Preservation and Exhibition: DAAP Library’s Teaching Collection and upcoming gallery talk on Dec. 5

Reprinted from the Preservation Lab blog

For the past six months, the Preservation Lab’s Jessica Ebert and Catarina Figueirinhas have been working with the Robert A. Deshon and Karl J. Schlachter Library for Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) on housing their Teaching art collection, including prior acquisition and newly acquired items. This collection consists of different art prints on paper, print plates and manuscript parchment leaves in need of long-term housing. In addition to housing, this collection is used for teaching in a classroom setting and for exhibition.

Most of the collection only requires simple matting systems, but some require more intricate matting systems such as the copper plate along with its print, a project mentioned in a previous blog post entitled How many magnets is too many magnets!?.

As some of the items of this collection were being prepared to go on exhibit, we had the opportunity to create mounts for other items, such as two parchment scrolls that were included in the exhibit. This was a fun project to work on, as it required us to create a support that would secure both scrolls, while providing an elegant solution for display.

To start, Jessica created a very rough small model with mat board, polyethylene strapping, and paper (as we always do with anything new in the lab, we do love model making!!). The model provided us the visual example that we needed to create the mount for the two scrolls.

Scroll mock-up
Small rough model created by Jessica

With the model in mind, we were able to engineer a good system that would provide support for the scrolls and could be used for display. The scrolls were supported with foam rolls on the inside for the rolled ends, and secured with polyethylene strapping that only touched the foam. The sections of the scrolls that were going to be displayed were also secured with polyethylene strapping that wrapped around the mat board support through slits in the board. At the bottom, the mat board extended outwards creating a small shelf to support the end of the scroll.

Two scrolls mounted to mat board with strapping
Scrolls mounted and ready for exhibition.

As a result of all the mounting and matting we did for the Teaching Art collection and for the scrolls, each item is currently on display at the DAAP Library entrance case:

Image of the exhibit
Current display at the DAAP Library featuring the Teaching Art Collection.

If you are interested in learning more about our preservation considerations for exhibition of this collection, Catarina and Jessica will be giving a short gallery talk on Tuesday, December 5th at 1pm, at the DAAP Library entrance on the 5th floor.

Image of the gallery talk flyer

Catarina Figueirinhas [UCL] – Assistant Conservator