October 31st

So today I unveiled some mends I did last time I was here, and they looked good. I folded the map and went on to the next – there are a lot, to be sure! I spent some time going through another volume page by page, looking for what might have been tucked in. I found some hair and some long pieces of threads (which seemed to be very acidic) which I put in a small Mylar envelope to be kept with the book.

I took a picture of an illustration of a Hottentot woman in the Africa section of one of the volumes because of the sad story that we know of Sarah Baartman, aka the Hottentot Venus. Here it is:

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I came across a page that looks like a child got ahold of a pen and ink – isn’t that an age-old story! – but it looks to be older as I think it is oakgall ink.

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I also came across two notes to the binders of these volumes that were actually printed in the back of several of the books:

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And a little correction made by hand:

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Here is a picture of what I did today – a map that was obviously folded badly and for a very long time!

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October 10th

Today I continue making my way through all of the volumes, looking for any tucked in remnants of other folding maps. I also flattened this map – very deteriorated and brittle.

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Had a student wander in from the library – he saw the door open and wanted to know what the room he has seen closed so many times was all about. I talked to him a little about the tissue mend I was doing and he watched. He asked some questions too, about how to straighten pages and what tissue was used. It was a lot of fun – I love to talk to people about the what and why of preservation. I guess because it is so interesting to me that I think it might be interesting to others too.