Posted by: kbenoy | October 10, 2012

Reynolds – Articles of Partnership: Conservation #1

While sorting through the 16 boxes of what has become known as the ‘Mouldy Mander’ records I came across an item titled ‘Articles of Partnership between Messrs Reynolds trading as R Chambers & Co’ dated 15th June 1883. It looked important but was in a very delicate state due to being stored in damp conditions earlier in its life.

Articles of Partnership folded before any conservation work

I gave the item to Jon Everall, Conservator at Wolverhampton City Archives to see what he could do to make it more stable. He started by carefully unfolding the item and found that the paper was badly denatured leaving it very soft and fluffy.

The unfolded document tied with green tape

Once the item had been unfolded, Jon found that it comprised of a sheet around A3 size per side that was bound using green tape along the left edge.

Removing the green tape

He carefully removed the green tape as this was preventing the pages being opened and causing damage due to the denaturing of the paper. Once the tape had been removed, Jon started to work through the document, carefully separating the pages.

I photographed each page as it was separated to keep a record of the page order.

Once the pages had been completely separated, Jon realigned as many of the damaged parts as possible to make the sheets more complete. This left the document ready for the next stage of conservation, sizing with gelatine, which I will tell you about next week.

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