Category Archives: Conservation

Indigenous History in Indiana: Treaties and the Complexity of Language Preservation

November is Indigenous History month. Indigenous communities in present-day Indiana, existed for generations, several times over, before European contact. And they continue to exist today. Early European colonizers and American settlers came west into the Northwest Territory, to occupy land now known as the State of Indiana. Indigenous communities that existed before colonization were the […]

Solutions for a Sticky Problem, Part 2

As I wrote in Part 1, I recently learned about a clever conservation technique that turned out to be the solution to a complicated treatment problem I’ve been mulling over. Conservator Elsa Thyss at The Metropolitan Museum of Art developed a method for consolidating severely flaking emulsion on glass plate negatives using minimal moisture, which […]

Solutions for a Sticky Problem, Part 1

Conservation is an ever-changing field, with new techniques, materials and approaches to preserving cultural heritage materials being continuously developed and refined. One way we in the IHS Conservation Department keep up with these changes is via our affiliation with the American Institute for Conservation, a national professional organization for conservators, conservation scientists, preservation experts and […]

From the Cataloger’s Desk: Ephraim George Squier’s Collection

Part of my job as a catalog librarian involves tackling backlogged items. Bringing them out of the shadows and making them accessible to the public is always rewarding. I recently discovered an intriguing accession from 1958: a collection of mid- to late 19th century printed materials that belonged to Ephraim George Squier. Many were authored […]

Thinking About a Donation to IHS? These Guidelines Will Help

Many have been taking greater advantage of opportunities recently presented at home to sift through cupboards, closets, attic storage spaces and other nooks and crannies to uncover what is there. Assessing memorabilia and the cumulative legacies of material boxed up, stuffed into corners and drawers, or placed on shelves for safekeeping is not a simple […]

Painting or Photograph? It might be both.

Feature photo: Portrait of Elizabeth Riddle, from our Highland Vicinity Neighborhood Collection, suffers from many of the common problems with crayon enlargements – the surface is scuffed and scratched in many places and the brittle board has cracked. The portrait was repaired with strips of thin, long-fiber paper adhered with wheat starch paste. Do you have […]

When Disaster Strikes

Mayday. Mayday. You never want to hear that international distress signal. But when you do, you want to have a plan already in place and have experience putting the plan into action. This morning, our Archives and Library staff took part in the MAYDAY initiative begun by the Society of American Archivists and Heritage Preservation […]

Merrily we (un)roll along!

We receive donations to our collection like certificates, panorama photographs and broadsides that have been rolled, which are difficult to handle and house. It is best to store these flat so they can be more easily handled and accessed for research. Many papers are made of poor quality paper and are brittle. The curl retained […]

Ethics, Color Matching and Pamphlet Repair

My favorite part of working at IHS is the challenge of conserving objects and stabilizing them so that they can be safely used. This treatment was an opportunity for me to practice a thought process on ethical conservation, color toning, and to pick the brains of my insightful supervisors even more! This pamphlet consists of […]