Category: Archival Conservation

Preservation of a scrapbook of important records

This blog post is about the conservation and preservation of a scrapbook/album with extremely important documents, pictures and maps, that was breaking into pieces because of ageing and brittleness. During initial observations it was found that it is extremely difficult…

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Conservation and Preservation of an archival scrapbook

An important record of an organization, in the form of a scrap book, was brought to our lab for treatment and preservation. The data was important and the originals need to be rescued from further deterioration. The pictures, maps and…

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Preservation of Archival scrapbook

A scrap book, which was extremely important for the archives, was brought to our lab for treatment and preservation. The data and photographs were important and these original records need to be rescued from further deterioration. The pictures, maps and…

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Life-size photograph from late nineteenth or early twentieth century

Condition Assessment and Treatment Record A Life -size photograph print that came for treatment to our lab could not be taken inside immediately at its arrival, as it had live termite all over it. All the life stages of a…

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Bookworms love spines of books and hate anoxic environment

Its our experience that insects that damage books are mainly attacking spine. This is because the spine receives liberal amount of adhesive while book making. After eradicating all the various stages of insects thriving in the books, book conservators repair…

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Aspergillus niger and Paper

Aspergillus niger is one of the most active cellulolytic fungi. The roll of drawings in the above picture is mainly infested by A. niger and Chaetomium sp. as identified from the cultures isolated from the deteriorating inner-side of the roll….

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Paper burnt or eaten?

  This black powdery sheet (!) is not burnt paper, but, paper eaten by fungus. Cellulolytic microorganisms are hiding nicely all around us and are much more destructively powerful than we can expect from the tiny spores. Storage enclosures that…

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Removing Foxing is doable, but needs thorough understanding and patience too…

In paper conservation literature, there are many ways and materials advised to be used to remove foxing or at least lighten its scars. Here i am not going to suggest what to use, but would like to mention the importance…

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Foxing

That peculiar smell/odor when some old books are opened, might at times be associated with mold and foxing. We come across books with foxing that may have very strong odor. All old books have vellichor, but some have stronger musty…

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BoPET: Mylar/Melinex/Hostaphan

All the conservation labs/workshops have mylar or melinex as the most commonly used material while treatment procedures as well as in packaging and safe storage or display etc. Such widely and frequently used material is known to all by these…

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Case study of conservation of a map

Info from the print Condition Assessment We received the map in a folded form. There was some adhesive residue visible on the outside. On opening of the very first fold we found that due to the application of some adhesive,…

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Paper and book conservation – Part 9

Finally, all the books that came to our lab have been restored and given a kind of new life. They are going back to the library tomorrow morning. Following is a re-sharing of a summary of all the conservation processes…

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Team working towards final steps of an intense task of books’ conservation

Team Heritage Preservation Atelier had a challenging task of conservation of a set of books that could not be digitized by a library because of the extremely brittle pages and stuck up and deteriorated condition. We started with making a…

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Studying Paper for presence of watermark and bluish tinge: Case of 150 years old drawing

The drawing under study is made in 1868 (as evident from the signature) and the watermark mentions the paper manufacturing year to be 1866. ‘Watermarks’ are markings put into paper during its production, by making thinner or thicker  layer of…

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Case of a 150 year old engineering drawing

June 26, 2018   By Manit When we first saw the drawing on site, it appeared to be in a fairly good condition. Once it arrived in our conservation lab and we started a thorough diagnosis, there were a lot…

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one little observation while studying old miniature paintings

At times we find old sticky tape which leaves almost no adhesive on paper and does not make the paper brittle; instead, it makes its own plastic base brittle. Is this because of the adhesive chemistry itself or because of…

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Paper paintings and mounting issues

  We have learned while specializing in the field of conservation of cultural property (more specifically art, in the present discussion), about the specific type of material that should be used while mounting a painting on paper. The technique also…

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Issues in old books and traditional re-binding

When the pages have turned very brittle and there are tears, lost areas and old repairs with incompatible and damaging materials, it is not that simple to mend and rebind a book with traditional sewing technique.   Some binding procedures…

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Sellotape: How it deteriorates and changes with time

What is sellotape?  Sellotape is basically a brand of transparent, polypropylene-based, pressure-sensitive tape. But, this term is also used for any such pressure sensitive tape of any brand. Sellotape is generally used for joining, sealing, attaching and mending. The older…

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Paper and book conservation – Part 8

Once the old damaged binding was opened and stuck up pages of the books (to be treated) were separated/opened-up and the torn pages mended, the information in the books was digitally preserved. This digitization process was done before re-binding because…

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Paper and book conservation – Part 6

Last week we were busy tending each and every folio of the highly damaged and acidic books that we are restoring these days. Following pictures of just one of the books might give an idea of the kind of work…

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Paper and book conservation – Part 2

Two major problems associated with old paper manufactured during mid nineteenth century onward are: Brittleness Yellowing or darkening Breaking of paper due to brittleness (loss of flexibility to bend without breaking) generally occurs in very old paper which was manufactured…

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Paper and book conservation- Part 1

To understand and master paper conservation, one must understand the composition and manufacturing of paper. The composition of paper and raw material in its making has varied since its invention in 105 AD in China. The timeline of paper manufacturing…

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Humidification to relax stiff old documents

Humidity relaxes the paper stiffness. This relaxation is important for flattening paper that is out of shape because of folds creases etc. But, there are some questions and doubts about humidifying in the right way: How to humidify without causing…

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We Preserve Tangible Heritage

  Stories of life live in the form of letters, documents and photographs even hundred years after the life leaves the mortal body!!

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