Saturday, June 25, 2016

Conservation Methods

I ascended up to the second floor at Library And Archives Canada to check out some more that was on display at Doors Open. There was a large room up here with displays and colourful murals, and staff members on hand. 


While this building is the headquarters of the organization, there are other buildings associated, including one over on the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River, where a good deal of conservation work goes on. At one table, a couple of staff members were displaying items and talking about the process of restoration. This sample book offered a glimpse of how complex that can be- the woman explained that to put a new cover on a book in such disrepair might require finding out what kind of leather the original cover was, and then slowly re-creating it- complete with seams put in by a curved needle. She noted that just one seam- you can see two of them below her hands- can take an hour to do. Another restorer showed some of the techniques to removing the yellow marks of aging paper (which I should have photographed). That involves creating a gel-like substance with a base created from the scrapings of lily pads of all things. It ends up looking like a soft sheet of translucent rubber, and is applied to old paper for awhile, lifting the discolouration off.


A copy of Queen Elizabeth's proclamation of the Canadian 1982 constitution was on display.


I glanced out the window at the rainy weather. The Garden of the Provinces is there across the street, with the two churches beyond that. We'll start looking at them tomorrow.

31 comments:

  1. Beautiful place. Interesting to look around and take photos.

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  2. Nice! The process of restoration of books I found very interesting. I wonder how they found out that lily pad scrapings can help in the process of cleaning up yellow markings.

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  3. That book restoration demonstration must have been very interesting.

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  4. The restoration process would be very interesting to watch, a real skill to get it right.

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  5. The scrapings of lily pads! All this book restoration sounds like magic! :)

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  6. "Doors Open" sounds like a wonderful concept.

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  7. @Tomas: thanks!

    @Nancy: I enjoyed being there.

    @Marianne: it was!

    @Bill: however they found out, it works.

    @Sharon: it was. My mother did book restoration... but nowhere near this level.

    @Grace: it would require much patience too!

    @Tex: their colours really caught my eye.

    @Dina: in a matter of speaking, yes! It starts out looking like powder.

    @Kate: it really is. It gets you out to explore the community, and this has worked well here for fifteen years now.

    @Cloudia: I wouldn't have known.

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  8. I love the marble walls in your first photo and the rain in your last photo!

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  9. I also find the building to be very attractive and am somewhat mesmerized by the process of restoring old books. Lily pads?

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  10. Learning about restoration would be very interesting.
    MB

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  11. That's very interesting. Makes you wonder how they discover the methods; scrapings of lily pads sounds quite obscure.

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  12. love the art work and the rain window shot. neat-O!! ( :

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  13. Excelente trabalho e belas fotografias.
    Um abraço e bom fim de semana.
    Andarilhar

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  14. The rain on the window is my favorite....

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  15. @Linda: thank you!

    @Lowell: who'd have guessed?

    @MB: I found it enlightening.

    @Jenny: it wouldn't surprise me if it's been around as a technique for a very long time.

    @Beth: thanks!

    @Marleen: it is.

    @Francisco: thank you!

    @Norma: of course, it wasn't fun walking in it!

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  16. Reminds me of a tall apartment building here called The Ascent.

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  17. That would have been really interesting to see them at work!

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  18. I love libraries. That restoration process you described sounds very fascinating. From the looks of the rain, it was a good day to be inside with a good book (or a camera).

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  19. Very amazing things can be done when it comes to restoration. It doesn't come cheap.

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  20. Wow, the process of removing yellow marks off the paper sounds very interesting! Would love to see that myself!

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  21. The book restoration demonstration sounds fascinating! That's something you don't see every day.

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  22. An intriguing place. Love the stairway design in the first photo and the last photo of scenic rain is quite haunting.

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  23. The first two shots are wonderful, specially the second one is a beauty with those paintings. But I like the glance at the book restauration too.

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  24. @Revrunner: those stairs did stand out to me.

    @RedPat: it was.

    @SRQ: it was a drenching kind of day.

    @Red: indeed.

    @Tamago: I found it interesting to compare treated and untreated pages.

    @Kay: definitely not.

    @Gemma: I seem to have photographed quite a number of staircases this time.

    @Jan: thanks!

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  25. The recreation of old books is fascinating.

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  26. I saw a cool book binding machine at the Chestervile museum! Good post. Those were the days, my friend!

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