Conservation of modern paper

Surface Dirt 

Surface dirt has been removed using a chemical sponge. This method was chosen as it is quick and easy to prepare. It can also be used to target specific areas and is very effective at removing surface dirt

Removal of metal fasteners

In the HIV/AIDS collection, metallic fasteners such as paper clips and staples are frequently used to hold together loose sheets of paper. These items are all being removed to avoid the transfer of rust from the metallic fastener to the paper. Care must be taken to avoid the tearing of the paper during removal. 

Once these metallic fasteners have been removed, the nature of the object has been slightly changed and it may not be obvious that these items were previously held together. Therefore, simple paper tabs have been created to hold items that have had their metallic fasteners removed together. The number of metallic fasteners that have been removed has also been recorded so that the original appearance of the items can be recreated if necessary.


Creasing has been reduced by gently rubbing the creased area with a bone folder over a piece of Bondina™. In some cases of extreme creasing, the paper has been carefully folded back on itself to help the fold lay flat. In most cases, the papers have been laid flat in the archival folders so that over time they will lay flat due to the weight of other paper items on top of them. In cases of extreme cockling, paper items have been placed in a press between layer of Bondina™ and blotter to reduce planar distortion.

Tear Repair

Tears have been repaired using Japanese paper and wheat starch paste.


All paper items are being rehoused into more suitable enclosures to provide better protection from mechanical damage and to avoid migration of acids from non archival storage methods.

Due to the size of the collection, it is not feasible to house each sheet individually. Instead, loose papers at a maximum depth of 2 cm are placed in triptych folders. These folders are then placed in acid free clam shell boxes.