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Repairing a document

Here are the steps we go through when preserving documents that have been damaged.

  1. parchment 1This 16th century parchment deed has a large hole in it, probably caused by a rodent. If this hole is left untreated, the surrounding area could start tearing.
  2. repair 2A repair is carefully traced out on repair parchment.
  3. overlap 3The overlap of the repair is pared down until it is transparent and flexible.
  4. stuckdown 4The repair is stuck down with gelatine. The gelatine must be used at a temperature of 50 to 60 degrees. Too cold and it isn’t tacky enough, too hot and it will stain the parchment.
  5. weight 5The repair is left under a weight to ensure good adhesion.
  6. repair 6The repaired document, front…
  7. repair back 7…and back.