Paper, photographs, parchments and books conservation

Wilson Map conservation
Map conservation treatment

The paper department comprises a team of qualified and experienced conservators who look after all paper-based items as well as photographs, parchments and books. Our conservators have expertise in the treatment of:

  • Works of art such as watercolours, drawings, prints and scrolls
  • Library and archival collections including books, manuscripts, maps, plans, letters and certificates
  • Historic photographs including cased images, opalotypes and albumen prints
  • Contemporary works of art on paper, including photographs and digital prints

Our highly skilled staff have many years experience working as professional conservators on private and public collections across Australia and the UK. The conservators are active members of the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials (AICCM) and abide by its Code of Ethics. Our skills are continually updated through professional development, including attendance at conferences and participation in treatment-related workshops. Staff hold certificates in: working at heights; general construction (white ticket) and elevated work platform operation.

The lab is fitted out with state of the art equipment enabling the conservators to closely examine works, accurately assess conservation issues and carry out advanced treatments. A particular strength of the Department is our experience in treating works on paper by significant 20th Century Australian artists such as Sidney Nolan, Joy Hester, Mirka Mora and Fred Williams. Our conservators have ongoing research interests including the study of Medieval parchments, characterisation of digital prints, investigation into washing aids for paper and analysis of artists' materials and techniques (see staff profiles for inidual publications and research interests).

Wilson Map conservation Peter and Christine
Paper conservation treatment

Typical treatments include:

  • surface cleaning to remove dirt and grime (watch our demonstration of brush vacuuming)
  • repair of tears and losses
  • retouching of image losses
  • stain reduction
  • tape removal
  • removal of acidic window mounts and backing boards
  • stabilising fragile or loose paint and photographic emulsion
  • reduce creases, folds and buckling
  • removal/deactivation of mould
  • custom made boxes and folders
  • conservation mounting
  • book repair

Additional services include providing advice, writing condition reports and technical analysis of works on paper. Our team also offers onsite visits to public and private collections to devise preservation plans tailored to the specific needs of a collection.

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Have a question about conservation? Get in touch.

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