Helena Robson began a two week placement in the Library’s Conservation Unit on 16 April. Helena had worked with the conservators as a volunteer in 2015, and she is about to complete her Skills for the Future traineeship on collections digitisation, as part of the programme run jointly by the National Galleries of Scotland and […]
The Exploration of a Mountain of Photographic Material by an Icon Intern American pioneering mountaineer and explorer Fanny Bullock Workman’s book Two Summers in the Ice-wilds of Eastern Karakoram: The Exploration of Nineteen Hundred Square Miles of Mountain and Glacier was the inspiration for the title of this piece as I feel it accurately summarises […]
From March 2016 to March 2017, the Library’s Conservation Unit undertook an ambitious project to conserve an extremely fragmentary map, resulting in unprecedented amounts of publicity. The map, known as the ‘Chimney Map’ because it was originally thought to have been found inside a chimney, was discovered during renovations at a house in Aberdeenshire, and […]
A conservator’s job often involves removing non-archival tapes which have been used for repairs; a letter of C. F. Gordon Cumming to John Murray from 1885, however, proved particularly challenging.
The Library’s conservation volunteering programme The Library’s Conservation Unit frequently receives requests for volunteer placements, and it can be difficult to accommodate these within our busy workshop. Following discussions, we decided to create a summer programme which would allow us to take a batch of several volunteers, to work for a day a week on […]
South View of Bothwell Castle by Paul Sandby NLS conservators Lynn Teggart and Shona Hunter recently attended a symposium on 18th century printmaking in Scotland. The symposium was hosted by St Andrews University, and organised by lecturer Ann Gunn, whose presentation is summarised here.
Conservators are often likened to doctors: they examine their ‘patients’ (the ailing documents), recognize the symptoms, diagnose a disease and prescribe and administer a treatment which will restore them to health without altering their nature or disfiguring their appearance. I was mindful of the comparison as I worked on the document above for the current […]
Once upon a time, there was a soldier called Major MacLachlan. One of his most treasured possessions was a collection of ancient poetry. He inscribed his name carefully in each volume, and after his soldiering days were done, he would take a volume from the shelf some evenings and leaf through it; now and then, […]
Domestic staff would use a ‘culinary and household recipe book’ like this one for recipes for shoe polish as well as soup. It doesn’t cover Mrs Beeton’s full range of Household Management topics, but it does describe how to build an Ice House (early refrigerator): Dig a pit in the ground, 12 feet deep, 16 feet […]