scholarly publications. Pilot schemes should be accompanied by vigorous research and analysis that enables evaluation against measurable targets, that reflect the chief concerns of academic authors (as set out in Point 2), as the basis for an enriched, fact-oriented debate. As part of investigating the feasibility of open access, studies should also explore such matters as impact, transparency and economic models. Data should be shared openly among stakeholders or disclosed to allow open scrutiny. The results from these studies should provide better insight into the processes surrounding open access.

H-Net needs money

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Wikipedia Licensing Update Vote

The licensing update poll has been tallied.

“Yes, I am in favor of this change” : 13242 (75.8%)
“No, I am opposed to this change” : 1829 (10.5%)
“I do not have an opinion on this change” : 2391 (13.7%)

Total ballots cast and certified: 17462

Additional information and background is available at:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Licensing_update/Result

The WMF Board has reacted positively to this result, though they have not yet made a final decision.