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Scorebook for Georgetown College Baseball Clubs, 1869-1873

ledger page with baseball scores before conservation treatment
ledger page with baseball scores after conservation treatment

Scorebook for Georgetown College Baseball Clubs,1869-1873. Georgetown University Archives; Booth Family Center for Special Collections.

The bookbinding for the scorebook had detached from use over the years, as well as the deterioration of acidic materials common in nineteenth-century book production (including the production of specialized, lithographically-produced ledger books such as this). To conserve the volume, it needed to be disbound and the leaves divided into sections. (One leaf is the front and back of a page turn.) Water-soluble inks used throughout the scorebook meant that the paper could not be washed to reduce acidity. Instead, conservators treated the leaves non-aqueously with magnesium oxide in a non-reactive carrier. The brittle edges of the leaves were guarded so they could tolerate being resewn into a text block (the block of pages that make up a book), and the binding was restored. As light causes cumulative and permanent damage, the scorebook was digitized in color prior to conservation treatment.