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The Repair or Restoration of Brittle Transparency Papers

Do you have brittle transparent papers in your collection that require conservation treatment?  Because of the way they were manufactured, the preservation of transparency papers usually poses specific challenges.  The fibers within the paper have typically been beaten to…


The Creation of Parchment and Vellum

I discovered this nicely produced video on the manufacture of parchment.  Parchment and vellum are paper’s predecessors.  After stone tablets, they were a much more portable mode to record the written word.  As you can see from this documentary,…


Conserving a Water Damaged Book

The following is a very interesting article from IIC regarding shipwrecked documents: “On 5th December 1940, the British India Steam Navigation Co. Ltd.’s SS Gairsoppa left from the port of Calcutta, India to sail toward Britain. The cargo ship…


Strands of George Washington’s Hair Found in Book

It was a hair-raising historical discovery. A shabby, leather-bound almanac from 1793 sat long forgotten on a shelf at Union College’s library in upstate Schenectady — until an ­archivist surveying some of the school’s collections plucked it from obscurity…


Conservation of the Executive Papers of Thomas Jefferson

The following is another interesting video created by the conservation staff at the Library of Virginia.  A collection of Thomas Jefferson’s executive papers had been laminated.  Many of the documents contained wax seals, which required special care.  The video…


Recovering Wet Photographs

When you are faced with disaster scenarios that threaten your book and paper-based collections, it is helpful to know how to respond and minimize the damage incurred to your precious artifacts.  The following is a primer I have put…


Epidemiological Concepts Applied to Cultural Heritage

http://www.getty.edu/conservation/publications_resources/pdf_publications/epidemiology.html In June 2015, the Getty Conservation Institute convened a meeting at the Rothschild Foundation at Windmill Hill Archive on the Waddesdon Manor and Estate in Aylesbury, UK, to explore the possibilities of adapting an epidemiological approach to cultural…


Removing the Backing Board From a Work of Art on Paper

Do you have a drawing, painting or print that has been adhered to matte board?  Over time, matte board and other backing boards can become acidic, and the adhesive used to marry the art and backing board together can…


Ink From Ancient Egyptian Papyri Contains Copper

Does your collection include papyrus artifacts?  Until recently, the inks used to write on ancient papyrus were assumed to be carbon-based.  Researchers have discovered that the inks in this papyrus manuscript actually contain copper, which will affect the methods…