Preservation is an action in order to prevent, stop or retard the process of deterioration of the Artifacts. It is sometimes supplemented by the restoration work, which means the treatment of objects with necessary corrections and alterations. The concept of conservation is the ultimate reality, which includes both preservation and restoration. Now the question is what do we mean by deterioration. Deterioration is the alteration in an object, produced by the interaction between the object and factors of destruction. Stone is the first material that was used by men for making tools, implements and some other objects of daily use. During the interglacial period, when huge ice sheets melted and flowed in the form of rivers, most of the artifacts of the primitive men swept away under the current.
It may also produce pits in the surface of the stone that weaken the structure.
A trained conserver is able to remove the moss deposit quite easily by the application of chemicals. Stone objects often suffer from damage during storage, especially when big and small objects are dumped together.
Some objects may break, others get abraded. Therefore, it is wise to store the objects on separate shelves or platforms. These shelves or platforms should be amply padded and strong enough to support the weight, especially in case of stone sculptures. Clay vessels and other utensils, beads, toys, figurines etc. Unbaked clay objects are very fragile. They get easily affected by water and so cannot be cleaned with any aqueous solution.
Such objects should be kept in a dry atmosphere. In case of painted clay objects also, water or humidity gives a detrimental effect. But the clay objects that were once baked can be washed with distilled water to remove the salts present on them.
The baked clay objects produced at any degree of firing are though more durable than those of unbaked clay objects, they too are fragile, subjected to crack or break.
Many such objects break by accident, falling from a shelf or a table and slipping out from hands. Therefore, careful handling is the most necessary prerequisite for this kind of material. Wood being an organic material is especially susceptible to deterioration.
Man has used wood since the early days of Stone Age. He relied on it in the same scale as he did upon the stone. Naturally he made various kinds of weapons, objects of daily use as well as materials for art and decoration. Although seemingly wood looks hard and durable, but in fact, it is perishable and vulnerable to varied causes of deterioration.
It easily falls prey to insects and growth of microorganisms is often found in it. It gets affected by the change of climatic condition. It is combustible too.
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So preservation of wooden materials demands utmost attention. Great care should be taken in storing them. The oldest wooden tool so far as recovered, is a wooden spear-point aboutyears old, found from a spot near London.
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The use of Ivory and Bone is recognized since the Upper Palaeolithic period. They have been used in making tools, ornaments, weapon handle, beads, etc. Ivory from elephant tusks was the most common one, but walrus ivory was also recovered from North of Europe. Like other organic materials, both bone and ivory are susceptible to heat and humidity. They expand under high humidity and contract in low humid condition.
Therefore, cracks often develop in these materials.
Oct 26, Preservation-or more accurately preventive conservation-is the practice of maintaining artifacts by providing a stable storage or display environment in order to minimize further damage or deterioration. Deterioration may be caused by environmental factors or by inherent vice, the unstable nature of an artifact's composition. May 25, Although museums strive to protect every single object, environmental conditions, storage control, and individual handling all influence the longevity of the artworks and artifacts. Conservation and preservation are two methods which are used to maintain the state of the object. Aug 07, It is important to preserve artifacts from historical events so we can remember, learn about and honor those who were involved. "The protection of the artifacts is so important because we want them to be around a hundred years from now to tell this very important part of American history," stated Joe Daniels, former President and CEO of the museum, in an interview.
But the effect of the climate can be minimized if the objects are coated with a water-repellant substance. Both ivory and bone can be easily stained because they are porous in nature. For the storage of these objects, clean soft tissue papers must be used and finally the objects should be kept on padded shelves or in padded boxes. Apart from gold and silver, much copper, bronze and iron objects have been discovered as exhibits of Bronze and Iron Age.
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Copper and its alloys, like bronze or brass, corrode easily especially when buried in the earth. Corrosion takes place as the soil contains many salts. However, the corrosive layers of its chloride cover the upper surface of the copper object, rendering the metal friable and weak.
High humidity accelerates the process of decaying. At present a preservative coating solution is available which can be applied on copper, bronze and brass objects. Since iron objects rusts easily in moist climate, excavated iron objects are often rusted, sometimes to the extent that no or very little metal core is left in the object. If an iron object is already corroded, it should be treated in the laboratory before preservation.
Sometimes rusting is so advanced that if it were removed, the whole object or its important portions would be lost. In that case, the rust is also conserved along with the object.
Formation of the fresh rust can be prevented, to a large extent, by the application of a water-repellant of its surface. The object is either immersed in wax or wax is applied on it with a brush. Beside wax, some consolidants and varnishes may also be applied on the objects. Environment plays a major role in the conservation of artifacts.
Changes in temperature and relative humidity are particularly important. Since objects remain buried for a long time, they are conditioned by the natural environment.
After excavation when they are carried to a new environment, the equilibrium gets distorted and as a result the artifacts may swell, shrink or warp. Chemicals such as formaldehyde and acidic gases from wooden compounds can also harm historic objects. Conduct regular inspections of these objects for any changes in condition. Basic Preservation Techniques for Textiles Textiles-or objects made from woven fibers - are among the most common types of artifacts found in museums or within a family. Store textiles in climate-controlled spaces, not in attics or basements.
Store or display textiles away from bright light, especially sunlight and florescent light that contains high amounts of UV radiation. Store textiles in acid-free boxes designed for this purpose. Do not store heirloom textiles in a wooden dresser drawer or an ordinary cardboard box.
If possible, store textiles in a flat position, without folds. Gravity acts with the weight of the textile to alter the original shape and condition of the piece.
