ICS treated a large number of historical plans and maps belonging to the NSW Land and Property Information (LPI). The plans of towns and suburbs within the state of NSW varied in length from 40 centimetres to 10 metres. In total, our paper conservation team spent almost 2000 hours treating 613 plans in order to stabilise and prepare them for digitisation.
The plans varied greatly in condition. Most were in poor condition and had been adhered to linen or paper backings in order to strengthen them. Typically, the plans had multiple tears, areas of lifting or separation from their backings, creases and cracking, and various types of adhesives and tapes (e.g. Sellotape, packing tape, linen tape). The majority had been stored rolled, and years of regular use had contributed significantly to their poor condition.
Conservation treatment focused on repair and stabilisation of the plans so they could be handled with ease and to help prevent further damage during the scanning and digitisation process. Because they were all tightly rolled, the first step was to humidify and flatten each one to facilitate further treatment. After flattening, all tapes were removed and adhesives were reduced. The tears were repaired with Japanese paper, and loose and lifting pieces were re-adhered to the backing materials. Finally, the plans were flattened a second time, then placed in folders or rolled around large tubes to be transported back to LPI for digitisation.
Land and Property Information
(Detail of tear repair)