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Collection Conservation

Founded in 1897 and chartered by the New York State Regents in 1909, the Ticonderoga Historical Society advances the preservation and interpretation of history through its collections, programs and community outreach. The Historical Society makes area history an integral part of community life by connecting past and present.

The Society has been very fortunate over the years to acquire, through donation and acquisitions, a substantial array of material for its library and museum archives. We recognize that collecting and preserving are two important activities that are required to maintain an ongoing and future looking library and museum collection  as we strive to have.

In recent years as we have developed a more progressive program and event schedule to meet the contemporary interest of the public, we have added to our collection to address “holes”  needed to help “tell the story.” As an example, for 2017,  one of our featured themed program/exhibits is to recognize the centennial entry of the United States into World War I.

As we researched our collection to prepare for a three year run to tell this story, we “found” in our collection six original World War I posters in different states of condition. In further review it was noted that if placed on display that one needed major conservation and others less so. A decision was made to have three of the six posters conserved. With limited operational funds for this endeavor, we were fortunate to have one of our members fund the expense to have all three professionally conserved.

Conservation Treatment Report

Object information – Group of three posters:

• Artist: various

• Publishers: various

• Subject: (1) “Ring it Again”; (2) “On the Job for Victory and (3) “Rivets are Bayonets – Drive Them Home”

• Date: 1917

• Dimensions (height x width in inches): (1) 29 ¾” x 20”; (2) 27 ¾” x 21 ¼” and (3) 38” x 25”

• Media: black and color oil-based printing inks, graphite (all 3); purple and black stamp inks, black and blue manuscript inks (#1 only)

• Support: medium weight wove paper, beige

• Inscription(s): accession numbers in graphite (all 3); multiple collectors’ stamps and inscriptions in purple, blue and black inks (#1 only); punched “NYSL” stamp (#1 only)

• Planar: Curled and cockled (The posters are somewhat curled and cockled overall.)

• Structural: Major tearing (Major tears on #3 (Rivets are Bayonets”); bottom left quadrant detached. Major loss approximately 2 x 2” at bottom center edge.

• Structural: Minor edge tearing (On all three posters. Minor losses to the margins

• Planar: Crumpled (Edges crumpled and creased with several larger edge folds present)

• Surface soil: Heavy (Dust, soot, cobwebs, and embedded grime)

• Acidic degradation: Minor discoloration (Paper somewhat darkened overall.)

• Staining: Minor scattered stains (At top left corner of #3)

• Insect damage: Losses/holes (At top left corner of #3)

• Results of testing: All media tested in water (Blue stamp ink on verso of #1)  tested as somewhat soluble in water. All other media tested as stable.

Treatment completed

• Dry treatment: Reduced surface soil with dry cleaning techniques, avoiding graphite inscriptions. Reduced rust deposits and other accretions mechanically.

• Humidification: Placed poster #3 (“Rivets are Bayonets” in a humidity chamber to soften the paper fibers and media layers. Tested all media to confirm stability in water