Guild of Book Workers Newsletter
Number 98
February 1995

Member News

SUSAN K. ANDERSON has been appointed Archivist of the Pennsylvania Hospital Historic Library, Archives, Artifacts Collection, Paintings Collection and the Pennsylvania Hospital portion of the Nursing Museum. Susan has worked as Conservator of the Historic Library in Philadelphia for several years. She is currently enrolled in the Library School of Drexel University.

LOUISE KUFLIK and William Colantuono were married in a quiet ceremony in Kingston, N.Y. on December 27.

We report with regret that on the way home to Austin, Texas after the Dallas Standards Seminar, the car in which PRISCILLA SPITLER and MARY-MARGARET GALLAWAY were traveling was rear-ended by a drunken driver on the Interstate. Both women suffered various injuries, including ones to their right hands. Priscilla reports that, after operations to remove glass fragments from her hand, she is healing and back at work. Mary-Margaret's thumb was crushed in the accident and will require further surgery, with an uncertain outcome. The car was totaled, but, Priscilla reports, all the equipment and materials they had bought at the Dallas meeting came through unscathed. She also reports that the immediate response of other motorists at the scene resulted in the apprehension of the driver at fault, who had taken off after the accident.

GARY and CECELIA FROST have bought a ranch in Utopia, Texas which they have named the Cele Ranch. There they have set up the Dry Frio Bindery, making, among other unusual items, `canoe journals' using waterproof Tyvek for the covers. Gary now wears three hats: he continues part-time at BookLab, in Austin, and teaching in the Library School of the University of Texas at Austin.

KATHLEEN ORLENKO returned in August to St. Herman's Theological Seminary in Kodiak, Alaska to continue disaster recovery, with Debra Fox and Olga Verhouvskoy Dunlop, of a water-damaged historical collection. The collection, which is owned by the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska, consists of material reflecting the cultural and religious life of Russian Alaska from the 18th to the 20th century. The initial effort to thaw, separate and dry 52 cartons of frozen material was carried out in August of 1993. Kathleen, Olga, and Debra remain as consultants for the continuing care and development of this collection.

MARY LYNN RITZENTHALER is the first recipient of the SAA 1994 Preservation Publication Award for her publication, Preserving Archives and Manuscript Conservation (a revision of her 1983 manual Archives and Manuscripts: Conservation).

LAURA WAIT and DANIEL STROHMEIER have been awarded a master/apprentice grant from the Colorado Arts Council. Daniel will study fine binding with Laura, beginning in the Spring.

Members whose work is currently, or soon to be, on exhibition: SÜN EVRARD's work will be at the Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris May 4-28, 1995. PETER KOCH, Printer, has a joint show at the New York Public Library and the San Francisco Public Library January 21 to March 8. JANE W. PEARCE's collection of designer bindings and artists books will be on view at the Wells College Book Arts Center symposium in May. ROBBIN AMI SILVERBERG's exhibition, Dobbin Books, will open February 10 at Mills College, Oakland, CA. LOUISE GENEST's exhibition, "Reliures d'art et miniatures" opens January 18 at La Galerie des Metiers d'Art in Montreal.It runs to March 3. (Details of the preceding in the "Calendar").

ELEANORE RAMSEY and PAULA GOURLEY will give the Goudy Lectures at Scripps College in Claremont, California, as well as workshops in conjunction with the lectures. Eleanore will speak in January and Paula in February.

In San Francisco, Cable 54 "City Watch" program, "At the Public Library", showed a video in December of members DOMINIC RILEY and JOHN DEMERRITT, along with Andrea Grimes, Special Collections Librarian of the SFPL, showing and discussing the books in the exhibition of the Hand Bookbinders of California which were on view at the Library. They are now at Scripps College.


George M. Cunha, internationally respected expert in the conservation and preservation of books and paper, died November 29, 1994 in Lexington, Kentucky, his home since 1980. He was 82.

George Cunha was the founding spirit behind Northeast Document Conservation Center and a member of the Guild of Book Workers since 1963. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island and was a long-time resident of Topsfield, Massachusetts. He and his late wife, Dorothy Grant Cunha, moved to Kentucky in 1980. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the United States Naval War College, he became chief conservator at the Boston Athenaeum in 1963.

He co-founded the New England Document Conservation Center in 1973, which, at that time, was formed to care for the problems of the six New England states. It soon expanded to take clients from Mid-Atlantic states as well. Since then, the center has served about 2,000 other nonprofit institutions by providing laboratory services like bookbinding, paper conservation, stabilizing old posters and microfilming brittle objects.

Mr. Cunha was well-known for his expertise in the preservation of historical materials, teaching and serving as a consultant across the United States and abroad. He was the mentor of hundreds of students and professionals, who in turn set up their own programs.

He is survived by two sons, James H. of Lexington, and George Jr. of San Diego; a brother, Robert M. of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; a sister, Constance C. Foley of McLean, Va.; 14 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great- grandchildren.

Members of the family of George M. Cunha have asked for a fund to be set up in his memory to support the training of beginning conservators at Northeast Document Conservation Center. Contributions may be made to the George M. Cunha Scholarship Fund for Book & Paper Conservation. Checks should be made payable to NEDCC and mailed to: Northeast Document Conservation Center, The George M. Cunha Scholarship Fund for Book & Paper Conservation,100 Brickstone Square, Andover, MA 01810, (508/470-1010).

(With thanks for this information to the Abbey Newsletter and The New York Times - and Judy Reed, New York Botanical Garden Library.)