May 2nd

Today I received an interesting project (I’ve got many irons in the fire nowadays!). It’s a copy of a register from Southwestern University from 1891-92. Bad thing is…someone decided to mend it with adhesive tape. I don’t know much about trying to get sticky tape off of very acidic, crumbling paper, so I’ve been reading about it most of the time today. I like this Wiki link. I decided to initially try my hand at getting it off without solvents – the stuff that will come off easily with the use of the microspatula. We don’t have any solvents on hand in the lab here, so before I try to see if we can order any, I want to see what I can do in the absence of chemicals. In the Wiki article, it suggests the use of a very thin bamboo spatula and says it does less damage to the paper than metal. I wish we had one of these. I have a friend who is a woodworker, so I may ask him how to acquire such a thing. Anyway, here is a pic of a badly-placed piece of tape – obscuring part of the title and decoration on the front. It is coming off but you must use a VERY delicate, slow hand.

Tape is evil. You can even buy a mug that says so here.
I am still working on my ongoing project of washing and mending the 1920s Megaphone. I realized that I didn’t keep track of which pages went together and in what order, and page numbers were practically unheard of in that time for newspapers, so this is a BIG ROOKIE MISTAKE! Luckily we have another copy of this exact periodical, so I will be able to put it back in order. Embarrassing but a very valuable lesson learned. This situation also stresses something I’ve learned – that is to take your time and think through your repairs as much as possible – BEFORE YOU START. There will be enough surprises without having to think “wait…what pan am I going to use…” or “how will I tell what order to put these pages in”.