These photographs show Peter, our conservator, removing an original illustration for Last Term at Malory Towers from its frame. The artwork was framed when we bought it, but had to be removed from the frame for conservation reasons. The material used for framing, particularly the mount board and backing board, are not conservation grade materials – they have a highly acidic chemical make-up (as most paper does) which, over time, will degrade and cause damage to the artwork itself.
So Peter had to remove the artwork from the frame and detach it from the mount board. A small amount of solvent was then used to remove all glue residue from the artwork, along the top edge where it was taped to the mount. Glue residue, over time, will also degrade and cause staining and further damage to the paper. The illustration will now be wrapped in acid-free tissue paper, and Peter will make a made-to-measure folder using acid-free board in which to store it. All of this conservation work slows down the natural process of degradation in the paper, ensuring the preservation of the artwork for as long as possible.