Wednesday, 9 December 2009

It's a wrap

As Christmas is approaching, I thought I should get some present wrapping practice in at work. And before you protest and argue along the lines of "they pay these people good honest taxpayers' money to wrap their presents whilst they should be grafting", you will be relieved to hear that it was archival and all in the name of Chance. Way back in October, I posted a description of the Chance ledgers afflicted by red rot and gradually decaying. I mentioned that John Everall, the conservator at Wolverhampton Archives and Local Studies offered to spend a day showing us how to consolidate these ledgers and slow the effects of the decay down. Well that day was Monday and two of my colleagues and I met John at West Bromwich Town Hall, armed with brushes, newspaper and empty glass jars. John bought along a vat of pva glue and made a very watered down, milky version of the glue to paint on to the leather bindings of the ledgers. Between us we managed to paint all of the worst offenders by the afternoon, helped along by a cup of tea and one or two mini rolls (thanks Sarah!). I couldn't believe how quickly we got through them and they are now clean to the touch and shining like new (well almost). So a big thank you goes out to John for his expertise and Sarah and Keith for their painting skills.

Another big thank you goes to 'origami' Sophie who started to help me with the more fiddly task of wrapping the ledgers in acid free paper and tape. We wanted to wrap the ledgers in a way that enables them to be opened and read without having to remove the wrapping. This meant that we had many fiddly folds to make and as the books are so big the two of us had to wrap each book together to prevent causing any further damage to the books (and ourselves). We managed to wrap an entire shelf of books in the time we had yesterday. There are, however, another 32 shelves left to do so I think we will be wrapping for quite some time yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment