If scrapbooks are an important component of your collection and you’d like to learn more about their preservation, consider the NC Preservation Consortium’s workshops. An upcoming scrapbook workshop is on July 25th at Elon University and though registration is currently full, NCPC promises to schedule more on this needed topic. If you are not able to attend, online learning can offer some guidance. The American Library Association recently sponsored a free webinar on scrapbook preservation during 2014’s Preservation Week. You can access the recording here. Melissa Tedone, Conservator at Iowa State University Library, shared several helpful tips, including:
- Staples should be removed if possible when they are showing signs of corrosion/ rust. If they have been holding other items in place on a page, a loop of linen thread can replace their function safely.
- To help preserve acidic papers, whether newsclippings or scrapbook pages, now crumbling, interleave with acid-free, lignin-free bond paper, such as permalife. Lace or post bindings may need to be loosened before interleaving, as the additional paper will add bulk and stress a tight binding.
- “Magnetic” pages, popular in the 1970s, pose particular problems as a result of the material compositions of both the adhesive and the plastic film covering sheets. The plastic can be removed and replaced by interleaving with permalife sheets.
- If disassembling the album appears to be the best solution, thin metal spatulas can help pry photos off deteriorating adhesives. Waxed dental floss, used in a sawing motion, has also been effective for removing adhered items.
In addition to these kinds of preservation tips, NCPC workshops promise much more. Exhibition techniques, numbering methods, physical access measures, and best cataloging practices are a few of the areas workshop participants will be able to explore. Contact Executive Director, Robert James, if you would be interested in attending a future workshop on this topic.