Monday, July 23, 2012

Qualifications of a Siberian Haridresser

This pamphlet was on exhibit for way too long.  Even with UV filtered light in the exhibit cases, paper documents can get bleached.  By "bleaching", I mean the yellowing apparent on the blank margin of the paper.  The white-ish stripe in the first printed column is where the Mylar strap held the pamphlet open and protected the paper from the light.  Not all of the items in the exhibit show this level of damage, so I'll be reviewing the lighting and other exhibit conditions that could be affecting this particular piece. 

Exhibits can be tricky.  They're a wonderful opportunity to showcase your collections, bringing out items that the average visitor to your institution may not know about and yet you are exposing your collections to potential damage that you may not be aware of until too late.

Friday, July 6, 2012

More Tape Progress

Another week, another Randolph letter, and yet another type of tape.  Again, I started my testing protocol, but this time, I decided to take a picture of the tape residue with my cell phone, and keep the image handy while I tested.

I often track my progress by stopping the application of solvent and lifting the piece to check for residue on the chromatography paper.  The process can be a little clumsy if you have a large piece of paper (although in this case I don't), but what can be really tricky is noticing progress, especially if the adhesive residue doesn't stain the chromatography paper.  I find myself wondering "is this acetone doing anything?"

But having this "before" picture right next to the actual piece I can look back and forth and and notice very quickly even minimal change in the adhesive residue on the letter.  Very cool.