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   Restoring old scrapbooks

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Author Topic:   Restoring old scrapbooks
KC Stoever
Member

Posts: 1009
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 03-07-2007 05:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have two oversized Carpenter family albums in great disrepair--they were assembled by Rene Carpenter as historic and family events unfolded. One pertains to Project Mercury and contains newspaper clippings, letters, and certificates and awards. Things a wife would save.

The other covers Sealab II.

Here is my question: Should I transfer the contents to new archival quality albums? It seems the old album pages are damaging the contents and the paper itself is disintegrating.

One album (leather bound) is 25" high and 20.5" wide. But it will have to be restored--as the front and back covers have separated from the spine, where the aluminum posts anchor the pages.

Also I could not find a similarly sized archival-quality album that would allow me to transfer the original layout properly. (Gaylord's oversize archival-quality albums are 24.5" by 17").

The other smaller family album has lost a front cover entirely.

What is the best recourse here? I am trying to balance competing needs: (1) preserving original content and (2) preserving value.

Appreciate any help.

Kris

Dwight
Member

Posts: 468
From: Germany
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 03-07-2007 08:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dwight   Click Here to Email Dwight     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kris, I would strongly recommend digitally transferring the material over. That way you could clean up all the material without ever laying a finger on the originals. I feel the old albums are part of the history, and they should be left as is.

A reprinted scan of the important features and articles will do more to preserve the items than a move to a completely new album.

Just my 2 cents.

cheers
Dwight

micropooz
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Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 03-08-2007 07:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kris-

Dwight's idea of digital preservation is great, whether you physically transfer the scrapbook material to a new album or not. All paper eventually goes away, regardless of how well it is cared for.

If you still want to transfer to another album, there is another archival material vendor out there with whom I have had good luck - Light Impressions. You can check their website at: http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/servlet/OnlineShopping
to see if they have what you need. There also used to be another vendor, I believe named University Archives, but it has been years since I have seen their catalog.

Dwayne Day
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Posts: 532
From:
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 03-08-2007 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dwayne Day   Click Here to Email Dwayne Day     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Digital preservation is a great idea.

However, I suggest talking to a professional about physical preservation. It is entirely possible that the scrapbook paper could be more acidic than the other paper, and so you would be able to preserve that other material by getting it out of the scrapbook. Preservationists talk about "stabilizing" the materials and that includes lots of things, like eliminating rusting paperclips and other stuff that deteriorates fastest.

Dwight
Member

Posts: 468
From: Germany
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 03-08-2007 09:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dwight   Click Here to Email Dwight     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
KC I'd also like to add that physical preservation is also highly desirable. In the immediate future digi-preservation is a robust backup and would benefit the articles' presevation by making the scanned copies the presentation piece.

Cheers
Dwight

KC Stoever
Member

Posts: 1009
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 03-08-2007 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, all. So a digital transfer of both albums, as a backup and presentation versions, and professional conservation of the originals.

Digital transfers are made by what kind of professionals, though. I'm thinking a specialty photography outfit??

Thanks again for the help, guys.

Dwight
Member

Posts: 468
From: Germany
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 03-08-2007 01:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dwight   Click Here to Email Dwight     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
KC I'd be fairly certain that with a high resolution conventional scanner you could do it on your computer. Otherwise, most printing facilities have scanning services, which in your case may be more desirable as they will have large format scanners (assuming the scrapbooks are not standard A4 size).

cheers
Dwight

micropooz
Member

Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 03-08-2007 10:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In a big coincidence of timing, USA Today just ran an article in their Business Section today (March 8) on "Labs See Conversion of Photos to Digital Images as a Way Back to Profit". This is an article about how some local photoshops have invested in higher speed scanners to convert photos (and maybe scrapbooks) into digital files without the geologic-time commitments that home-scanners require. Might be worth checking out, Kris! There could be someone in the Denver area with this capability...

taneal1
Member

Posts: 196
From: Orlando, FL
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 03-09-2007 12:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for taneal1   Click Here to Email taneal1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KC Stoever:
I have two oversized Carpenter family albums in great disrepair
Kris

Hi Kris,

Another reason to "digitize" the scrapbooks is to allow the family to browse through the collection as often as desired with no chance of damaging the contents.

Additionally, the scans can be stored on CD or DVDs. The disks can then be easily copied as many times as necessary to allow any interested family members to possess their own personal copy. Multiple copies in different locations also guarantee that although the valuable originals could be destroyed, the information within will survive.

Tom

Robonaut
Member

Posts: 224
From: Solihull, West Mids, England
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 03-09-2007 07:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robonaut   Click Here to Email Robonaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hiya, Rob's wife Jill here. I had the honour of sitting next to your Dad at an Autographica dinner. What a treat because we also talked music and families as well as space. I'm a crafter, mostly cardmaking but with a bit of scrapbooking thrown in.

You really do need to remove everything from the old album. Today's purpose-designed albums, papers and storage sleeves are archival quality and acid-free. Older papers and albums most definately are not.

You might want to ask a restoration expert just to be certain that any deterioration from the acid will not continue even after the photographs, clippings, letters, etc have been removed.

You can Google for companies in the US for the right materials but I would suggest that you contact either HOTP (Hot Off The Press) or Anna Griffin. Once they know what your project is I would be surprised if they wouldn't go out of their way to help you and maybe come up with some special albums for the original layout.

I'm not connected to them in any way but they are two US companies very popular over here.

Hope this helps,
Jill

KC Stoever
Member

Posts: 1009
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 03-11-2007 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, Jill. I've decided to consult a professional paper conservator here in Denver. I have worked with her before, and she is extremely knowledgeable.

There's too much material, I think, for me to have her take on the projects. But she can tell me how to proceed with the restoration/conservation prior to the scanning or photographing of the contents.

Kris

KC Stoever
Member

Posts: 1009
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 03-21-2007 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK. More local research (a call to the Books and Manuscripts division of the Colorado Historical Society) produced this valuable online resource, that I thought to share with preservation-minded cSers:
http://www.archives.gov/preservation/family-archives/index.html

All times are CT (US)

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