Department Of The Interior Library

Washington, DC

We were contracted to perform conservation treatments, photographic documentation, and provide maintenance recommendations for the library elevator dumbwaiter, pneumatic delivery system tubing, and cabinets located at the Department of the Interior Library in Washington, DC. The treatment objectives were to stabilize and preserve the artifacts to a level appropriate for display. These goals were achieved by selecting materials and methods that emphasized minimal intervention, using the least aggressive means possible to achieve the most successful conservation results. For these reasons, the artifacts were not restored to operational.

Surface soiling, deterioration of the painted coating, and overpaint with spray paint were the main condition issues. Treatment consisted of surface cleaning, the lubrication of moving parts, stabilization of the paint, and selective inpainting. To preserve the deteriorated coatings in-situ, areas of flaking were stabilized using a reversible conservation adhesive, and before surface cleaning. The artifacts were then cleaned using a non-ionic detergent, rinsed, and wiped dry. Tape was mechanically removed and through the use of solvents. Areas of paint loss were in-painted using reversible acrylic paints.

Upon completion of the project, a detailed report along with photographic documentation was submitted to the client.