April 11th

Today I’ve been given several new projects head of Special Collections, Kathryn Stallard! She gave me a poster to flatten and mend and a stack of signatures, ready to be bound into a book! I haven’t bound a book from start to finish in quite a while, but I have lots of books and papers from my class with Pricilla Spitler, so I’ll just see how it goes. Here is a pic of the stack in question!

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But first things first – I’ve tucked the poster into a humidity chamber and hope that it will be in there long enough today for me to press it. Ours is a makeshift chamber consisting of two trashcans and a trash bag. The larger trashcan has room-temperature distilled water in the bottom of it, and the poster is placed in the smaller trashcan, which is placed inside the larger trashcan. It’s covered with a trash bag to seal it and left for many hours. The humidity in the air from the standing, room-temp water is enough to slightly dampen – or humidify – the paper, hopefully enough to relax it from it’s tightly curled position, after which I will press and dry it between some spun polyester and blotting paper. The spun polyester is important in this case, because not knowing how this poster was made or what coatings might be on the surface, you wouldn’t want to risk it sticking or drying to the blotting paper, and the spun polyester would prevent it from doing so. My only concern is that the poster won’t be in the humidity chamber for long enough. If this is the case, I’ll have to change up some of my hours but we will see how things turn out today.

Now that I have the poster in the humidity chamber, I can return to working on my other, long-term projects. I unveiled some of my mends I did on the 1920s Megaphone, and they look pretty good! A side note about unveiling mends – should you be gentile and careful removing the spun polyester from the mends – they *will* stick a small bit sometimes, and so a gentile prod with a spatula will help them release. Here is a picture of one of the mends up close. You can see the tag of Japanese tissue – this will be trimmed off.

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I also did a mend on a page from the geography books. The page looks like this:

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Very brittle and damaged, as you can see. I decided to stabilize the edge of the page first – in the next photo, you can see that I’ve placed a piece of the mending tissue over the crumbling edge, and it is wet with wheat paste. I’ve left a lot of the mending tissue on the right so that it can serve as the edge of the page.

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Now it’s time to clean up! See you next time!

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