Monday, April 18, 2011

Treatment of a vellum diploma

Special Collections and University Archives sent this vellum diploma down to Preservation Services for treatment. It was rolled up and had insect damage to the edges of the diploma. This diploma dates back to 1904 when Charles McIver was president. Vellum (sometimes also referred to as Parchment) was once a common material used for diplomas but today almost all diplomas are printed on paper. Vellum is made out of animal skin that has been treated in a specific way. To read more about vellum go here and to see how vellum or parchment is made go here.

First thing we did to the diploma was humidify it so it would relax and flatten out. Once h
umidified, we let it dry under pressure between blotters for a few days.

Where there was
insect damage that was unstable we mended with Japanese paper and paste.

To keep the diploma flat and to protect it we created a custom enclosure to house it in. Once finished we took it back to Special Collections and University Archives where it now resides once again.

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