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Co Sligo

VAT: IE 9040900Q

Quote Number 000524
Quote Date February 11, 2022
Valid Until May 12, 2022
Total €13,018.45
Delany Archive

Carlow College
College Street

Conservation and storage of School Returns

Collection of 19th century school returns manuscript in iron gall ink on cellulose paper. The collections consists of documents with differing sizes whereby the larger documents are made up by panels joined together.


The paper stability is variable throughout the collection. Most of the damages are mechanical due to handling and vary from marginal tears to large tears across. The larger objects have incurred relatively heavier damages. As well as fold creases due to their long term folded storage

The returns are currently kept in a stable folded condition. The current storage situation allows no proper accession to the documents To make them permanently accessible conservation and appropriate storage is required.



An aqueous treatment of this type of document is recommended as it will rejuvenate the paper by giving back it’s hydrogen bonds on a molecular level. Furthermore is will easier reshape the paper and undo its creases and undulations.

The aqueous treatment can have different means of application and is object dependent:


  1. Humidification in a damp pack

  2. Spray application on a suction table

  3. Capillary washing

  4. Wash by immersion

2, 3, 4 allows for removal of acids and stains. In general I use 4, but when inks are a comprising factor 2 and 3 are good alternatives.



Ideally the documents are to be stored flat in custom made four flap archival folders box strength tailored to each parish, and then stored on a shelf rack.

Alternatively a planorama plan chest cabinet In that case a folder paper strength will suffice. (P.O.A.)


In summary

  • Dryclean

  • Test pH and stability of inks

  • Pre-wetting with alcohol/water mix on creases to facilitate easier unfolding, if required

  • Aqueous treatment

  • Aqueous treatment with calcium bicarbonate in case of acidity

  • Pre-drying between wool felts

  • Size with gelatine solution to strengthen paper internally, if required

  • Wheat starch consolidation of paper seams

  • Kozo tissue tear repairs and infills

  • Added Kozo tissue backing support where paper strength remains compromised

  • Dry between wool felts under weight

  • Trim off excess repairs

  • Store each parish return set in a custom made an acid free folder, box board strength.


Hrs/Qty Service Rate/PriceSub Total
145 Paper conservation (hours)
1 Materials (paper conservation)

Including but not limited to:
• what starch paste
• Kozo tissue papers, various weights
• Isopropanol
• gelatine (size)
• methylcellulose (size)

19 Create four flapfolders
1 Premier Boxboard - Neutral Grey/White 1950 Micron - 1200x1600mm €1,350.00€1,350.00
Sub Total €11,470.00
VAT @ 13.5% €1,548.45
VAT @ 23% €0.00
Total €13,018.45