Caring for Important Family Documents | Shellie Cleaver | Skillshare

Caring for Important Family Documents

Shellie Cleaver, Visual art + academic writing classes

Caring for Important Family Documents

Shellie Cleaver, Visual art + academic writing classes

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9 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Introduction Protect Family Documents

    • 2. Protect Documents

    • 3. How to Store Paper

    • 4. How to Flatten Paper With Humidification

    • 5. Humidification Demonstration

    • 6. Removing Dirt Marks

    • 7. Remove Sticky Tape Adhesive

    • 8. Your Project

    • 9. When to Contact a Conservator

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About This Class

Join Shellie for this 21 minute class where she explored how to care for paper documents.

Shellie trained as a cultural materials conservation conservator at Melbourne University and through this introductory class, she shares how to store, clean and flatten documents. Shellie is also careful to explain when to consult a conservator, and the risks associated with performing conservation tasks yourself.

At the end of this class you will understand the elements that can degrade paper documents, you will know how to store your valuable paper documents, you will understand how to remove surface dirt marks, and how to humidify and flatten paper.

Meet Your Teacher

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Shellie Cleaver

Visual art + academic writing classes


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1. Introduction Protect Family Documents: Hello. My name is Shelly. I'm in Sydney, Australia, and I'm thrilled that you're taking this Cost me today. Everyone has important family documents that have come down through time across the generations. And as these documents age, they can become fragile damage. And it really matters to try and stall them properly and preserved for future generations. So that's why I'm hoping to share with you in this class. I have a background in conservation. I've studied how to preserve different materials. I specialized in painting conservation, but there is a very basic principles that everyone can apply to help protect the things that matter to them. This class is suitable for everybody. If you have objects or paper documents that matter to you, you're going to find some valuable information in this class. We're going to look at how to protect documents were going to have to still paper. We're going to learn how to flatten a piece of paper that's been crumple bent. We're also going to look at how to remove dirt marks from documents and how to try Teoh. Lift off the hasten residue from sticky type. This class is going to provide you with information that is easy to understand and basic principles that you can use to protect documents that really matter to you. So let's get started and make sure documents a site. 2. Protect Documents: paper documents like everything can age prematurely with exposure to hate, light, moisture and lack of moisture. So considering the environment that you store them in is one of the vital parts off, preserving them long term, keep them out of the sun, keep them in. Ah, an environment that is not too dry but not an environment that has steam or high humidity. Documents also risk of mechanical damage, so storing them in folders made of acid free materials is a good way to help protect them from daily bumps and possible tears. 3. How to Store Paper: how to still paper in specialist storage facilities. The temperature and relative humidity is maintained at a stable level in domestic settings , though these factors very some protection from these variations can be gained by storing documents in corrugated cardboard storage boxes, which create a more stable marker. Climate exposure to high levels of UV light courses. Materials to degrade faster to protect your documents, store them away from light as much as possible. Paper documents are vulnerable to damage from pistes such as Roaches and rats who may eat the paper, ensure they're stored away from food and that pest management practices a put in place. Storage in folders, boxes and wallets protects documents from mechanical damage and create more stable marco climates for documents. Acid free, high quality archival quality paper products are preferred for storing documents. P E T. Polyester plastic sleeves, known commercially as Milon or Melon X, are also suitable for storing documents 4. How to Flatten Paper With Humidification: how to flat in paper creased or roll paper can become brittle over time. Do not open documents if you are unsure of their condition. Care must be taken when opening out these documents. Paper has a memory, particularly if it is dry or has been in a low humidity environment. For valuable documents, consult with a paper conservative as humid ification places. Documents at risk media not suitable for human defecation. Treatments include water soluble media such as water color and inks, charcoal and pest ALS, oil based media, parchment vellum or adhered paper layers. To flatten a document, moisture needs to be carefully reintroduced to the paper through humid ification. In this process, high levels of relative humidity between 65 to 100% are introduced to the paper for a short period of time in a controlled environment. To relax the paper fibres and enable flattening step one. Clean the paper lightly. Dust with a soft natural fiber brush. If heavily soiled, consult a paper Conservative. Human defecation may cause dirt particles to become mud, and they will become mawr embedded in the paper fiber. That is why we want to remove them. Initially. Step two is to carefully remove or clips Brad's staples and rubber bands. Step three. Ultrasonic humidified cation is one option, but it