Salvage at a Glance. Emma Dadson, Harwell Document Restoration services
Material Salvage / movement If treating onsite If large quantity.
Archive boxes Support base of box, slide off shelf. Remove contents from the box and treat as per format. Keep If you have reboxed already,
Check whether contents wet beyond box contents fastidiously in order. no need to crate unless new
base item. If YES treat objects as box weakened. If in original
detailed to right. If NO, overturn box, transfer to a plastic crate
contents if possible and rebox (to and transfer to freezers if
expose bottommost item and allow objects can be frozen
to air-dry), transfer original label and
monitor for 24 hours. Freeze if still
wet after 24 hours.
Books – Push from shelf, don’t pull. If spines / On blotting paper base, place books upright, fanned open to 60o. No need to interleave in text
modern boards / title plates detaching, place If wet inside, interleave with blotter or newsprint at the block with blotter. Place any
printed all in a polythene bag. Isolate with endpapers and within the text block (no more than 4 sheets per volumes with weak boards /
polythene bags any volumes with inch of text block to avoid distortion). Air-dry in wind-tunnel or on spine / leaching dyes into
leaching dyes. Pack flat in crates, blotter on the floor / tops of tables. Remember to keep moving polythene bags. For all other
larger items at bottom for transfer. the book on the base of blotter so water will continue to desorb. volumes this is not necessary
Do not open / close unnecessarily – Remove any dust-jackets. Keep area cool. but an option if time permits
transfer open books as found to (i.e. whole operation can be
assessment area. Do not overpack completed within 72hours of
crates as crates will be too heavy to the initial wetting).. Consult
lift and the weight on the bottommost with conservator for fine
books will be too severe. bindings
Books with As modern printed above, but pack Stand volumes on blotter, but do not use blotter or newsprint to Freeze as quickly as possible,
coated papers books upright in crate for transfer interleave. Carefully separate out each wet page to prevent packing vertically in crates.
and and prioritise for treatment. adhesion. Interleave with silicone paper if necessary to prevent Ensure that it is made clear to
photograph Danger of pages sticking pages touching on each page. NB this is very time- HDRS that these volumes are
albums together. consuming. Consult HDRS / Conservator as to whether coated.
attempts should be made to separate pages which have already
Books - Large Keep flat and move horizontally, on Dry flat, interleaving 20% of the text block, changing the blotter Keep flat if possible and
format bound boards if too large for crates frequently. If saturated, this is not likely to be successful, so shrink-wrap onto boards for
newspapers freeze. security, or stack vertically in
Compact Pack vertically in crates in sleeves. Air-dry on blotter, or on lines (tape through CD central hole), Enclosures and case can be
discs DVDs Take care not to scratch surfaces. separating CD from enclosures, case, but keep material frozen and dried – CDs cannot.
and records together. If dirty, rinse disc with distilled water but do not rub as Try to rig up a rack and dry
this may scratch. CDs vertically. DO NOT
FREEZE AV material.
Framed Prioritise for treatment. Remove Remove from frames unless artwork is stuck to glass (in which Prints can usually be frozen,
artwork from fixings. Hold item upright and case, dry image side down, backing paper removed and consult but best to deframe unless the
(glass) with one hand in the centre of the a conservator) Do not separate from stretcher. If glass is broken quantity in the 1000s where
bottom frame member and the other and removable, remove it, but if cracked, try to tape over the deframing may be very time-
between half and two thirds of the breaks as glass may damage image, then lay face down. consuming. Always consult
way up the side member. Larger with a conservator when large
items should be lifted by two people, quantities of paintings
supporting base and side of frame affected.
(never handle from the top).
Transport vertically, in crates if
necessary, never image to image,
always image to back, and
separated if possible with bubble
wrap (bubbles towards back board,
not the image). Line base of crate
with bubble wrap (bubbles down).
Framed As glazed artwork above. NB Large Remove frames but keep on any stretchers. Face up, air-dry on Air-drying only option – consult
artwork (no items may be better dried in situ blotter. Avoid sunlight. Do not touch the surface of the painting. with conservator
glass) rather than be moved too far. Keep horizontal. Collect any flaking paint.
Collect loose fragments of paint
Microfiche Remove microfiche by taking Remove from sleeves but retain sleeve for the transfer of info. Freeze in drawers or transfer
drawers from the cabinet, rather Either lay flat or clip to line with rust-proof clips. Keep fiche wet to shallow crates, vertically,
than individual sheets. that you are intending to air-dry but can’t get to within 4 hours. keeping just one layer.
Microfilm Check whether contents of box are Do not attempt to treat onsite. Whilst it is technically feasible, as Contact a microfilm lab or film
reels and film dry by opening box, wiping outside the tape requires washing, this should be done professionally. processor to rewash. Keep wet
first with paper towels to prevent in the meantime, preferably in
ingress when opening. If dry, crates or bags of water but if
separate box from film but keep not possible, self seal bags
together. If wet, tie carton up and with air excluded.
transfer to crates full of water.
Paper - Individual sheets should be lifted Lay flat on blotter, transferring with melinex if necessary. Turn Place into crates. Packed flat.
uncoated from surface using melinex to lift documents regularly to encourage drying on both sides, unless No need to interleave unless in
paper (rather than fingers). Paper is very water-soluble ink which should be kept face up at all times. folders with leaching dyes.
weak and can tear. Prioritise records If space restricted, create layers: blotter- records – blotter –
with water-soluble inks for treatment. records – blotter (like a triple decker sandwich). Keep changing
Photographs HIGH PRIORITY – ambrotypes, Remove from enclosures (usually best to cut away sleeve). Don’t Freeze if quantity is large for
daguerreotypes, tintypes, silver touch or blot surfaces. Air-dry in dust-free environment image specialist drying, but NOT
gelatine glass plate negatives, wet side up or hang, clipping non-image areas. If you are aiming to glass plate negatives which
collodion glass plate negatives, air-dry, keep wet prior to treatment in crates of water to prevent must be air-dried.
cyanotypes adhesions (not glass plate negatives).
MEDIUM colour prints and film,
silver gelatine prints and negatives, If dirty, place in shallow tray full of distilled water and agitate for
MEDIUM – LOW priority albumen 15 minutes black and white / 10 minutes colour, then remove
prints and salted paper prints. and air-dry. If advised by a conservator, attempt to separate
Transfer in existing enclosures and adhered photos under water. For negatives only, if particulates