VIDEO: Conserving Historic Leather & Paper

Do you have old leather, parchment or paper items – including photographs and photographic negatives – in care? If you do, this little video may give you some idea – or reinforce existing knowledge – of the climatic factors to consider in conserving them.

Pamela Forde is the Archivist at the Royal College of Physicians in London, UK and she showed me through some of the collections when I visited some months back, and agreed to my recording and sharing some observations. That collection includes centuries-old books bound in leather – some of them in the parchment or vellum which is untanned animal skins. It also includes various kinds of paper including the older, linen rag papers and the more modern, chemically-treated wood pulp paper.

Click to get started:


One comment

  1. Fascinating. We have such tremendous changes in humidity, I wonder if our National Archives can properly store the various materials, especially the 19th century books now facing such deterioration. Thank you for sharing.


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