Conservation and rehousing of a group of bound medical drawings
A large group of bound medical drawings, dating from the nineteenth century, had been accessed regularly as a reference tool. Poor storage and heavy handling had caused extensive damage and deterioration, and the collection required cleaning, repair and rehousing.
The assorted drawings had been bound into a large Victorian scrapbook, which had disintegrated with overuse. The papers were extremely dirty (as a result of housing on an open shelf), very acidic and discoloured with extensive edge damage and loss. As the papers were still regarded as an important reference tool, any treatment and rehousing had to allow for future handling and use.
The album was disbound, and the individual folios dry cleaned, humidified and washed to remove acidic discolouration. After control drying and flattening the damaged areas and losses were repaired and infilled using assorted toned repair papers and tissues.
To allow the fragile papers to be used, and in order to replicate the original bound format of the Victorian scrapbook, the drawings were rehoused into Melinex sleeves that were then post-bound into an album.