Friday, 22 February 2013

Half way point for our interns!

Half way through! The past 5 weeks have simply flown by and we are now both well into our individual projects. Here is what we have been doing so far:

Since the last blog I have been busy researching about the nature and treatment of parchment. I have been nosey and contacting other conservators to see what treatments they use. People have been incredibly kind and helpful in sharing their knowledge and I feel I am a lot more prepared for the treatment stage! While documenting paper items I realised that the potential iron gall ink might cause issues for standard treatments. This wasn’t an area I had expected to research and makes for an exciting extension to the project. This week I have started surface cleaning some of the paper documents, and already you can see a result.
Before and after surface cleaning (well, after and before in this shot!)
Alongside project work I have been involved with other activities at the Archive. On Wednesday Fiona and I attended a disaster salvage training session which was really informative and included a fun practical session with wet items. At the moment I am preparing for a practical conservation training session I will be running for four volunteers which I am really looking forward to.
Next time I hope to show you some more practical work; I have a lot of plans and I can’t wait to get started.

Since the last joint blog I am happy to tell you that I have finally completed my box list inventory of the photograph collection. This morning I have been designing a new database for the photographs, and I am now about to embark on the task of creating catalogue entries for all of the items, and then rehousing them in the brand new boxes and sleeves we have just ordered. 

Images found in the Edinburgh Dental Hospital and School photo collection
But it has not all been about inventories and ordering boxes. Over the past five weeks I have: gained knowledge about the medical history of Edinburgh, attended a lecture about the attitudes to the female insane, learned how to repair tears and surface clean documents (thanks Charlotte!) and what to do should a disaster occur in the Archive.
I have been really enjoying myself so far on this internship and on my next blog I hope I can tell you about how I’m getting on with cataloguing and rehousing the photographic material. 

We’re still having a great time. Keep following our individual blogs.

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