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Conservation

Posters From World Wars I & II

photo of a poster by Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978) being encapsulated in a polyester film envelope using an ultrasonic welder.The Society has more than 1000 posters from World Wars I and II. The Society undertook a project to photograph and preserve these war posters to make them more accessible to the public.

Each poster was photographed. Digital images were added to the Visual Resources Database to enhance access to the collection. Two color transparencies and one black and white negative were also made. One of the color transparencies is used to make slides for patrons while the other can be leased by patrons. The black and white negative is used to produce prints.

Anticipating increased use of the war posters once the public learned of their availability via the web, the Society decided to conserve them. Most of the posters were in good condition and required only light surface cleaning with a vulcanized rubber dry cleaning sponge and mending of small tears with Japanese tissue and wheat starch paste. A few posters also needed to be washed in water and lined with Japanese tissue and wheat starch paste. Every poster was encapsulated in polyester film, an inert clear plastic used in conservation. The poster is protected within the polyester film while it is being handled and stored, but it can be removed at anytime should that be necessary.

The project took about 1½ years to complete.