Books and Paper

This Section comprises the conservation of organic materials including paper, leather and parchment.

The range of artefacts is quite extensive, including objects such as printed and manuscript books, drawings, prints, watercolours, maps and plans, as well as three-dimensional objects such as globes, fans and papier mâché sculptures.

The studios are divided into two main areas. There is a separate wet area, where treatments such as washing, deacidification, mechanical infilling using leaf casting methods and dyeing are performed. This area contains four large stainless steel baths, deacidification apparatus and a fume cupboard that are shared with the Textiles Conservation Section. There is also a leaf-casting machine, macerator blender, and drying racks.

In the larger dry area, various conservation interventions such as paper repairs, lining, mounting and framing, bookbinding, parchment stretching and box-making are carried out. The studio is equipped with various standing, lying and finishing presses, sewing frames, a vacuum suction table, plan chests, light tables and large working surfaces.

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