Objects and Treatments

Interesting aspects of the museum and archaeological objects that we are assigned, and the treatments that we perform

Preserving and displaying layers of history: The stock certificate nearly destroyed on September 11

Posted on 31 October 2017 by Devin Mattlin

 This post was originally written for the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institute. You can find the original post on their blog here. They have kindly given us permission to share the post on our blog as well.   The history behind a single object can often tell many stories. In 2004
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Conserving Edward Thomas’ Herbarium

Posted on 24 October 2017 by Pamela Murray

This post was originally written for the Cardiff University Special Collections and Archives blog. They have kindly allowed us to share their post here on our blog as well.   Leaves and flowers are generally removed from archives or books collection, as this organic material encourages pests, stains paper and can be poisonous, but when
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Bugging Out: IPM of an active collection

Posted on 5 October 2017 by Dean Smith

     Although museums, galleries and archaeological sites provide the bulk of our work at Cardiff University it is important to remember, as a conservator in training, that cultural objects requiring treatment come from many sources. The treatment of these objects may present interesting challenges especially if they are still in active use. The case
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Iron gall ink in the Edward Thomas manuscripts and its conservation at Glamorgan Archives

Posted on 6 May 2017 by Pamela Murray

Dating back to the 1st century AD and used all the way until the 19th century, iron gall ink was a common writing ink throughout Europe. It is made from iron sulphates, gum, tannins extracted from galls (generally oak tree galls), and water. There are different recipes and methods found throughout history to make iron
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It wasn’t all plane sailing – Conservation of a WW1 model aircraft

Posted on 17 March 2017 by Jack Newcombe

When I arrived at Cardiff to study Conservation this was one (of many) objects I was given.  Jane Henderson asked me if I wanted the object and it reminded me of Airfix models that I used to make as a child. My love and enthusiasm for Airfix models consumed me and I gladly accepted the
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Bronze Disease: Even Metal Gets Sick

Posted on 24 January 2017 by Aliza Taft

We are all familiar with the pleasing shininess of a new copper penny, and with how quickly this color becomes dull and matte simply from everyday use. This flat brown color doesn’t appear because the penny gets covered with dirt; rather, the copper surface has undergone a fundamental chemical change.  The copper in the penny
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Looking Through the Window Glass

Posted on 8 December 2016 by Meredith Sweeney

Over the past year, there has been a lot of activity centered around the treatment procedure of the Blackfriary medieval window glass. To an outsider, it would look like nothing was happening for the first six months. However, the initial stage of the treatment was centered on understanding the glass structure and researching possible treatment
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Ready For Our Close Up!

Posted on 1 December 2016 by Stephanie Whitehead

Documentation is an important part of a conservator’s job. This ranges from ensuring all artifacts have been properly delivered, to writing down everything that we do regarding the object, to photography. It is essential that anyone who comes upon the object post conservation is able to understand what has been done and why, and see
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Looking Beneath the Layers

Posted on 23 November 2016 by Stephanie Whitehead

There are many stages to conserving an artifact. For example, you have to figure out what the object is made of and what types of corrosion are present. Were any adhesives previously used to hold the object together? How have current storage conditions affected the artifact? Is mechanical or chemical cleaning best for the object
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Changing Perceptions: Our Relationship with Stone Monuments

Posted on 23 June 2016 by William Tregaskes

Stone Monuments Stone Monuments are all around us, they range from the Neolithic Stonehenge to the thousands of war memorials we have in our cities, towns and villages. What they have in common is they create a memory shared by the society who created them. For example war memorials are synonymous with past conflicts, and
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