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Wednesday, May 31 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
022. (Book and Paper) Captain America Encounters Klucel M®

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The first six issues of the Captain America comic books (1941) from the Serials Division at the Library of Congress required treatment to permit use by researchers. The issues had been side-stapled with heavy staples to form a textblock, then glued into a case binding. The extreme brittleness of the paper and the tightly bound format caused the paper to break during even careful handling. Library of Congress conservators, in collaboration with the Serials curator, determined that a combination of stabilization and rebinding was necessary to achieve the desired access to the comic books. However, the brittleness of the newsprint and the solubility of the printing inks presented challenges in selecting a mending material. The treatment required investigation of a range of potential adhesives to be used in a solvent-set tissue for mending. This poster chronicles the development of a pre-coated repair tissue for the treatment. Since solubility testing indicated that both paper and media were sensitive to water and to ethanol, graduate interns Catherine Magee and Michiko Adachi experimented with different adhesive and solvent combinations on an expendable, vintage comic book to determine the appropriate mending materials. They first identified a suitable paper base. Out of six different adhesives tested as solvent-set mending strips on the expendable comic book, Klucel M® was selected for the adhesive coating due to its strength and transparency. Experimental comparison also identified a solvent for re-activation of the adhesive. Color formulae for toning the tissue, for better visual integration with the design media of the comic books, were developed. The resulting toned, pre-coated repair tissue was used successfully to stabilize the pages of Captain America. Following stabilization, the pages were individually encapsulated in polyester film sleeves, and then bound as single issues into specially designed, stab-sewn, scrapbook-style bindings. The conservators hope to use this treatment protocol for future treatments of comic books and other newsprint ephemera at the Library of Congress.

avatar for Michiko Adachi

Michiko Adachi

Sherman Fairchild Fellow, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Michiko Adachi received an M.A. and Advanced Certificate in Art Conservation in 2016 from the Art Conservation program at Buffalo State College, where she studied paper conservation. She has had previous internships at the Library of Congress and the MFA Boston. As an undergraduate... Read More →

Wednesday May 31, 2017 3:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Riverside West Exhibit Hall Exhibit Level, East Tower
  9. Poster, Book and Paper