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Preparing Civil War Letter for Scanning

Thursday, January 15, 2009

One of the collections that the department is currently digitizing is a collection of letters and diaries relating to the Civil War.  While most are in good condition, a few are so torn that they require considerable mending before they can be scanned. 

For our mending, we use Walters repair tissue which we have previously prepared.  It is made by brushing adhesive (half paste, half methylcellulose) in a thin layer onto kozo repair tissue which is then layed down on a sheet of polyester and allowed to dry. 

 For mending tears, small strips of the Walters tissue are torn from the sheet using a needle tear or a water brush tear.  The strips are positioned over the tear with the dried adhesive side down and reactivated using a moist cotton swab or water brush.  They then dry under blotter or Remay and small weights.  Infills are treated similarly, with patches adhered to the edges of both sides of the paper loss.


To see the finished product, scanned and uploaded into our digital collection click here:,5134