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KAYAPO COURAGE: “The Amazon tribe has beaten back ranchers and gold miners and famously stopped a dam. Now its leaders must fight again or risk losing a way of life.” ~ Chip Brown.  photography by Martin Schoeller - full story & gallery via National Geographic (January 2014)

  • “YNHIRE expresses his identity as a warrior with a headdress of parrot feathers.”
  • “BEPRO wears the beads and cotton-wrapped earrings that boys receive as part of their naming ceremony.”
  • “ROPNI, an internationally known chief, is one of the few Kayapo who still wear the mahogany lip plate.”
  • “PHNH-OTI has an inverted V shaved into her scalp, a ceremonial female practice.”
  • “BEPRAN-TI wears an impressive display of feathers for his betrothal ceremony, a Kayapo rite of passage.”
  • “MEKARON-TI, the great chief, speaks Portuguese and is a powerful advocate for his people.”

Preservation through Poetry:

Tape is Evil

Tape is evil, tape is bad
Tape makes Preservation staff really really mad.
Scotch, masking, duct or the blue one used by a painter,
None of these should be used; you’ll thank us later.
Tape is made of two parts: a carrier and the glue
One will degrade over time, the other too.
The carrier will dry out, crumble and crack,
The adhesive will seep out or lose its tack.
The glue could ooze onto the photos, you see
Or it could fuse the papers, we won’t get them free.
Normally tape would be used for attaching fragments and closing rips.
But this is not the best archival practice, please take these tips.
So what should be used instead, you ask?
We have a couple options, depending on the task.
First, we could mend it using a wheat starch paste,
Which is applied to an archival tissue, with ease, not haste.
The tissue with paste is then laid over the fragment or tear,
Providing stabilization for the paper from handling and wear.
Second, if the page is torn or has fragments abound,
We place them in a Mylar sleeve, so later they can be found.
The sleeve keeps the loose fragments together with the original sheet,
Without all the pieces, this page would be incomplete.
The longevity of the papers and photos are what we guarantee,
Here in the St. Louis Preservation Lab at the NPRC.

Is it Mold?

Mold in library collections can present a serious hazard to both collections and human health. Active mold is usually obvious (wet and fuzzy), but inactive mold is easily confused with dirt, foxing, or other staining.

In order to help library and archives staff identify signs of mold (and when to contact Conservation), I created this handy infographic. Please feel free to share!

Artisan Good: Jelly

Description: Gooey.
Game ingredients: Any fruit (1)
Difficulty: Medium, 1 day. Makes about 7 jars of jelly (250mL each)

This recipe is specifically for apple or crabapple jelly. If you want to use a different fruit, just about every box of pectin has an instruction sheet inside that will provide the accurate amount of sugar needed. The overall premise is basically the same with any fruit, though.

-16 medium apples or 56 crabapples
-½ teaspoon butter or margarine
-7 cups of sugar
-1 package of pectin

You will need a jellybag/cheesecloth and jars with rings and lids. Although, my grandmother sends us home with blackberry jelly in washed out salsa jars, so it’s not entirely necessary to have canning jars if you know what you’re doing.

I used crabapples for this recipe. I doubled it and worked with half at a time (don’t try to do it all at once if you’re doubling up; it’s kind of an exact science). Start off by cutting the apples into quarters. You can skip this step with crabapples. Throw the fruit into a large pot and fill it with water til it’s about half-way up the apples. Boil over high heat, and then bring down to a simmer. Put the lid on and let it sit for about half an hour, or til the fruit is soft. 

Mash the fruit down with a potato masher. Don’t worry about missing large chunks, just try to mash down as much as possible. Let it simmer another 5 minutes or so. 

Place the jellybag/cheesecloth in a large bowl. Carefully scoop the mashed fruit into the bag, but try not to get any in the bowl; that’ll be collecting the jelly juice. Once the bag is full, tie it tightly to a broomhandle and suspend it over the bowl. Let it sit overnight. 

With a measuring cup, spoon the juice from the bowl into a large pot, counting the number of cups of juice going in. You should have roughly 5 cups (1250mL).

Before proceeding, wash your jars, rings, and lids. Place the jars and rings in the sink and fill with very hot water, enough to fully cover the jars. Take the lids and place them in a saucepan with plenty of water on the stove. Alternate the lids between face-up and face-down, this will make them much easier to grab. Heat the water over medium heat, but don’t let it boil. 

Add the butter and pectin to the jelly juice, and heat over high heat. Stir constantly. Once the juice reaches a hard boil that can’t be stirred back down, add the sugar all at once. It’s a good idea to measure it out in a bowl beforehand. 

Stir the sugar until it dissolves, and let it come back up to a hard boil. Stir constantly while it boils for 1 full minute. Once done, turn off the stove and let it sit for about a minute while the foam rises to the surface. Skim off the foam with a knife or spoon to remove it. 

Take a jar from the sink and shake off the excess water. Place a funnel in the jar and scoop the jelly in. Do not fill the jar completely full, always leave a bit of room at the top (I usually fill to the middle thread). Wipe down the rim of the jar with a clean, damp cloth to remove any jelly. Take a lid from the saucepan (you can use a butter knife to help grab them if the water is too hot to touch) and place it on the jar. Take a ring from the sink and tightly secure it into place.

It’s important for everything to be quite hot while putting the jelly into the jars. As the jelly cools, it will create a vacuum and suck down the lid, which seals it. The lid will make a pop! sound as it does so. 

