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Conservation

Wall Map of Taylor's Falls

photo of the wall map of Taylor's Falls, before treatmentA gift of Roger Kennedy, this map came to the Minnesota Historical Society as originally made—lined with cloth, varnished on the front, and with a wooden molding at the top and a dowel at the bottom. The map was discolored and brittle, and the varnish had darkened from long-term exposure to light. There was severe water staining along the sides, and the paper had numerous tears and losses from being rolled and unrolled repeatedly.


photo of the wall map of Taylor's Falls, during treatmentThe treatment of the map was supervised by volunteer Allan Thenen, a paper conservator with extensive experience in the treatment of varnished wall maps. Conservators first surface cleaned the map with a chemical sponge and removed the wooden molding and dowel. The varnished surface was sprayed with alcohol and left covered several minutes. The alcohol softened the varnish, facilitating its removal in water. The map was then immersed in a bath of hot water to which ammonium hydroxide had been added. The cloth lining, adhesive, and varnish were removed, and the map was deacidified and re-lined with Japanese tissue and wheat starch paste. Conservators repaired tears, filled losses and applied a gelatin size to the surface. Finally, the map was encapsulated in polyester film for protection.

photo of the Taylor's Falls map after treatment
After Treatment