Filed under: Book Conservation | Tags: 1885, art, blogging, book conservation, hope, jim downey, Legacy Bookbindery, Marshall Missouri, paper, washing
As part of this project I wrote about last week, I have a number of letters which needed to be cleaned. So after testing them for water-stability (of the ink), I sandwiched the individual sheets in an open weave polyester fabric and immersed them in distilled water to literally wash them. Here’s the “before” pic:
And here’s 30 minutes later, after some mild massaging and shifting around the stacks to get good water flow over them:
Notice how much crud has already been released from the sheets after just that short period of time, as can be seen from the color of the water.
I’ll massage the sheets some more in the morning, then change the water and repeat the process for another day or so. If the water is looking OK 24 hours after that, I’ll take out the supported sheets and let them dry. If it is still dark, then I’ll repeat the process again (and again after that, if necessary … distilled water is cheap). The goal is to remove as much of the crud as possible in this gentle way — remember, paper is born in water, and doesn’t mind getting wet again, so long as you do it correctly.
Just thought I’d share that.
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