Interns: Chetna, Subhashini, Keerat and Lovely
We have been spending time learning various methods and techniques related to archival conservation in the past few days. Lab work related to archives can be very technical and precise, and requires considerable practice and hands on training.
We spent most part of the day practicing the process of archival conservation which includes:-
The procedure begins with the photo documentation of the maps, covering each and every flaw for close assessment and analysis.
Next, we do the dry cleaning with the help of eraser crumbs which reduces dust/dirt present on the map.
The changed colour of the eraser crumbs shows that the dust present on the document has been removed.
Then, we do the tear mending of the map carefully with the tools and materials required, to prevent from the further damage.
Finally, we put the weights (self-made) over the mended areas and leave them to dry.
While at it, we came across certain essential things that one must keep in mind. They would be :-
- Gentle handling of the document
- Awareness of the use and nature of tools involved
- Making and Usage of the adhesive in the right amount
- Judgement of the areas to be treated
- Selection of the right mending/backing material
- Aqueous cleaning of the document
- Flattening of the document post treatment
Even though the treatment involved in the process is reversible, we proceeded slowly with great precision.
The documents that we worked on were a type of white print, a technique involving a light sensitive material like diazonium salt and azo dye, which was replaced by xerographic machines in the early 2000’s and is rarely practiced in the modern world.