A couple months ago the lab received an oversized map from the Public Library’s collection. The map is from 1863 and depicts the businesses of downtown Cincinnati at the time. The Public Library would like to digitize the map, however when it arrived in the lab it had a variety of creases, stains and losses. It was also previously lined with cloth. Conservator, Ashleigh, and Sr. Conservation Tech, Catarina, began the work of removing the map from the prior cloth lining, washing the detached sections of the map to assist in removing the prior cloth lining adhesive, and locally humidifying and flattening the creases and distortions in the paper (caused when the map was previously lined).
Next up, lining the map with kozo fiber tissue and a mixture of wheat starch paste and methyl cellulose. For this, Ashleigh and Catarina created a make-shift light table, since the Lab’s was not large enough and began piecing the sections of the map back together. I couldn’t not document this climactic part of the treatment, so I went a little crazy, threw my go-to documentation equipment out the window (i.e. our Nikon DSLR), grabbed my iPhone and made a little video to illustrate the process. I hope you enjoy it!
*Please note, portions of this video have been sped up to shorten the length of the video…Ashleigh and Catarina work quickly, but not THAT quickly!
Jessica Ebert (UCL) – Conservation Technician