Internship Experience – June post 1

Interns: Keerat, Chetna, Lovely, Subhashini and Manit

24 JUNE 2017

We are a group of youngsters (Chetna, Subhashini and Lovely) pursuing Masters in Conservation and Archaeology .We have come to beautiful cool city of Chandigarh to gain practical experience in Paper/Archival Conservation. We will be working on blueprints for next few days. Keerat and Manit (other two interns) had already prepared the condition assessment and done dry cleaning and flattening of the maps that we will start mending.

Today, we started our day with discussion on conservation on maps.  We will share on this blog an example of conservation of a blue print map in which we’ll be showing techniques, materials and methods for tear mending.
Firstly, we’ll give a little brief about blue- print maps.


Blue print maps

A blue print is a reproduction of a technical drawing or design using a contact print process on light sensitive sheets. The result is the copy of the original image with the clear background area rendered dark blue and the image reproduced as a white line.
John Herschel is the astronomer who introduced the process of blue prints in 1842.
Conservation of Blue Print

Steps involved in conservation procedure
* Initial Strengthening (if required)
* Cleaning
* Mending and/or Backing
* Preservation

First, we’ll be discussing the mending issues.

Tear Mending
with the due course of time the paper becomes weak and brittle because of oxidation and shortening of the cellulose fibres.

Note: The condition assessment including photo documentation was already done by the lab and was provided to us for reference. This helped us in the decision making purpose of mending. (It helped us in locating the tears of the map).

Materials Required


  • Distilled water/De-ionized water
  • Brushes
  • Gloves (cotton gloves )
  • Adhesive (CMC)
  • Beaker
  • Glass Rod
  • Glass slides/weights
  • Digital weighing machine
  • Ethanol
  • Polyester film
  • Spun polyester
  • Tweezers
  • Bone folder/Teflon Folder
  • Blotting Paper
  • Weights

STEP 1-We began our process by preparing adhesive CMC (Carboxymethylcellulose) and left it for15-20mins to dissolve completely.


STEP 2-We identified the tears in the blue print maps and started working on it.


STEP 3- We kept the map over the backlight table. Underneath the map Hollytex sheet and polyester film were placed.


STEP 4-We used Japanese tissue paper to begin the process of mending. With the help of wet brush we traced an area a little larger than the tear to be mended. Then we tear the Japanese paper with hand (we do not cut tissue with scissors so that we can have frayed grip on the edges).

STEP 5-We applied the adhesive on the Japanese tissue which is required to cover the torn portion.



STEP 6-After setting the tissue, bone folder is used to set the crease.


STEP 7- Then, immediately we place Hollytex over the tissue to prevent the sticking of blotting paper with map.



STEP 8-After this, blotter paper is placed over the Hollytex so that it absorbs the excess moisture.


STEP 9- Ultimately, glass slab and weights are placed over the mended portion to prevent waviness while drying.


STEP 10- Finally, The Map is ready for further treatment.



Author: namitajaspal
Namita Jaspal, with inherited skills of art and aesthetics and passion for science, opted to pursue post- graduation in ‘Conservation of Cultural Property’ after her graduation in Science from Delhi University in 1992. Four year intense training at National Museum Institute provided the right foundation to start a career in Conservation. She is currently practicing conservation consultancy for Heritage property including monuments and collections. She has been doing independent research in conservation techniques and procedures in Indian context. She is currently working on the conservation of wall-paintings of Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji (The Golden temple at Amritsar. The project is nearing completion and getting a lot of appreciation for the organized and ethical treatment it is providing. It is for the first time in the history of Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji (The Golden Temple) that wall painting conservation and preservation is being done in a scientific manner, keeping the codes of Ethics into consideration while decision making. Another project just completed is of the Conservation of Krishna Temple at Kishankot, Gurdaspur, Punjab. In her private Conservation Laboratory, she is not only providing onservation services, but also mentoring young aspiring conservators and archaeologists by the way of training and paid internships. She has been a guest lecturer at DIHRM (Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management). With all the updated knowledge database and innovative practical approaches relevant to the Indian conditions, she could successfully do curative and preservative treatment of very old textiles like a nine feet long flag from nineteenth century that is regarded as priceless memorabilia of second Dogra regiment at Chandi Mandir, and four hundred years old (seventeenth century) Chola Sahib Ji of Sixth Guru of Sikhs, Sri Hargobind Sahib Ji. Apart from this she has done conservation of Photograph collections, archival records, numerous paintings, manuscripts and other cultural objects. She is also involved in preparation of up-gradation proposals for museums and such organizations. Her expertise includes Conservation and preservation technologies and procedures for conservation of varied material like wall paintings, paper, photographs, textile, ceramics, stone, metal and archaeological objects.

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