If displaying a quilt, tapestry, flag or other hanging textile, make certain the textile is supported by a piece of backing fabric.
Do not let the textile hang by its own weight for an extended period of time. Remove staples or pins from textiles as they may rust and stain the textile. If storing a garment or flat textile in a box, make certain that there are no hard creases or folds. Pad any folds or creases with acid free paper.
Preservation is an action in order to prevent, stop or retard the process of deterioration of the Artifacts. It is sometimes supplemented by the restoration work, which means the treatment of objects with necessary corrections and alterations. The concept of conservation is the ultimate reality, which includes both preservation and restoration. The conservation and restoration of archaeological sites is the process of professionally protecting an archaeological site from further damage and restore it to a previous state. Archaeological sites require an extra level of care in regards to their conservation and restoration. Archaeology, even with thorough documentation, is a destructive force.
Stuff arms of jackets and the body of jackets or bodices so the fibers are supported. Wear clean cotton or nylon gloves when handling heirloom textiles. If moving an heirloom textile or garment from one location to another, support the textile by having a stiff support under it or by having it housed in an acid-free box. Do not let the textile bear its own weight while being transported.
If you must store a garment on a hanger, pad the hanger so that there is a natural shoulder shape across the top of the upper garment and if storing trousers, pad the trouser bar.
Large, flat textiles, such as quilts or rugs, may be rolled around an acid free cardboard tube for storage. Store rolled textiles horizontally and off of the floor. Do not store heirloom textiles in sealed plastic bags. Protect textiles from dust with unbleached muslin bags or muslin fabric dust covers or by storing in an acid-free box with a lid. Do not wash heirloom textiles in the washing machine or give them to a commercial dry cleaner to clean by tumbling. Basic Preservation Techniques for Paper Most paper in the last years has been made from either linen or cotton rags or wood pulp.
Store documents in a climate-controlled environment, not in attics or basements. Paper is subject to mold growth. Store documents flat without folds or creases. Folded paper fibers are weakened at the point of the fold and will deteriorate more quickly at that part of the page. Paper is sensitive to attack by pests such as silverfish and roaches. Inspect old documents regularly to check for insect infestation.
Store rag paper and pulp paper separately - acid migrates from the more acidic surface to the less acidic surface for example, separate the newspaper clipping about your wedding from the wedding invitations. Display paper away from sunlight or florescent light. Light will cause the surface coatings, such as ink, to fade and if the paper has a high acid content will hasten the deterioration of the paper.
Display documents, postcards and currency using only archival quality mats, backing boards, etc. Specify to the frame shop that the materials are to be archival quality and acid free.
If possible, do not display paper against the outside wall of a building. Exterior walls experience more fluctuations in temperature and humidity than interior walls do. If storing documents, store them in acid-free folders, boxes or chemically inert plastic sleeves. Consult a conservator if you need to de-acidify documents. Do not use rubber bands, staples, straight pins or paper clips when storing heirloom documents.
To minimize the risk of water damage, do not store boxes of documents or framed paper items on the floor. Basic Preservation of Photographs Photographs provide us with a special form of historical documentation.
Photographs should be stored in a cool, dry location. High temperatures and humidity are damaging to photos. Avoid displaying photographs in bright light or direct sunlight.
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Store and frame photographs in acid-free inert materials. Never touch the surface of a photograph; hold them by the edges or use clean cotton gloves.
Do not use tape, paper clips, rubber bands or Post-it notes on your photographs; they can all cause damage. Do not use ball-point pen or felt-tip markers to write on photos. Label them on the back with a soft pencil.
You may wish to number them and write out longer descriptions separately. Another alternative is to photocopy the photograph and write your information on the photocopy. Never write on the front of a photograph. Do not store your photos in self-adhesive albums. Use acid-free storage material or inert plastic sheets. Take care to preserve your negatives also.
Use acid-free or inert plastic sleeves to store them. Color photographs are not as stable as black and white. If you wish to display your photographs, you may want to consider having them copied and displaying the copies. That way your originals will be protected from fading or other possible damage.
When mounting photographs, be sure to use acid-free materials. Photographs should be attached to the backing board with Mylar corners rather than being glued or taped down.
An acid-free mat should be used to keep the glass from touching the photograph. If you are displaying original prints, consider rotating one photograph with another to limit the amount of fading.
Basic Preservation of Metal Artifacts All metal except gold is susceptible to oxidation or corrosion. General Rules If you are unsure what to do, seek professional guidance. Do not attempt to clean or polish metal artifacts without seeking professional advice.
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Do not handle metal artifacts with bare hands; gloves should be used. Generally speaking, commercially available dip-type tarnish removers should be avoided. The use of spray-on lacquer or similar coatings is seldom advisable. Although some oxidation or corrosion may be damaging to an artifact, they may also add to the value. Restoring an artifact to its original condition is not always the prudent course of action.
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Iron and Steel This is one of the most common metals and is commonly found in firearms, bayonets and swords. Painted Metal Artifacts Painted metal artifacts require limited special precautions. Copper, Brass, Silver These metals are relatively stable.
Basic Preservation of Leather Artifacts Leather is a difficult item to preserve; care should be taken to store in medium humidity and moderate temperature. Avoid displaying leather items in direct sunlight or bright light.
If the leather is dirty or moldy, clean it with damp cotton cloths. Do not use saddle soap or leather conditioners. If the item feels overly dry or stiff do not use petroleum products or anything that does not list its ingredients on your leather.