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Subject: Identifying early 20th century map

Identifying early 20th century map

From: Evangelia Kyriazi <evangelia_kyriazi<-at->
Date: Monday, January 30, 2012
I am currently working on a map, most likely made in the early
1920s, paper on canvas, measuring approx 1x2m. The map depicts the
urban structure of the town of Mytilene, Greece and is drawn on a
scale 1:2000. This particular map seems to be the key that connects
the several hand-drawn town maps which were drawn on a scale 1:500.
For a more thorough view and description of one of the 1:500 maps of
this series please check


I am finding it difficult to identify how the 1:2000 map was created
and what materials and techniques were used to make it. The map is
drawn in reddish-orange, on a black background (cleaning with water
does not remove the black colour).  This means that although maps
are usually drawn in black ink on a white sheet of paper (such as
the 1:500 maps of the 1920s series), the 1920s 1:2000 map is the
exact opposite: the lines, letters, North Arrow etc, are in reddish
orange, and what should be a white background is actually black. It
gives the impression of a negative, without however being a negative
image, as all the words on it can perfectly be read.

Has anyone ever encountered such an object? Meaning, a map drawn in
red on a black background? Why would they make a map on a black
background? Could that be some kind of a reproduction technique? And
how was that done? What methods would you suggest for cleaning? Any
idea on what the reddish-orange substance used to draw its elements
is? Whom should I contact for further information? If anyone can
help, I would be more than happy to send close-ups by e-mail.

Evangelia Kyriazi
BA Hons Conservation and Restoration
MSc Geography and Applied Geoniformatics
Laboratory Associate of the Technological Institution of the Ionian
Department of Protection and Maintenance of Cultural Heritage

                  Conservation DistList Instance 25:37
                 Distributed: Sunday, February 12, 2012
                       Message Id: cdl-25-37-031
Received on Monday, 30 January, 2012

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