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Subject: Drawing film

Drawing film

From: Miriam McDonald <miriam>
Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2002
    **** Moderator's comments: This query comes from a person who is
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We are curators in the Collections Section of the National Monuments
Record of Scotland, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical
Monuments of Scotland. Part of our duties is the curation of
archaeological excavation and survey archive. We are writing to you
to ask for some pointers on where to look for literature on "drawing
film". Archaeologists and others use this medium due to its
durability and resistance to precipitation and dirt. We have very
little information on the history of such "films", whether all are
plastic, what their "lifetime" may be and so on. We are currently
carrying out an audit of our collections and it has been observed
that the drawing films themselves vary in colour and strength and
that this may have something to do with age (although unsure of
this). A small number are also becoming brittle and yellowing.
Pressure sensitive tape, "Letraset" (transfer information), ink
(with perhaps "fixers" in the form of spray glue) also figure. This
medium is still used and we regularly receive drawings on "film" as
part of excavation and architectural archives. Of our catalogued
drawing collection, 34% is on a "drawing film" of some form or

We would like to look at this particular part of our collections in
order to:

    1. Assess the problem

    2.  Identify the different types of material (when we say
        "tri-acetate", for example, what do we mean?) both
        historically as well as what is currently on the market

    3.  How the base medium and applied materials (such as ink,
        mechanical copying, glue, applied transfer-type material and
        so on) may or do behave over time

    4.  How one conserves the items

    5.  Putting in place a method for achieving in-house "good
        practice" for material already held in our collections

    6.  Providing guidelines for those still using such drawing
        mediums with regard to the conservation standards for
        materials used at point of creation

Do you know of anyone doing similar work elsewhere? Paper
conservators we have spoken to say that this is not an area
necessarily known to them.

Miriam McDonald and Dr Iain Fraser
Collections Section
National Monuments Record of Scotland
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
John Sinclair House
16 Bernard Terrace
Edinburgh EH8 9NX

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:31
                 Distributed: Monday, November 4, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-16-31-010
Received on Wednesday, 30 October, 2002

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