Chapter Fourteen


The Final Touch


Well, the job is done.

The item has been cleaned, stabilized, repaired and rehoused.

It has gone from this in 1913:

Photograph taken in 1913

To this in 2011:

Item before treatment

And this in 2012:

Item after treatment

The treatment that eventually unfolded was different to that which was proposed. This is often the case as the fragility and nature of the item becomes more apparent after thorough examination and documentation.

It is also the nature of the Conservation profession to seek to stabilize an item in its current form to enable the evidence of the item’s life to still be apparent to the viewer. We are not trying to take something back to “as new” condition.

The item has now been placed in cold storage (10oC) to slow down any inherent deterioration. It is being stored flat (not folded even though it is nearly 2.5m long) and horizontal in a thick acid-free folder so that it is fully supported all over, and the brittle paper does not have to support its own weight.

Our work will ensure that all Australians will be able to view and appreciate the item for decades to come.

November 2012

2 thoughts on “Chapter Fourteen

  1. Cheryl, congratulations. This has been an interesting and informative blog series and contributes to what the conservation world knows about preserving ferrogallic prints. I really enjoyed seeing the treatment unfold step-by-step.You must have spent hours both doing the treatment, and writing the blog.

    It’s only a shame that it wasn’t promoted more heavily on the front of the NAA website, as it certainly wasn’t obvious to me where to find the link to the Preservation blog. Those who are less internet-savvy would probably never find it! Likewise for those who don’t have or don’t subscribe to the NAA social media formats.

    I hope that if the blog continues it will be better promoted, as the Preservation team must do some interesting projects that would fascinate those not already in the profession (and even those of us who are)!

  2. Wonderful work and thank you so much for sharing.
    Maybe to promote this conservation blog would be to advertise somehow with or other organisations.

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