[This blog post was written by Jennifer Blomberg, head of the Collection Management Branch.]
The State Archives of North Carolina has been preparing the 13th Amendment to go on tour. Exhibiting paper-based materials produces many preservation challenges. To properly care for the document, control of the environment, in particular relative humidity and light levels is crucial. Light is very damaging and can cause weakening, brittleness, fading, and discoloration of paper and pigments. All light is damaging, cumulative and irreversible.
To prepare the 13th Amendment for the Juneteenth tour, we have created a framed sealed microclimate package for the document to travel in and be displayed in. Sealed packages provide physical support and mitigate the effects from the surrounding environment by separating the document from pollution, light, insects and extremes of relative humidity.
Conservation quality framing materials and UV filtering glazed acrylic were used to create the mounting package. A sheet of Art Sorb was also placed in the mounting package. Art Sorb has the ability to both absorb and release moisture in the air in order to maintain a specific relative humidity. Marvel-Seal was then used to wrap around the entire glazed mount package and heat bonded to the face of the glazing to create a sealed microclimate encasing the document.
For more information about the State Archives of North Carolina please visit our website. http://www.ncdcr.gov/archives/Home.aspx. For more about the Juneteenth tour and the tour schedule, please visit the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources website. http://www.ncdcr.gov/Juneteenth