Contributions to the 5th AICCM Book, Paper and Photographic Materials Symposium. Editors: Prue McKay and Alana Treasure. Canberra, ACT: AICCM (Inc.), 2008.
The State Library of Victoria (SLV) holds many late 19th and early 20th century collections that contain scrapbooks. Often originating from business archives, these scrapbooks contain photographs, printed labels, maps and other items that have been adhered onto acidic scrapbook pages and, frequently, to each other. Such items are often partially or completely obscured by the upper-most item, making access difficult. In order to establish the likely composition and manufacture of adhesives used on paperbased materials from 1870-1920, a search of relevant Australian and international trade publications, patents and other historical sources was conducted. The search revealed a wide range of materials in use. Animal proteins, vegetable resins and gums, starches and other carbohydrates, albumen, casein, shellac, rubber, cellulose nitrate and sodium silicate have all been used as adhesive materials for paper, frequently in combination with each other. Various additives were also used to alter the working properties, shelf life and other characteristics of the final adhesive. The research is being conducted as part of a Masters by Research thesis being undertaken at the University of Melbourne. This presentation will give a ‘progress report’ of research completed to date, and will reflect on the implications of these findings for the practising paper conservator.