June 13th

Today I am mending a medium sized tear in a poster. It’s a sweet poster promoting libraries and books, printed and distributed by Library Binding Institue.

As you can see by the glare on the poster, this has a coating on it – maybe a clay coating – that dislikes water. But this poster came to me in a roll, and needed to be relaxed. I put it in a humidity chamber to relax it, and then pressed it dry. If you don’t know what the process is to humidify something, the following is a brief description of what I did. I had on hand two plastic trashcans – one much larger than the other. I nested the smaller trashcan into the larger, and then put room temperature water in the larger trashcan surrounding the smaller one. This smaller trashcan creates the space where any given item can go and be completely protected from the water. I then covered the whole thing with a few trash bags to make it mostly air tight, and secured it. I left the whole thing for the duration of my time here, which is usually around 3 hours. I repeated this process on two occasions, because it was still suspended in a rolled up position after I removed it from it’s first humidity chamber treatment, albeit a looser roll. After each humidity treatment, I pressed it to dry between blotting paper and spun polyester. It’s nice and flat now!

The tear (and now mend) is on the upper proper right, and the poster is very thick. I used a very thick Japanese tissue to mend it. It is important to use mending paper that is complimentary in weight to the paper you’re mending – too light a paper will just rip again, and too heavy a paper can cause the document to tear around the mend.

The second thing I am working on today is one of the Geography books with foldout maps. This particular one had an entire edge that was crumbling, so I made a mend of the entire side. Here’s what it looks like after it has dried.

The next step is to trim away some of the excess paper. And as you can see, other mends need to be made on this page – for instance the bottom of the page needs a similar treatment and then the cracks running along the places where the paper was folded.

Until next time!