Paper Conservation Wiki

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Welcome to the Paper Conservation Wiki, compiled by members of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) Book and Paper Specialty Group (BPG). The purpose of the Paper Conservation Wiki is to act as a collaborative knowledge base for conservators, covering the current and historical techniques, treatments, materials, and technologies of the paper conservation field. This page is maintained by the BPG Publications Committee Paper Wiki Coordinator, Diane Knauf.

Content published in the Paper Conservation Wiki does not constitute an endorsement or approval of the procedure described, as the wiki also contains historical practices that are no longer seen as ethical. The information on this wiki is intended to be used by conservators, museum professionals, and related fields for educational purposes only. It is not designed to substitute for the consultation of a trained conservator. To find a conservator, please visit AIC's Find A Conservator page.

Copyright 2024. The AIC Wiki is a publication of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC). It is published as a convenience for the members of AIC. Publication does not endorse nor recommend any treatments, methods, or techniques described herein. Information on researching with and citing the wiki can be found on the Reference and Bibliography Protocols page.

Cite this page:

American Institute for Conservation (AIC). "Paper Conservation Wiki." AIC Wiki. June 13, 2024.

Documentation and Treatment Process for Paper Objects
General Assessment Documentation and treatment of a paper object begins with a general assessment, including a visual examination and any technical examination necessary. The information gathered is documented in the examination report. This documentation identifies the object, the support, and the media, provides a description of the object, details any distinctive characteristics, such as the presence of watermarks, and details the condition of the object, including the presence of mold, foxing, any media problems, and any support problems.
Testing and Analysis Testing and analysis can provide more information on the materials present, the condition of the object, and provide information on what treatments can be undertaken without damaging the object. This can include spot tests, fiber identification, microchemical testing, and instrumental analysis. Any testing or analysis that is performed is included in the examination report.
Treatment Proposal Based off of the general assessment, testing and analysis performed, and any ethical considerations, a treatment proposal is developed.
Treatment Treatment of the object can include: surface cleaning, hinge, tape, and adhesive removal, backing removal, humidification, washing, alkalization and neutralization, stain reduction (including use of chelators, conditioned water, or bleaching), sizing, resizing, consolidation, fixing, facing, mending, lining, filling losses, drying and flattening, and inpainting. Some supports, such as parchment, require specialized treatment procedures. All treatment undertaken is documented in the treatment report, including photographic documentation of the work completed.
Housing and Storage The object is then matted and framed or given other appropriate housing, including clam shell boxes, portfolios, folders, or encapsulation. It can then be exhibited or placed in appropriate storage.

History of the Paper Conservation Wiki[edit | edit source]

The Paper Conservation Wiki was created in 2009 as a subset of the BPG Wiki when the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC) launched the AIC Wiki. The published 1994 edition of the Paper Conservation Catalog (PCC) was transcribed to create the original on the Paper Conservation WIki, which has since developed into 28 pages with updated information. A full history of the wiki and the PCC can be found on the History of the BPG Wiki page.

Book and Paper Group Wiki
Wiki Editor Resources

Contributors' Toolbox · Reference and Bibliography Protocols · Accessing Conservation Literature (AIC) · Help Wanted · Template for New Page

Materials and Tips

Annual Meeting Tips Sessions · Materials, Equipment, and Tools · Adhesives · Adhesive Recipes and Tips · Leather Research · Conservation Supply Sources (AIC) · Gels, Thickeners, and Viscosity Modifiers (ECPN)

Examination, Documentation, and Analysis

Glossary of Terms · Visual Examination · Written Documentation · Documentation of Books · Watermarks · Fiber Identification · Spot Tests · Analytical Techniques (PSG) · Non-destructive Testing and Instrumental Analysis (PMG) · Oddy Tests (R&A) · Microchemical Testing (R&A)


Selection for Preservation · Exhibition, Supports, and Transport · Choosing Materials for Storage, Exhibition & Transport (AIC) · Imaging and Digitization · Housings · Matting and Framing · Encapsulation · Collection Care (AIC) · Integrated Pest Management (AIC) · Environmental Guidelines (AIC) · Environmental Monitoring (AIC) · Agents of Deterioration (AIC) · Light (AIC) · Pollutants (AIC)

Disaster Recovery

Emergency Preparedness & Response (AIC) · Stabilizing Wet Paper (AIC) · Stabilizing Wet Books (AIC) · Stabilizing Wet Skin and Leather (AIC) · Mold

Conservation History and Ethics

AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice · Culturally Sensitive Treatment · Conservation Ethics (AIC) · Sustainable Practices (AIC) · History of Conservation and Conservators (AIC) · History of the BPG Wiki

Book Conservation Topics
Structural Elements of the Book

Endpapers · Endbands · Sewing and Leaf Attachment · Book Boards · Board Attachment · Book Decoration · Fastenings and Furniture

Covering Materials

Animal Skin and Leather · Cloth Bookbinding · Paper Bookbinding · Parchment Bookbinding

Treatment Techniques

Washing of Books · Alkalinization of Books · Leaf Attachment and Sewing Repair · Board Reattachment · Use of Leather in Book Conservation

Bookbinding Traditions

Bookbinding Traditions by Region or Culture · East Asian Book Formats · Ethiopian Bindings · Greek-Style Bindings · Western African Books and Manuscripts

Specialized Formats

Scrapbooks · Atlases, Foldouts, and Guarded Structures· Artists' Books

Circulating Collections

Circulating Collections · Case Binding