|Samantha Sheesley, Conservator at the Conservation|
Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, with one of the
June and Art love letters.
We began working with the June and Art letters when my mother (June) asked my wife to organize her half of the correspondence. This was in early 2004, less than a year before my mother died. My wife put the letters into plastic sleeves and then into a binder.
After my father died in 2009, my sister and I discovered his half of the correspondence. I took the letters back with me to
where I combined them with my mother’s letters, organized them chronologically, sleeved everything in plastic, and packed them into three binders. In addition, I transcribed them into the computer (Microsoft Word) for digital preservation of the contents. New Jersey
Last week, I asked Samantha Sheesley, Conservator at the
for Art and Historic Artifacts, if we had handled the letters appropriately so far. Her response can be summed up as: Pretty good, but with room for improvement. Conservation Center
Sam recommended –
|Letters in need of flattening.|
|One leaf per sleeve, add identifying|
information to white edge with
Restricting myself to one item per sleeve. I had grouped all pages from each letter, plus the envelope, into a single sleeve. Sam strongly recommended only one sheet per sleeve, including a sleeve just for the envelope. That’s a lot of sleeves, I protested, but Sam insisted it’s for the best. When I argued that I wanted to keep each letter together for organizational reasons, she said to write the identifying information along the white edge of each sleeve with a sharpie.
Using a three-ring binder/storage box. My binders were standard school issue, with the paper edges exposed to light. According to Sam, the best storage for these papers would combine a three-ring-binder photo album structure with a clamshell storage box that keeps out light and dust. The archival supply company Gaylord offers several possibilities. This is a nice one: Preservation Box.
© 2010 Lee Price