"[Graphic Conservation] has been instrumental in helping Northwestern Law preserve its large collection of historical documents and works of art on paper. We highly recommend their services to other institutions wishing to preserve their history."
Our Conservation and Preservation Services
Graphic Conservation Company has been serving private clients, museums, historical societies, and other institutions since 1921. Offering the highest quality conservation and restoration of all works on paper, our company can accommodate both single items and large collections. Over the years, our company has been entrusted with the conservation of rare and important items of all kinds, from precious family documents to valuable fine art and collectibles to historical artifacts of national significance. Our full-service lab additionally offers a range of museum-quality preservation services to ensure that your newly conserved work on paper is stored and displayed in a safe and archival way.
Our team of conservators maintains the highest professional standards set forth by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) when performing conservation treatments.
Preserving Works on Paper
Proper storage and display of works on paper is the best way to protect them from damage and preserve them for the future. At Graphic Conservation Company, we provide a variety of museum-quality archival housing options to fit the storage and display needs of your newly conserved works on paper.
Encapsulation is a technique for protecting works on paper that allows an item to be handled and consulted. In this technique, a work is placed between two layers of inert polyester film. The layers of film are then fused at the edges only, leaving the document protected within a sealed pocket or sleeve. Unlike a laminated work, whose surfaces are permanently adhered to non-archival plastic, an encapsulated work can be easily removed from its enclosure if necessary by cutting open its sleeve. Encapsulation also allows the display of double-sided items.
Proper matting with archival materials protects a work on paper from the wear and tear of being handled and prevents the work from coming into contact with harmful acidic materials. A mat made from high quality rag board that is acid-free or alkaline is a storage option that also decreases the risk of a work becoming fused to glazing materials while in a frame. Archival hinges or corner sleeves secure the item in the mat without exposing it to harmful adhesives. When matting an item in our lab, we exclusively use Rising Museum Board, which is widely considered to be the highest quality mat board available.
A plexi-package provides an even higher level of protection than matting. This preservation service includes matting with conservation-standard materials and placing the mat in a package of archival backing board and UV-filtering, shatterproof plexiglass. The resulting "frame-ready" package can be easily placed into any style of frame, eliminating the need to handle a delicate piece for framing and protecting the work from the dangers of improper framing.
Many works on paper suffer damage from improper framing. After conservation treatment in our lab, works can be safely re-framed using archival materials and techniques, making the use of a separate frame service unnecessary.
High quality digitally produced copies, or facsimiles, of family documents and other works provide the ability to use or distribute copies in place of the original. In this way, faithful copies can be handled, consulted, or displayed, while the original document can be safely stored.
Drop Spine Box
A drop spine box is a custom enclosure that provides books and documents with support and protection. This safe storage option helps protect books and documents from dust, sun damage, changes in humidity, and acidic materials.
Custom Archival Storage
Custom archival housing options are designed to suit the needs of the items in question. They include folders, scrapbooks, and more. All custom-made storage options are created with archival materials to meet conservation standards.