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Subject: Letter transfers

Letter transfers

From: Eleonore Kissel <76263.2237>
Date: Thursday, June 13, 1996
I am a Paper Conservator working in private practice in Paris,
France. My specialty area is the care of architecture and design
drawings collections, both in terms of collection management and
conservation treatments. This led me recently to submit a small
research project to the Architecture Department of the Centre
National d'Art Contemporain Georges Pompidou, on "transfers".

"Transfer" is a generic term used, sometimes inappropriately, for
various graphic arts techniques, the most common being
pressure-sensitive letter-transfers (patented by the Letraset Corp.
in 1960). "Transfer" is also used when referring to heat-, solvent-,
water-, varnish- and vinyl-transfers, as well as to
pressure-sensitive adhesive printed sheets such as Zip-A-Tone.

The research is focused on three fundamental questions:

    1.  What is the history and development of this technology, from
        the 19th Century (water-based transfers) on? This is
        particularly interesting in that they are being replaced
        today by computer-generated letters and signs, and may
        therefore, like the blueprint today, be no more than a
        curiosity or an art-form in years to come.

    2.  What are transfers from a technological point-of-view, and
        can they be classified into specific categories? Can
        specific types be identified "after the fact" (i.e., when
        found on a drawing that was produced thirty years ago by an
        unknown designer)?

    3.  What conservation treatments, if any, can be developed for
        transfers of all kinds, taking into account the specific
        type of transfer as well as the nature of the substrate
        (plain paper, photosensitized paper, film).

I have already some clues to these questions, which I will be
willing to share as soon as the research is somewhat complete (I
repeat, this is a small project, mostly theoretical for the time
being). However, I would be very interested and most grateful to
hear from other conservators, designers, architects, curators,
archivists, etc., should they have any specific insight on the
questions I outlined above.

Please feel free to answer me directly, and be certain I will duly
credit everyone in the final report. Thank you in advance for your

Eleonore Kissel
49, quai des Grands Augustins
75006  Paris  France
+33 1 43 26 89 58

                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:1
                 Distributed: Wednesday, June 19, 1996
                        Message Id: cdl-10-1-004
Received on Thursday, 13 June, 1996

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