January 31st

Today I finally finished the C.C. Cody envelope! I learned so much with this project and did so many things that I hadn’t done. It ended up looking quite nice – come by Special Collections and take a look!

I am also working again on the Megaphone newsprint from the 1920s. Every time I come in the door here I put one of the pages in the distilled water bath and let it relax for the duration of my time that day. This is what’s in the bath today:

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It looks very yellow in the water but after it has dried, it will lighten up considerably.

I am working on the other piece that I dried – it split right down the middle so I did a mend on it today. Here is the current state.

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Now to do the last thing I do every day – take the paper out of the bath and let it dry! See you next time.

January 17th

Back again working on the 1927 Megaphone, a Southwestern University student periodical. This particular issue is of interest to us because it is about The Legend of the Bell and surrounding events. If you would like more information about this, you should come by Special Collections and read about it and view this Megaphone!

Anyway, it’s more “baths” in distilled water for this newsprint, making the fibers swell up and the document stronger once it has dried again. Here is the front page in the bath.

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I am also working today on the C.C. Cody envelope – and I’m very close to being finished. There is a spot that didn’t adhere well and then one last tiny mend and I will be done with the mending part. So with just a little clean up and trimming, this envelope should be finished next time I’m here!

I’m still working on the Geography volumes – and it looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me with this next foldout. It has many tears and cracks, especially around the edges. Here is a picture before I start work on it.

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Today I gave this foldout a thorough look-over, which I think is a good idea when you’re starting a new project. It’s easy just to jump in, after you’ve pressed it flat, and begin making mends, but it really helps to take stock of what types of mends you have and to think about in what order to make them. For example, you could discover that if you make one particular mend first, that it would help align other mends. And alignment is, as you can imagine, VERY important.

That’s all for today – see you next week!

January 10th, 2014!

Happy New Year!

I unveiled some of my work from the last time I was here – more mending on the C.C. Cody envelope. This project has been such good experience – I’ve learned what it would entail to mend a semi-complete piece of paper and what hurdles one might encounter, such as the challenge of making sure the mend that you do between two sections allows the rest of the paper to lie flat. So many things that you should pay attention to! I only have a few more tiny mends to do on this envelope that I found by holding the paper up to a light, but here is a picture of it as it is now.

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I am also working on a Southwestern University publication called the Sou’wester. I have two oversized pieces of newsprint, which we decided to cut down the center to make washing and mending easier. Here it is in it’s original state.

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As I said, I cut the large newsprint sheets down the middle, after measuring carefully to find the center, as the old center crease was not a good guide. I am now beginning the process of washing them (putting them in a bath of distilled water) and then letting them sit for a while so that the fibers plump up, which will help with the strength of the paper when it is dried. Here is a photo of it in the bath.

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I then carefully extracted the newsprint from the bath, and placed between two, untreated pieces of board, then two pieces of blotting paper, and then put another piece of board on top and then weighted the whole thing. The result should be a stronger, much flatter piece of newsprint, ready for mending!

One more thing I need to do hopefully before I leave is to make a mylar envelope to keep the pages I am working on clean and in a safe place.