Paper conservation

The range of duties in paper conservation are determined by the wide-ranging collections consisting of graphic prints, photographs and documents ranging from everyday objects to technical objects from the industrial sector. These can be an artwork made of paper, a print, a toy box, a document with seals, a bank note, a historical map or a banner from a political demonstration.

Conservation, i.e. the measures merely to preserve the object as well as the additional preservation measures that usually include aesthetic aspects, entails a broad spectrum of decisions. The traces of wear and tear on a letter, for example, are part of its history, while on the other hand spots on a graphic print – seen as a work of art – can be visually distracting. Research in recent years is bringing greater understanding to paper objects and the processes of deterioration. It is therefore possible to use less invasive and more efficient treatment methods through further development and improvement of traditional methods of conservation.

As a material, paper is represented in nearly every exhibition – be it as photo, document, print or similar objects. The technique of presenting paper objects in exhibitions deserves particular attention and continues to be developed in this area. It sometimes includes complicated montages in order to achieve the best possible aesthetic results.