A conservation case study
City of Toronto Illustrated
City of Toronto Archives
Series 1242, File 80
The Toronto Illustrated, which was published at 102 King St. West, is a thirty page newspaper.
The publication contains information and advertisements promoting local businesses, with special features on the insurance industry, dry goods, the ocean cattle trade, Toronto breweries, and the real estate market.
Other articles provide facts and figures about Toronto's population, government, and economy, and promote both its educational institutions and its "pleasantness in summer".
Lithographs which advertise prominent businesses and buildings in Toronto make this newspaper a valuable source of Toronto's history.
The newspaper was in poor condition when it entered the conservation lab. The paper was of good quality and stable, but it was folded in half.
Over time, through handling and improper storage, the edges and fold lines had become extremely fragile and had suffered paper losses and many tears. During the assessment, surface dirt was noted as well as any physical damage to the document, such as tears or folds.
Each newspaper page was carefully dry cleaned with an eraser. This painstaking work was performed by hand to remove any surface dirt.
After cleaning, it was noted that the paper had not yellowed and was flat. Consequently it was not necessary to wash the newspaper pages.
In paper conservation, Japanese paper is used to infill the losses and repair tears. The repairs are less noticeable and stronger when a corresponding Japanese paper of similar colour and weight is used. The paper is attached to the newspaper page with a natural reversible adhesive called wheat starch paste. Due to the large number of images in this newspaper a less opaque Japanese paper was used to provide support to the tears without obscuring the text and images.
Once all the damage had been repaired and the newspaper assembled in page order, it was encapsulated. Encapsulation is sandwiching the archival document between two pieces of clear inert polyester plastic.
The plastic protects the newspaper from handling damage but still allows for flexibility. Each page was encapsulated and stored flat in an acid-free folder. The newspaper is now ready to be viewed at the Archives.
Canadian Association for Conservation
Canadian Association of Professional Conservators
Canadian Conservation Institute
Northeast Document Conservation Center