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Subject: Telegram


From: Brenda Bernier <bbernier>
Date: Thursday, November 1, 2001
Pia Berntsen <pb [at] odmus__dk> writes

>We have a telegram from the end of the second world war in our
>department. The telegram is a gummed paper tape broken into six
>pieces and adhered to the back of a paper written on a machine. The
>text on the tape is marked with ink dots. It looks as if the ink
>that now it has faded have been purple. The tape itself has turned
>yellow and brittle. I would like to dismount the tape and give it a
>proper treatment and housing but is very concerned about the ink.

We have many telegrams with a similar construction in our
collection. Since the paper backing is actually part of the
artifact, we do not separate the tape from the paper.  Treating the
tape separately is problematic because: 1)the original adhesive
residue is historic evidence of the telegram process; 2)the
formulations of the inks used during World War II were unpredictable
as materials became scarce; and 3) the marginal benefit of treating
the paper tape is offset by the damage to the integrity of the
document as a whole.  Instead, we usually resecure the tape onto the
backing if it is delaminating, then we seek to preserve the telegram
through proper housing.

Brenda Bernier
Photographic Materials/Paper Conservator
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Washington, DC

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:36
                 Distributed: Tuesday, November 6, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-36-004
Received on Thursday, 1 November, 2001

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