Posted by: kbenoy | September 28, 2011

Conservation of an Office Cash Book

This is a quick example of some of the conservation work that has begun to repair and stabilise records within the Smith, Son and Wilkie collection. This volume is an Office Cash Book used by Smith, Son and Wilkie between 1961-1966 and contains information on the spending of the accountants and money paid in by clients.

As you can see in the photo of the volume before it was repaired, it was in a fairly poor state when it was deposited with the archive. As I was cataloguing the volume I asked Jon the Conservator to take a look and recommend a suitable course of action to prevent any further damage occurring.

Office Cash Book D-SSW/1/3/6 before conservation

Jon found that the covers had come loose from the boards and the linen spine was torn and detached from the spine of the book. This damage was caused by the book being stored in a damp place. The damp had caused the paste used in the original construction of the volume to be dissolved.

Office Cash Book D-SSW/1/3/6 after conservation

To repair the volume Jon repasted the covers and end papers and he added additional end papers that were made to support a new spine. The new spine can be clearly seen on the photographs of this volume. Now it has been conserved and catalogued, this volume is ready for use by the public.

This is just one of the many items in the Smith, Son & Wilkie chartered accountants collection that requires conservation. The images below show a Ledger from the Furniture Dealers, Philips and Jones of Darlington Street, in a very sorry state after being stored in damp conditions.

We are thinking about doing a conservation video to show some of the work carried out through the project. Is this something you would be interested in seeing? We would like to hear your comments.



  1. I think a conservation video would be most helpful and interesting.
    Thanks for continuing your blog – I do enjoy reading it!

  2. Thanks Penny! I’m pleased you enjoy the blog and would be interested in a conservation video. Hopefully over the next few months we can identify some suitable items to conserve and make a start.

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