BY: KRISTEN MCLAUGHLIN
To start off this year taking charge of this column, I thought long and hard about the title: Conservation Tips... There are so many out there! So many great institutes around the world write documents specifically for people like us: what type of damage is possible, how to repair/prevent damage on artifacts, proper storage, pest management, etc.
So what did I want to do for my first article to help contribute to this ever-expanding pool of strong conservation materials? I began to feel a heavy weight upon my shoulders... what can I, a student with nothing but a keen interest in conservation and very general experience, give to those who want to learn more?
What I wanted was to create a resource that could be useful to people in a big picture sense, especially those who may not know where to start when it comes to conserving. This could be consultants, archaeologists, museum employees, local heritage professionals, or anyone with an interest in conservation!
So I came up with these babies: The Conservation Cheat Sheets (or more professionally--according to my document titles--Conservation 101 Sheets)! Actually, you can call them anything you want: Weird Looking Charts, Lots 'o' Lines, whatever you feel like. There are two: one for inorganic artifacts and one for organic. Below are their previews.
(c) Kristen McLaughlin
(c) Kristen McLaughlin
INORGANIC CONSERVATION PDF (with working links!)
ORGANIC CONSERVATION PDF (with working links!)
This means: the best part comes when you download them. You can then click the links at the bottom of your flowchart journey and bam, you have a place to start, a resource already in front of you.
So even though the images above may (generally) help you figure out the basic issue with your item, make sure to download them for clickability! Then you can keep them on your computer forever.
You can be a ninja conservator now! Whoo! Source.
PS: These charts are very general and are meant to be more like starting off points. There was no way I could possibly link to all of the sources I wanted to, nor delve into the more complicated problems and sub-problems that occur in the fascinating world of conservation (not at this point, anyway!). I hope these interactive charts help out at least a few of you as you embark on your conserving adventures!
Here are the sources I used for the PDFs:
Texas A&M Institute: Cleaning of Iron (a variety of methods)
CCI: Tannic Acid Coating for Iron
The Archaeologist's Manual for Conservation (PDF): Iron Chapter
Texas A&M Institute: Cleaning Copper
SHA: Cleaning and Mending Ceramics
AIC: Dealing with Old Ceramic Repairs
Texas A&M Institute: Removal of Salts and Stains
SHA: Mending Glass
CCI: Cleaning Ceramic/Glass
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA): Holes in Wool
Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI): Stitches in Textile Restoration
Smithsonian Institution: Mouldy Textile
CCI: Removing Mould from Leather
Texas A&M Institute: Brittle Leather
Society of Historical Archaeology (SHA): Consolidating Brittle Bone (scroll down to section)
Texas A&M Institute: Flaking/Dirty Bone/Ivory/Antler
Texas A&M Institute: Waterlogged Leather
Texas A&M Institute: Waterlogged Wood
Make sure to explore them further!