requires investment in equipment for smaller home projects like we're looking at. In this class, we will use hot water, humid ification. You do this by creating a humidity chamber, which concentrates the humid air and exposes the paper to it. The main container needs to be airtight so that it can contain the humid air. Within that, a container is needed to hold the documents and to prevent them from coming in contact with the water. This illustration shows how you could set up your own humidity chamber at home. There's a container which will hold the humid air in that space. There's a container on the bottom where you will put the hot tap water, and there's a shelf place above that where the documents are sitting to receive the humid air. Because the documents may be brittle, we want to handle them as little as possible. In the document, you can see pieces of spun polyester being placed under H document that enables the polyester to be handled instead of the document. Additionally, a pace of polyester is placed over the top of the documents to protect them from condensation falling on them from the lead. If you have some documents that you need to flatten, ever think about what materials you have at home that you could use to create your own humidity chamber? It's always smart to proceed with caution when dealing with valuable items and documents, so test the humid ification process before you do this with something that matters. Start the communication in the morning as the process takes several hours and requires close supervision. Step one is to place the documents individually onto paces of spun polyester, such as holly, Tex, Cyrix or re may. Place hot water into the chamber container and place the documents onto the show using the polyester material. Do not attempt to unroll your documents before humid ification. If you have one. Place ah high Graham Attar or paper relative humidity indicator into the chamber and drape spun polyester over the documents to protect them from condensation drips. Place the lid on the humidity chamber, monitored the paper and the humidity level. You want to maintain it between 60 to 100%. Generally, paper relaxes within 4 to 6 hours, depending on the paper type and wait. Do not expose the paper to too much whom unification as this Michael's Co. Cling the paper size to swell or ink media to bleed too much humid If IQ ation makes paper limp and tacky, humidified paper is vulnerable, so handle it with great care after humid. If IQ ation paper will require flattening very carefully, lift the paper out off the chamber using the spun polyester and avoid handling the paper directly and place it on a clean surface. Wearing clean disposable gloves. Gently tests the papers. Willingness to open if resistant, place it back into the chamber. If the paper appears willing to open on a on a flat surface, placed a sheet of blotting paper on top of this, gently opened the document. Place a second shade of blotting paper over the flattened document, and, on top of this, place significant weight across the entire surface to prevent co cling, such as a piece of thick glass and books. Leave this overnight or for several days. Check the blooding paper during this time as they may need replacing if they become too saturated. Remove the weights and the top sheet of blotting paper and assess the document for dryness and flatness. Once dry, if the paper is not flat enough, the process can be repeated as needed. 5. Humidification Demonstration: so to set up for this human defecation demonstration. I've got my plastic tub. I've put some plastic ceiling tubing around the edges to help get a better seal when the lids on, I have this container where I'm going to put my hot tap water into, and that will help create the humid environment that will relax the paper fibres in the humid ification process. This is my little shelf that will sit above the container with the hot water, and that's where I will place my document for humid ification. This crumpled and miss shape and document is my master's certificate, so it's a great shame it's ended up in this state. This happened after moving several times, and it just got squashed. So it's a good candidate for this process, and I'm really hoping it will flatten it out so I can then frame it and finally have it on my wall. You can see here I've got it sitting on a sheet of spun polyester and that will enable made a handle the material and not the actual document. Okay, let's get started. He's my container. I'm now getting hot tap water into this smaller container and placing it in the bottom. I need my shelf above that and now, using the fabric to move the document, I can place that onto the show. I'm putting a piece of fabric over the theatrical document to protect it from any condensation drips that may come collect on the lead. I'm securing the lid, and I'm actually going away it down with a few books. It's amazing how effective it is it actually creating a humid environment. You can see in this photo the condensation forming on the side of the plastic tub, so it's been about 2.5 hours because the paper is quite thin. I don't think it needs longer. So I've removed the lead lift off this top piece of fabric. I can already say that the paper is more limp than it was before and has already begun to flatten out naturally, so I'm using the fabric to lift it out of the box. This just helps to protect the document a bit. Now I want to flatten this while it's you, while it's got more humidity in it, while the paper fibres a relaxed So I've got a hard surface on I've got a piece of blotting paper that I've folded in half. Gently ease your document out and see if it will naturally flatten minds looking pretty, pretty willing to be flattened. Just place it on the bloody paper, smooth it out when you're satisfied. Close down the