Conservation and Preservation

“Foxing” is a generic term used to describe a range of deterioration mechanisms in paper and photographic documents – the thing they have in common is that they all tend to appear as small brown spots. Some “foxing” is almost certainly caused by the action of mould...

The facts about sticky tape: the types of adhesive and different techniques appropriate for different stages of degradation.

One of our most frequently asked conservations questions from members of the public is how we remove sticky tape from documents. Conservators use a number of methods to remove sticky tape and one of the most effective can be attempted at home. 

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Metal fasteners can be dangerous, and even a sheet of paper can produce a nasty wound. If you find yourself bleeding over your precious documents or family heirlooms, do not despair, speedy action will probably result in little or no permanent damage occurring.

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Glass plate negatives are extremely fragile and need to be handled very carefully. The glass is old and brittle and plates may have been cracked or broken and will sustain further damage if not treated with care.

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This advice is not intended for mould remediation after a large flood incident. We are focusing here on cleaning minor surface mould growth resulting from poor storage environments. Flood incidents have a range of complications that are not covered here.

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Before going into any detail about the salvage and handling of wet records the importance of relevant training cannot be stressed enough. Contact the government archives, libraries, museums or galleries in your State or Territory to find out what training might be available. The best...

The U-Splint book support (Splint) is a simple alternative being trialled at NSW State Archives to help minimize further damage and support the book structure without the need for costly treatment. The books can still be accessed and can be stored vertically.

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Conservation Q&A: Can you give info on removing chewing gum on reverse side of an important document? There is a small quantity of gum still in place – fairly fresh, a circle of about 1/2 inch. Some stain has bled thru to front. What is a safe...

Have a look at some of the challenges our conservators face in preserving archives and read some advice on how to protect your own records.

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When State archives that are damaged are requested by a reader, to view in the reading room, they are assessed and treated by State Records conservators. Damage may have been caused by poor storage practices, unfortunate disasters, or bad handling in the past. We refer to these archives as...

This 1862 petition was initiated in protest to the sentencing of William Spicer who was convicted for his involvement in rioting against the Chinese community at Lambing Flats gold fields in 1861. The individual collated sheets of signatures were pasted together, 2 abreast and then end...

Photographs have filtered into every aspect of our lives. There can be few people today who have not posed for a family snap shot or reminisced over holiday photos from years ago. The use of photography spans the recording of important moments in history to the more commonplace tasks of...

All handling causes damage – so handle Archives as little as possible. These tips are from our in-house manual handling procedures and guidelines that were prepared by our Senior Conservator.

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