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Re: [BKARTS] Looking for a "low-brow" archival tape? Casting?

In response to Mr. Wiens

> Recent Developments in the Conservation of Parchment Manuscripts
> http://aic.stanford.edu/conspec/bpg/annual/v15/bp15-14.html

I think it needs to be stated that paper and parchment are two very
different substances, with very different approaches to their respective

> Casting is an exotic process that seems to be used when non original
> are not desirable on the repaired page and also when parts of the page
> missing or there are holes. I had in mind using a US$1000 optical
> microscope and a US$200 syringe injection machine some of which it
> is equipment that some conservationists already own.

Casting is not really all that exotic.  However, it does need skill and
experience in being able to recognize and/or anticipate many variables
that come up in the course of a treatment on something as non-homogenous
as a work of art or a bound object.  Additionally, casting requires much
more equipment (such as some form of suction device, preparation
material for creating casting pulp, pulp fiber.) than a microscope, etc.
With that in mind, there is a 'syringe injection machine' which
Conservators use, far below $200.00. It is called an 'eye dropper'.
Casting is also not suitable for many types of paper, especially heavily
loaded, calendered ones often found in children's books.

Advanced techniques are known and have been used.  There will, of
course, always be treatments that make the headlines, where for instance
individual paper fibers can be used to 'suture' a tear by laying them
across the gap, or fibers from either side of the tear are teased out
and rejoined with adhesive, but for the vast majority of countless torn
objects in museums, libraries, archives and private collections this
approach is certainly not feasible, which is why good old tissue mends
are the way to go.  Other contributors to this list are certainly
correct when they say that when properly done, repairs are neither ugly
nor huge, and are certainly cost-efficient.  

There is undoubtedly room in the conservation fields for technological
innovation, but because we make up such a small market to spur on
research and development, there is often little financial incentive from
investors, universities and businesses.  Instead, conservators stick to
tried and true methods that represent a good balance between cost,
effectiveness, ease, and ethics.

Douglas Sanders
Indiana Historical Society

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