DISASTER RECOVERY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA, OR, EVERY FLOOD HAS A SILVER LINING
4 4. OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
4.1 4.1 SALVAGE
- Volunteers possess varying levels of expertise. Have those with greater levels play more critical roles during the salvage operation, e.g., handling the artifacts and noting the damage.
- In freezing wet artifacts, ensure that they are either bagged separately in clear polyethylene bags or stored with a similar barrier placed between layers.
- Record all that you can about an artifact, given the time you have, e.g., visible damage, fugitive dyes, materials that require special treatment such as baleen boning or iron-alloyed findings: the more information the better.
- Good indicators of water damage include stains to the wrappings around textiles, such as cotton muslin and tissue paper, as well as the presence of tide lines, dye transfer, and alteration of texture.
4.2 4.2 RECOVERY
- Retrieve existing records such as condition reports, documentation records, donor records, and photographs prior to beginning your treatment. These help to prepare you, especially if the artifact is frozen and not easily visible.
- Only unroll or unfold frozen artifacts once they have thawed. If there are no indications of fugitive dyes, they can be placed in a cold bath to let them thaw quickly so they can be easily unrolled or unfolded. If time permits, they could thaw at room temperature or cooler.
- Clothing objects with metal or organic findings such as baleen boning or iron-alloyed boning can be wet-cleaned but require special attention during the drying process. For organic materials, the wet-cleaning should proceed as quickly as possible to reduce the likelihood of thorough wetting. Weights or tension may need to be applied during drying to prevent warping. For metals, dry quickly by blotting well and use fans and blow-dryers set on a cool setting.
- Wet-cleaning a clothing object with bias trim can pose a challenge in finishing, as the trim, if pulled off-grain in sewing, may not easily lie flat and may tend to buckle.