Mining the Archives Project – Conservation Update

I follow Derbyshire Record Office’s blog and thought I’d like to share this with you. I don’t think I have the patience to do this.

Jacqui Kirk

Derbyshire Record Office

I’ve been working away on the conservation of documents as part of the Mining the Archives Project, and have so far repaired over 50 individual pages of D248: Barmaster’s Lot and Cope account books, 1831-1870.

damaged cope account book before repairs damaged cope account book before repairs

Each page is extremely fragile – the book has been badly damaged by damp and mould, which has caused the paper to lose all of it’s strength and it is literally falling to pieces. The book had been dismantled years ago, so the pages are in no particular order with fragments muddled up and all over the place. Before I can begin the treatment process the first task is to puzzle all the pieces back together so that all the bits are in the right place. This can be very tricky due to the extent of the damage, a bit like a very complicated mouldy jigsaw puzzle!

lead miningpuzzling pieces

Once I am sure everything is in the correct place I can begin the repairs…

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