Transference to other media

According to the degree of deterioration of the materials and their use, in addition to the repair of the materials themselves, they can also be digitized, microfilmed, copied, or replicated in other media for further use. In this case, it is best to protect the original material from chemical damage with a protective conservation treatment (such as deacidification and storage in a conservation container).
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Materials made fragile by mold damage
Creation of a simple replica
Digital medium

A photographic record of the item on microfilm.
To create a digital data record of an analog item.
To reproduce an item by creating a paper copy from microfilm or digital media.
To reproduce the original material.


Materials that are still too fragile to handle after conservation treatment can be sealed inside inert transparent polyester film sheets. This method chemically delays deterioration by protecting deacidified materials from oxygen. Additionally, it is also thought to be effective in protecting materials prone to reaction with alkali. Because the encapsulating envelope is transparent, the material can be viewed, exhibited and reproduced. Since the envelope is ultrasonically sealed along the edges only, the materials can be easily removed from the envelope if required.
The critical factor with encapsulation is the deacidification of acid paper. If this is not performed, acidic substances may continue to degrade the paper inside the film envelope causing more damage than if the materials had not been encapsulated. Documents that are weak against alkali and cannot be deacidified, such as cyanotype (blueprints), etc., are encapsulated along with nonbuffer paper, VOC (volatile organic compound)-absorption paper, or alkaline buffer paper, etc. These buffer papers are required to absorb the acidic substances that may be generated by the materials.
In addition, encapsulation is not recommended for the following materials: documents written in pastel or other powder-based materials; papers with fragile surfaces; materials, such as Ukiyoe woodblock prints, which have slightly embossed or raised areas.
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Ultrasonic sealing of the film envelope
After treatment
After treatment
Treatment of diazotype, cyanotype, etc.

Polyester film
Inert, deterioration-resistant polyester made into a transparent film.
Acid paper
Slightly acidic paper, sized or fixed with aluminum sulfate, rosin, etc., that causes deterioration.
Nonbuffer paper
Paper without acidity or alkalinity.
Alkaline buffer paper
Paper treated with an alkaline buffer.

Storage in a preservation container

Materials are stored in conservation containers made from alkaline buffer board (pH8.5 or lower). In cases where the materials are photographs, cyanotypes (blueprints), etc., that might react with alkali, or colored materials that are weak against alkali, the containers are made from nonbuffer paper that is not alkaline buffered. Depending on the condition, shape, and uses of the materials, the containers come in various shapes and sizes in different combinations of acid-absorption papers, humidity buffering paper and boards, etc. The storage of documents in conservation containers is also important, in order to protect the materials from potentially damaging changes in temperature and humidity, acid pollutants in the atmosphere, light, dust, etc., and also effective for physically protecting documents.
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A scroll is rolled around an alkaline or neutral paper core.
Books with fragile bindings can also be protected by placing them in a box.
Two-sided materials are placed between two boards with windows cut into them and fixed with thin paper.
After encapsulation, the materials can be stored in folders.

Humidity buffering paper/board
Paper or board with porous surface to slow down the effects of rapid changes in humidity in a closed environment.
Acid pollutant
Sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide particles in the atmosphere.

Preparing documentation

Records of the condition of the material before treatment and of the actual treatment process are very valuable in the long-term conservation of materials. A record of the processes necessary for the treatment of the materials, with photographs attached, is submitted as documentation.
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The record describes the material’s condition before treatment, and explains what treatments are necessary.
The documentation includes an overview of the treatment process with photographs.

 2001 Paper Documents Conservation Studio,Inc. All rights reserved.