lid off the up blotting paper and place another smooth object on top. And then we're going away it down with books. But so I left it to dry overnight with the blooding paper in the weight from the books on. I'm really excited to see quite what result we've got, so I'm removing the weights and we'll see what's happened. And look at that. A beautiful flat document, one tiny bit of the corner folded over accidentally. So just be careful. You don't make that mistake if you're flattening something. But as I hold it up and show, you can see that's a fantastic result from a piece of paper that was so misshapen, and now it's loud enough T frame. I'll show you the finished result in a minute 6. Removing Dirt Marks: it is common for paper documents. Toe Have dirt spots. Removing these requires surface cleaning. A dry method of removing dirt dust creations and insect droppings from paper services is recommended before cleaning. Consider is any historical information at risk of removal from the cleaning? Is the paper documents stable and strong to withstand cleaning? It's important to take careful considered steps to avoid losing irreplaceable historic information. To clean dirt, find a clear work surface. Lay a piece of clean paper down that can be changed as needed. Sweep the both services off the document with a soft brush front and back to remove loose dirt particles. If mold or pastoral or charcoal media is present, do not sweep the surface as these will be moved with the mechanical action off the sweeping brush. Now you can clean the surface using either a surface cleaning or soot sponge or vote vulcanized rubber, sponge or vinyl a razor for the vinyl razor technique. Target dirt spots by cutting the razor into wedge shapes. Rub in short, varied lines and ensure the paper is not damaged by this action. Always moved the razor toward the paper edge to ensure the A razor does not catch and tear the edge of the document. 7. Remove Sticky Tape Adhesive: sticky tape is a problematic material that often leaves a sticky residue on documents. To remove a creations from paper like sticky residue from precious sensitive tapes, use a rubber cement pickup. If the residue is brittle, consult a paper conservative. If the paper is strong and not fragile, rubbed with the rubber cement, pick up over the sticky residue in small, gentle strokes. If successful, the residue should start balling up and will lift off without damaging the paper. 8. Your Project: your project for this class is to try the Hume unification process on a document that is not too precious, something that is replaceable. Send photos of your humidifier cation chamber. Send photos of the start so that before what state the document was in before and after you've humidified and also flattened it. If that is too complex for you and you're not feeling confident, perhaps look at your files and find some important historical documents that you can re Hell's into more stable archival storage. This might involve getting some corrugated cardboard, archival storage boxes and possibly some acid free Mylar sleeves and repackaging items, particularly fragile documents and old documents they might benefit from being placed in. There are in my loss leave because it's a transparent plastic that's very stable, so it enables it to be handled but also seen and protected at the same time. So have a go look at some of your important family documents, re house them and share some photos. I'd love to see what you do. I've made lots of classes on painting and drawing and water colors, color theory, endless classes for you to take, and you'll find that each one you do, your skills will develop and grow. So let's have a look at how to follow me on school Share. Here is the full I button. Click on this on, and if you hover your mouse over this part here, it'll take you through to my profile as well. Under my profile, you'll see all of the classes I've created, and you'll be able to see the range of classes you could take. So here are highlight a couple of my classes color mixing basics for absolute beginners. Copying the Masters with Shelly Learn to paint. Watch me work. Embrace fear in the creative process. Begin is charcoal drawing How to paint gloss and beginners figure drawing gesture. I'm creating new outclasses all the time on I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to support you as you develop your own creative skills and make your way on your own creative journey. So let's start making stuff 9. When to Contact a Conservator: when to call a conservative. A conservative is a professional who has studied science and practical aspects off cleaning , repairing and storing valued items across all material types. If you have a document that's really precious to you and that's irreplaceable, it's probably worth considering consulting a conservative. Even though these services may not be cheap, they're priceless when you consider the care and longevity off your prized possession, initially you can consult with a conservative, and they would give you an idea of the condition off the item thebe of work that might be required to stabilize its condition, to clean it, possibly or to repair it, depending on the circumstances and the item. And from then there, you probably receive a quote about what the cost would be to actually have that work carried out by them. For more information, Google A. I C C. M. It's the Australian Association for Conservation. They have links to conservatives, basic information, and it's a great starting point for anybody new to this sector. For paper conservation, contact to pay for conservative for all valuable and irreplaceable documents and photographs, contact them if you require stain removal from a paper items or if your paper item has mold because working with mould actually has serious health risks,