Preservation Lab Treatment Documentation

The treatment reports and photographic documentation that comprise this Digital Resource Collection are a record of conservation treatments conducted in the collaborative Preservation Lab on special collections items held either by the University of Cincinnati Libraries or the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. It is a conservation professional’s ethical obligation to preserve and document the condition of cultural property during examination, sampling, scientific investigation, and treatment [Standards set forth in the Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice of the American Institute for Conservation]. Conservation treatments performed in the lab that alter the artifact’s structure or replace original materials are thoroughly documented and are represented here.

Decisions to modify an object’s aesthetic or physical format are based on many considerations including extending the artifact’s usable life, removing previous repairs not sympathetic to the object or replacing original structures which have become detrimental to the artifact over time. Often a compromise must be reached to find a balance between preserving the functionality of an item and preserving the historical aesthetic integrity.

The Preservation Lab is making our professional documentation available with the aim of aiding scholars engaged in bibliography and researchers in the fields of conservation and preservation. These materials should be used as a reference for understanding the history of an object’s materiality and are not intended to be instructive in terms of book and paper conservation treatment. As they say, do not try this at home! Always consult a conservation professional.

Organization of the Collection

Presented in each entry is the full treatment report in PDF format which includes a brief description of the item, condition before treatment, treatment proposal, notes on the treatment, and time of treatment. Additionally a contact sheet of images is provided in PDF format. Lastly, high-resolution photographs detailing the areas treated are attached. The file-naming conventions describe the nature of the photographs. For example: An image with the file name i21692609_487_A1UV indicates:

  • i21692609 – catalog item record number (internal information)
  • 478 – treatment database number (internal information)
  • A1 – before treatment, photograph 1 in a series of before treatment photographs
  • UV – ultraviolet photograph

Treatment Stage Abbreviations:

  • A – before treatment
  • B – during treatment
  • C – during treatment (a later treatment phase from B or a record of the actual state of the object before visual compensations are applied to diminish the visibility of losses or disfigurements)
  • D - after treatment

Image Type:

  • N – normal illumination
  • R – raking visible light
  • UV – photograph taken using ultraviolet induced fluorescence
  • FCUV – False-color ultraviolet
  • T – transmitted visible light
  • MICRO – photograph taken through a microscope

Information about the artifact’s author and other standard citation information can be found by following the hyperlink provided to the catalog record.