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Subject: Wax seals

Wax seals

From: Karen Motylewski <nedcc>
Date: Thursday, June 17, 1993
NEDCC has treated many objects like the parchment/vellum documents with
seals you describe.  The best storage strategy is a 4-ply matboard sink
mat built to support the document and seal(s) flat, in the same plane.
We usually build the mat so that there is a cut-out in the frame of the
"window" at the point of attachment of the seal, cut to the size and
shape of the seal, with a channel cut in the frame to accommodate the
attachment cord.  This restricts movement of the pendant seal.  The
upper component of the  sink mat should be built up to the height of the
seal all the way around to protect the (sometimes brittle) seal from
pressure of overlying materials.  The whole sink mat tray is boxed or
stored in a map file drawer.  If the drawers are deep enough, several of
these trays can be stacked, since the mat supports the tray above.  Good
finding aids are essential to reduce handling of the objects.

As for wax preservation, this is one of the few times temperature
outweighs RH -- keep the environment as cool as the staff will tolerate
(e.g. below 68 if possible).  Of course, the parchment and vellum want
good RH control, with a high degree of stability.

Karen Motylewski
Northeast Document Conservation Center

                   Conservation DistList Instance 7:5
                  Distributed: Saturday, June 19, 1993
                        Message Id: cdl-7-5-006
Received on Thursday, 17 June, 1993

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