Title: News from the Preservation Office
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00083040/00006
 Material Information
Title: News from the Preservation Office
Physical Description: Book
Creator: University of Florida Libraries. Preservation Office.
Publisher: University of Florida Libraries
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00083040
Volume ID: VID00006
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

The Fly Does Fax
My mother was fond of singing a humorous jingle around Christmas
time. "If It Don't Snow on Christmas, How's Santa Gonna Land His
Sleigh?" The jingle skipped along so I could hear the sleigh bells ring-
ing. I never thought of the poor children of Florida who, until the win-
ter of 1989-90, never saw snow and ice in quantities laid down deep and
wide enough to drive a sleigh. The question is especially pertinent in
our modem age. How does the superhero get around while managing
an increasing workload?

Today, technology aids the superhero and allows even us to do things
we never dreamed of doing yesterday. In the 1940's, a superhero
known as the Fly flew from and fell back into obscurity almost over
night. He wasn't much of a superhero. Scaling tall buildings, bound
over bound, hand over foot, was outmoded with Superman's single
bound. Back then, comic books and feature films were state of the art in
superhero transportation. Recent revival of superheroes in these art
forms is testament to their glory and power; but any fly can tell you that
revival and "image permanence" are not immortality. Comic books are
printed on paper that lasts just slightly longer than newsprint. Motion
picture film becomes embrittled and has the life expectancy of the aver-
age human being. The Fly sought new technology; and today, the Fly
does Fax.

The idea of doing Fax came from an episode of Star Trek. The ability to
"beam" oneself across the universe has clear advantages. Faxing allows
the modern superhero and office worker to beam a message from one
continued on next page f

end of the world to another via telephone lines and satellite stations.
...But, Fax has its disadvantages: it's cursed by the Jupiter Mob which
steals pictorial images. Under great conditions, Fax paper has a life span
of about five years. It should never be maintained in permanent collec-
tions, but rather should be preservation photocopied. Richard Frieder,
Preservation Librarian at Northwestern University, in The Lantern's Core
(March 1990, p. 3), reports the following life-extending measures:

* Store papers in a cool place away from excess light, humidity, and
heat. (Fax papers are produced thermally. Light and heat cause
them to overdevelop).

* Do not use solvent-based adhesives or adhesive tape. (Use of these is
generally poor practice anyway, but on Fax papers they darken the
image as well as stain the paper.)

* Do not use solvent-based inks. (These darken the image too.)
If you are unsure whether an ink is solvent or water based, mark a
piece of scrap paper and apply a few drops of water. If the ink runs
or "bleeds", it is water based (and may be used on Fax papers).

N Do not touch the papers with sweaty or oily hands. (Oils and organ-
ic acids on the hands will darken the image over time.)

* Do not scratch, rub, erase on, or crease the papers. (Friction may
darken the image or result in loss of the coating in which the image is

Other thermal papers, such as those made by microform reader/printers,
should be treated in the same way.

A final word of caution: the Fly's revival using Fax was short-lived. For
more information on his tragic death at the hands of the Jupiter Mob, see
the movies, The Fly (the original) and The Fly II (the remake). Remember:
-Erich Kesse

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