Serve on toast, pancakes, waffles, or use in baking as you please. 

-SVR

anonymous asked:

Hello, why is it wrong to laminate those documents?

This was asked in response to this post, methinks.

Just in case anyone is confused, lamination is NOT the same as encapsulation. Encapsulation seals the document in a sandwich of stable plastic sheets, but only the edges of the plastic are sealed and nothing is directly attached to the document during the process. Lamination adheres the plastic TO the object itself, via heat.

Lamination is a terrible thing to do to historical or important documents because….

  • lamination is what we call an irreversible treatment because it is fundamentally impossible to remove without causing great risk to the item that was laminated (the plastic actually melts *into* the structure of the paper fibers themselves). Removing it often requires the use of solvents or other chemicals that can also damage the inks, the paper, or the conservator during treatment.
  • lamination restricts further scientific analysis of the document by preventing immediate access to the document’s actual surface and inks
  • the plastics used in lamination are themselves inherently unstable (cellulose acetate was a very popular choice when lamination was first considered an acceptable “preservation” method for documents) and over time can deteriorate and cause more damage to the documents within. As the lamination plastic breaks down, it can also produce harmful chemicals that will damage nearby, non-laminated, items stored next to the laminated item.
  • the process of lamination itself can cause damage to the item, by solubilizing inks and causing them to become blurry, melting wax seals or other heat-sensitive attachments to the document, or even burning the paper itself
  • it looks bad and has a negative effect on the aesthetic of the document- it gives a shiny surface to the document that is always there (unlike with encapsulation, where you can easily slip a document in and out of the plastic sleeve) and also makes it hard to get a good image during digitization


Here are some links to more examples of why lamination is no longer considered an acceptable preservation method for archival documents or anything else that we would like to keep around long-term in our collections. 

In conclusion, I’ll say it again..

IF YOU LOVE IT, DON’T LAMINATE IT!

7 Underwater Facts for World Oceans Day

Today is World Oceans Day, a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. A healthy world ocean is critical to our survival. Together, let’s honor, help protect, and conserve the world’s oceans!

1. While the Earth’s oceans are known as five separate entities, there is really only one ocean.

2. The ocean contains upwards of 99% of the world’s biosphere, that is, the spaces and places where life exists.

Both above GIFs are from the TED-Ed Lesson How big is the ocean? - Scott Gass

Animation by 20 steps

3. Jellyfish are soft because they are 95% water and are mostly made of a translucent gel-like substance called mesoglea. With such delicate bodies, jellyfish rely on thousands of venom-containing stinging cells called cnidocytes for protection and prey capture.

From the TED-Ed Lesson How does a jellyfish sting? - Neosha S Kashef

Animation by Cinematic

4. Plastics & litter that make their way into our oceans are swiftly carried by currents, ultimately winding up in huge circulating ocean systems called gyres. The earth has five gyres that act as gathering points, but the largest of all is known as the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ and has grown so immense that the oceanic garbage patch can shift from around the size of Texas, to something the size of the United States. 

From the TED-Ed Lesson The nurdles’ quest for ocean domination - Kim Preshoff

Animation by Reflective Films

5. The 200 or so species of octopuses are mollusks belonging to the order Cephalopoda, Greek for ‘head-feet’. Those heads contain impressively large brains, with a brain to body ratio similar to that of other intelligent animals, and a complex nervous system with about as many neurons as that of a dog.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Why the octopus brain is so extraordinary - Cláudio L. Guerra

Animation by Cinematic

6. Some lucky animals are naturally endowed with bioluminescence, or the ability to create light. The firefly, the anglerfish, and a few more surprising creatures use this ability in many ways, including survival, hunting, and mating.

From the TED-Ed Lesson The brilliance of bioluminescence - Leslie Kenna

Animation by Cinematic

7. Sea turtles ultimately grow from the size of a dinner plate to that of a dinner table. In the case of the leatherback sea turtle, this can take up to a decade. Happy World Turtle Day!

From the TED-Ed Lesson The survival of the sea turtle - Scott Gass

Animation by Cinematic Sweden

In July of 1776, Timothy Matlack was the scribe charged with writing out the Declaration of Independence. He would have dipped his quill pen into iron gall ink.

Watch now as Rachel Bartgis, a conservation technician for Preservation Programs at the National Archives, shows us the unusual ingredients commonly used to make iron gall ink at the time the Declaration was written.

Learn more about the creation and preservation of the Declaration of Independence: http://bit.ly/2s0j3Bd

youtube

Shelf Life episode 15 uncovers The Guts and Glory of Object Conservation. In the Museum’s Objects Conservation Laboratory, walrus intestines, birch bark, and reindeer hide are all in a day’s work for conservators trying to preserve Siberian anthropology collections for the future.

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ALTERNATIVE SPRING BREAK IN THE CONSERVATION LAB AT ARCHIVES II

The Conservation Lab at Archives II recently hosted two Alternative Spring Break interns. The interns worked on a rehousing project for lantern slides. Guided by our photo conservators, they helped to treat, sleeve, and box lantern slides from the Army Air Force. And as an added bonus they found some interesting images!

[RG 18 Army Air Forces, lantern slides of aviation history, ca. 1903-1927]

“We have senses for only a selection of perceptions with which we have to concern ourselves in order to preserve ourselves. Consciousness is present only to the extent that it is useful. Thus, it cannot be doubted that all sense perceptions are permeated with value judments.”

—F. Nietzsche, The Will to Power, §505 (edited excerpt).