For this project 15 sets of marriage licenses dated 1821 were treated and housed at the ERO.
The documents had varying degrees of mould damage, some were in fair condition, others were in a very poor state having suffered physical damage from mould. The documents were weak and delicate where the mould had attacked. Each object had also been folded in half vertically, had surface dirt present and pinkish discolouration and staining from the mould. There were tears, and the corners were often dog-eared.
Inks were tested for fugitivity, and the pH was also noted – the inks were non-fugitive and the paper was acidic, therefore aqueous deacidification was to be a part of the treatment process.
The documents were surface cleaned using either eraser crumbs or chemical sponge, depending on the extent of the damage present, before being washed using Synperonic, rinsed, and deacidified with calcium carbonate.
The documents were then repaired using two methods. The first method was the traditional archival record office technique, used for the stronger documents, and the second was using a leaf caster for the weaker, more fragile documents. Documents that were repaired via leaf casting, were also re-sized for extra strength, and some had even further support from the local application of thin Japanese tissue.
The documents were then housed in their pairs in individual, labeled folders, that exceeded the dimensions of the objects; before being put into one larger folder as a group. This allows for the researcher to easily find the document they are looking for, and for protection from handling.