July 17th

Today has been a lot of fun – a student, Madeline, came by and I talked her ear off about paper mending, grain, wheat paste and PVA etc. It is so nice to share what I know about these things, especially to someone who shares my enthusiasm for “old stuff”. 🙂

Today I also unveiled a mend that had an issue. It can be tricky to

July 10th

Today I am trying to “relax” a panoramic 1939 class photo. It has been in a rolled state for probably many years and is very brittle. Here is what it looks like before any treatment.


It’s treatment will be successive humidity chamber sessions and I’ll post them as I go.

You also might notice the lighter colored spots on the outside of the picture – this is insect damage. The picture below is a closer look at the insect damage so many aging papers fall prey to. Cockroaches and silverfish are a few of the insects that munch on paper, and I suspect they got their fill with this one. Click here for a very thorough article from the Harry Ransom Center with more information about books, bugs, and how to deal with them.
I also did more work on the Megaphone. I employed a technique that I learned about while talking briefly to someone at the Harry Ransom Center book lab – I used small bits of tissue to anchor the paper to keep it in place while I did the actual mend. It can be a challenge to make a long, straight-ish mend and all the while keep the paper aligned, so this was a welcome stratagy. Here is a bit of the tear before mending with the temporary tissue in place.