Project Description

Presidential Restoration

Signed by Abraham Lincoln – June 15, 1864

– subject of Fox News story

During our recent restoration of a document signed by Abraham Lincoln, we first had to relax the paper, which had been very tightly rolled for many years. This took two weeks of very delicate work, but eventually the paper flattened. We deacidified the document, leaving it a neutral PH.

Folds are actually tears in the paper fibers. We spent a great deal of time mending the tears (some are no longer visible, all are much less obvious), as well as reinforcing the torn and brittle edges all around the paper. The procedure is virtually identical for original art on paper (etchings, lithographs, engravings, serigraphs, woodcuts), except we’re much more likely not to bleach the print, as many inks and paints are unstable.

When we received the document, it was tightly rolled and embrittled and could not be opened without causing damage. The document was relaxed by treating it multiple times with a chemical solution sprayed onto the back.  All restoration work takes an enormous amount of time and patience. The completed document, completely flat and able to be handled.  The Museum Shop, LLC custom framed it with 100% acid-free mat board and ultraviolet glass to preserve it.

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