On Monday I carefully put into my car a grey plastic container containing very fragile materials from the collection destined for conservation at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in North Andover, Massachusetts. Two of the items were record books, one kept by John Talcott and the other by Benjamin Talcott. The Talcott Family Association raised the funds to have these two early volumes of their ancestors’ conserved and digitized, for which we are eternally grateful.
The other items I had come across in my search for as yet uncatalogued manuscripts. Like this letter signed by Benjamin Franklin adhered to a paper-covered board of some kind! I hope it can be removed from the board so it does not deteriorate from the adhesive or the paper on the mount.
How about an 1824 map of the norther boundary of Connecticut, rolled for how many decades and starting to tear along one edge?
Or a 1778 map of a highway in Windham? I love the way the paper was added to in order to follow the contour of the road.
There were other items a well, and some that may be just too expensive to treat. An estimate of the costs of conservation should be coming in the next few weeks and then we will have to make some tough decisions. Not everything can or should be saved, but I don’t relish playing judge in these cases.
Stay tuned for the “after” pictures.