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Drawn Plans of Schoenborn Palace

torn architectural drawing before conservation treatment
architectural drawing after conservation treatment

 

Drawn Plans of Schoenborn Palace, architectural plans of Schoenborn Palace in Prague, circa 1920. The building is the current home of the United States Embassy to the Czech Republic. Richard Crane Papers, Georgetown University Manuscripts; Booth Family Center for Special Collections.

This heavily damaged plan could not be safely examined by researchers, due to extreme embrittlement. Prior to Georgetown’s acquisition of the plan, two types of adhesive tapes had been applied to “repair” tears and breaks in the paper. In addition, some of the inks and watercolor washes used to draw the plan are especially water sensitive, which limits aqueous conservation treatments (washing the paper to remove the acidity causing embrittlement). Conservation treatments in 2014 included surface cleaning the plans to remove a buildup of grime and soot. Tapes and adhesives were removed, and conservators repaired the breaks and tears by applying Japanese tissue supports and wheat starch paste to the back of the plan. Lastly, the plan was alkalized, to limit further damage from acidity in the paper, and then carefully flattened.