July 1992 Issue 04
Interim meeting of the ICOM 'Graphic Documents' working group held at the V&A
The 3rd interim meeting of the 'Graphic Documents' working group was held at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The meeting was co-ordinated by Franpoise Flieder assisted by Gerhard Banik and organised in an excellent way by Elizabeth Martin. About 50 people attended the working sessions among them 11 members of the working group as it was constituted on the occasion of the 9th Triennial Meeting of the ICOM Committee for Conservation in Dresden 1990 (i.e. 36% of the group members).
Following the tradition of the previous interim meeting of the working group held in Vienna in 1989, guest participants from the conservation department of the hosting museum and other important institutions attended the working sessions. This was important to fruitful discussions and led to the establishment of new and closer professional contacts.
The interim meeting allowed the members of the working group 'Graphic Documents' to report on the progress of the objectives set in Dresden. Eight lectures were presented and a number of important visits were organised. Apart from the visit to the Conservation Department of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum, the participants had the opportunity to attend a guided tour through the new building of the British Library. Furthermore Sotheby's invited the participants to a reception on the evening of the first day.
The working sessions were opened by Mrs Elizabeth Esteve-Coll, Director of the V&A, who gave a spirited address in three languages. At the beginning Nicola Edwards Smith, Carol Barker and Alison Richmond reported on the problems and solutions related to framing, encapsulation and storage of oversize works of art on paper at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
The need for further research work in order to gain a greater insight into the developing technologies of mass preservation was discussed in two contributions. Floreal Daniel and Francoise Flieder gave an overview of the STEP programme on the effect of pollution on papers. The STEP programme is a three year European project which is carried out by research institutes in France, the Netherlands and Sweden. The French group is mainly involved in the study of the permanence of mass deacidffied papers exposed to the atmospheric pollutants. James Stroud presented a research proposal concerning the application of diethyl zinc (DEZ) for the deacidification of library and archival materials which will be realised using the existing pilot plant operated by Akzo Chemicals in Texas.
Judith Hofenk de Graff presented preliminary results of an important study on the influence of ethylene oxide and gamma-radiation on the ageing of paper which clearly shows the negative effects of gamma-radiation on the ageing characteristics of paper. Maria Teresa Tanasi gave a talk on recent research on suitable artificial ageing conditions and quality control tests for the evaluation of paper permanence.
Three contributions dealt with analytical investigations. Carme Sistach presented new results of her research on the composition of metallogallic inks, Patrick Ravines gave the results of his study of the behaviour of impregnation/ absorbtion of methyl cellulose on two modern papers and Gerhard Banik gave a talk on a lead white discolouration in a 16th century codex. The phenomenon was caused by the instability of orpiment being present in several illuminations but not in direct contact with the lead white.
The contributions presented during this informal meeting will not be published. The organisers produced a brochure of abstracts, which is available on request from Elizabeth Martin, Conservation Department of the V&A. The working group will meet for another interim meeting to be held at the Jewish National & University Library in Jerusalem from October 26th-31st 1992. The topic of this meeting will be related to parchment. For further information contact: Jurek Stan
kiewicz, Jewish National & University Library, Jerusalem 91-004, POB 504.