Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Relaxing and Rehumidifying an Old Document - Part 2

Denise Levenick wrote some excellent instructions for rehumidifying old photos and documents that have been rolled up so that they will lay flat. If you haven't read her post, "Photo Tutorial: How to Relax and Rehumidity Old Rolled Photographs and Documents," you should. Also, Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana had some excellent observations in the comments section of Part 1. I'll wait while you catch up and then we'll talk about my second experience with flattening an oversize document that spent many decades rolled up.

This is my great grandfather's college diploma from 1891 so there's no telling how long it spent in this condition. I'm pretty sure it's been like this since long before I was born. Because of this and it’s large size I was faced with a bigger challenge than with the last document.

There was no way I could unroll it inside the large plastic bin I was using. So I improvised which made me very nervous.  After it had begun to rehumidify, I unrolled the diploma just enough for it to hang over the edges of the rack it was sitting on. I was careful to be sure it didn’t touch the sides of the plastic bin. and that it wouldn’t droop low enough to dip into the water at the bottom of the bin.

Since I was nervous about the whole set up, I didn’t leave the diploma like that for very long at all. In the end, I definitely should have left it longer. This is what the diploma looks like right out of the rehumidification chamber.

This is what it looked like after a couple of weeks under the blotting paper.  Not bad but I can’t help but think the ends would have ended up flatter if I had just given it more time to rehumidify.

Next up are the long photographs and a poster. The results were mixed in part because of operator error (me) so you will definitely want to read the post. I hope you learn from my mistake!

Other posts in this series:
Relaxing and Rehumidifying an Old Document - Part 1
Relaxing and Rehumidifying Photographs - Part 3
Relaxing and Rehumidifying an Old Poster - Part 4 

URL for this post:http://turning-of-generations.blogspot.com/2014/06/relaxing-and-rehumidifying-old-document.html

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