Posted by: newenglandarchivist | October 15, 2013

Roxbury Academy Centennial Scrapbook

Roxbury Academy 1889
Academy of Notre Dame, Roxbury, MA in 1889

In the world of archives, dealing with scrapbooks is problematic. Though wonderful as artifacts, the material used not long ago was acidic and quickly deteriorated. When I discovered the Roxbury Academy Centennial Scrapbook in the Notre Dame archives, I was both delighted and horrified. The material pasted onto the pages was incredible–lovely programs and invitations to school events, mingled with photographs and news clippings. But the pages they were mounted on were so acidic, I knew the situation required action in the not too distant future.
Roxbury Scrapbook image
Scrapbook page before restoration.

As seen above, the items are wonderful, but the brittle, acidic pages were damaging the items. Fortunately, the North Bennet Street School in Boston offers a solution. One of their interns in their bookbinding department was willing to remove the hundreds [and possibly thousands] of items and remount them onto acid free paper.
Roxbury Scrapbook image after restoration
The same page mounted onto acid free paper.

Last week, I was able to pick up the Roxbury Scrapbook. The clean, acid free pages offer protection to a valuable artifact in our archives. Now housed in a new box, it is ready to last another century.


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