CCAHA: Recent Conservation Treatments

Author: Dyani Feige, Pennsylvania Caucus Rep

Pennsylvania’s first constituion.
Here at the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA), our conservators work with anything and everything paper-based – from documents to bound atlases, from daguerreotypes to digital print-outs, from postage stamps to wallpaper, even parchment and papyrus. This means that we have had the opportunity to treat a number of exciting materials from archival collections.
Objects come to us from near and far, but below are just a few examples of interesting treatments from the MARAC region. The following articles were all written by CCAHA’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Katherine Magaziner, for the bi-monthly Focus newsletter. Focus provides an in-depth look at particular conservation treatments, exploring not only technical aspects of the conservators’ work with objects, but also the history and context of the pieces themselves. An archive of past issues can be found at http://www.ccaha.org/publications/focus-archive.

March/April 2013: Pennsylvania’s first constitution, written by Benjamin Franklin (among others) in 1776, has been described as the most democratic in America. It recently traveled from the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg to CCAHA for conservation treatment.

August 2011: Buena Vista, in New Castle, DE, was home to several prominent Delawareans, including Clayton Douglass Buck, governor and a United States senator. After receiving conservation treatment, historic documents that he displayed there — and that now belong to the Delaware Public Archives — will once again hang in the house.

July 2011: German-speaking immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries documented their religious beliefs, as well as important events in their personal lives, through decorated manuscripts called fraktur. The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College has selected 32 fraktur to receive treatment at CCAHA through a Save America’s Treasures grant.

May 2011: The New York State Library’s collection of letters, contracts, maps, and other papers from the Manor of Rensselaerswijck documents 200 years of business transactions, daily routines, and traditions in one of America’s earliest European settlements. Read about CCAHA’s treatment of many of these fire-damaged manuscripts here.

November 2010: CCAHA conserves performer and activist Paul Robeson’s letters, writings, Broadway posters, and concert programs, all from the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection of Temple University.

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