The Robert C. Hansen Performing Arts Collection contains programs, heralds, guidebooks, periodicals, playbooks, sheet music, songbooks, correspondence, autographs, original costume designs, scenery designs, posters, photographs, scrapbooks, and other visual materials and memorabilia. Each of these items help document the history of the performing arts, mainly theatre, in many countries though mainly in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Items date from 100 to 2012, with the bulk of the items dating to the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection is named for Dr. Bob Hansen, an Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Theatre at UNCG, who has generously donated the entire collection (and continues to donate additions).
|19th century broadside advertisement of |
Caius Gracchus, a tragedy by J. S. Knowles
|Detail images of the broadside prior to treatment|
Due to the discoloration, the broadside was washed. (We wrote about washing documents in an earlier post. Click HERE if you want to read more about that process.) The first step of the process was to ensure the ink was not soluble in water. It was tested by adding a very small drop of water, allowing it to absorb for a few seconds, and then blotting it dry. If any ink transfers to the blotter, the ink is likely soluble in water and washing the broadside would be a bad idea. However, this test proved the ink was stable.
|Testing the ink to ensure it is not soluble in water. |
Note the drop of water on the "A" in the center.
|Broadside as it is being washed|
The paper was relatively thin, so an overall lining of Japanese paper was attached to the back to provide extra support as well as to fill in the losses at the edges. (Unfortunately, there are no pictures of this phase of the project.) While the broadside was still damp, it was laid face down on a piece of Mylar, which helps keep it flat with surface tension. The crumpled edges were flattened out and the detached corner was laid in its original place. A slightly oversized piece of Japanese paper, close in tone to the original broadside, was pasted out with rice starch paste. The broadside, while being supported with Mylar, was then laid down on the Japanese paper. The Mylar was removed and the broadside and Japanese paper were sandwiched between dry Reemay. This allowed for gently burnishing the back of the Japanese paper lining to ensure it had good contact with the broadside.
|Before and after treatment|
|The broadside in its portfolio enclosure|