Hand made paper was invented in China and brought to Europe via the old Silk Road. From the medieval period and several centuries onward hand made paper in Europe was made of old rags and generally durable. With the industrial development in the 19th century it became difficult to provide sufficient quantities of rags for the increasing production of paper and wood was used. The quality is determined by the composition and processing of the fibres. At the workshop for paper conservation the main task is preserving manuscripts, paper artworks, books and photographs.
During ageing paper becomes acidic and degrades. A clear sign is the yellowing, the smell and loss of strength making the paper fragile and difficult to handle
Preserving manuscripts, works of art on paper, books and photographs often
Hans Christian Andersen papercut before conservation
Removing of old repairs and acidic board and minimizing of discoloured degradation products often requires treatment. Pre examination of colours and writing are followed by treatment, restoration, mounting and inpaintings.
Hand made Japanese and European papers of good quality possess good properties suitable for restoration.
During storage and exhibition control of air condition, air filtering, exclusion of UV light and minimizing the light, the influence of the climate damaging the objects can be minimized. Mount board in showcases and folders possessing properties of capturing harmful molecules offers good protection.
As the most of our manuscripts from the Hans Christian Andersen collection was conserved and housed in glassine in 1975, rehousing became necessary to provide the artefact a better physical environment. By the end of the nineties new acid free folders with absorbance quality was made, and every single document put into its own folder grouped in acid free boxes.
Hans Christian Andersen papercut after restoration and conservation