Yesterday the Gates Conservation Laboratory hosted a visit by Soyeon Choi, the Head of Paper Conservation for the Yale Center for British Art. Choi was in the Lab to assist YUL’s conservation staff with testing Dacron linings. This particular technique involves the use of a Dacron fabric to line paper objects to sheets of Japanese tissue and dry them under tension to minimize curling and planar deformation. It is especially useful for large paper objects like posters and maps.
Choi was invited by YUL’s Paper and Photograph Conservator, Marie-France Lemay, to help our team practice the Dacron lining technique, and to test out two different Dacron fabric choices.
All of this preparation and testing will be applied to two damaged over-sized posters from the Library’s collections. The largest of the two is a poster for the 1908 show, The Red Moon, a musical production created by African-American Broadway team, Cole and Johnson. This poster presents challenges because of its size, separated sections, and a large loss to the top right corner. Treatment for The Red Moon would have been unthinkable and basically impossible in our old laboratory spaces.
What a difference a year and a purpose-built lab makes!
The Red Moon is held in the special collections of Yale’s Music Library, but there are other artifacts related to the work and legacy of Cole & Johnson in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.