Sun Young Kang


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In my previous blog post, I introduced the watermarks of several English papermakers and their forgers. In this post, I would like to share some of the watermarks of the pioneers of American paper manufacturing found in ledgers from the Bank of North America collection.

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For the past few years, working on the Bank of North America collection, the Conservation team has been privileged to encounter many interesting and beautiful watermarks, each possessing a hidden history of this centuries old paper.  Thus, I would like to share some of the images and information of the watermarks from the BNA collection.

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Last summer, the Conservation Department had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. for a workshop with Renate Mesmer at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

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In my previous blog post about rebinding ledgers from the Bank of North America collection, I described the Split Board binding process we use on books with bindings that have deteriorated. This binding uses an inside cloth hinge to reattach the original cover boards. We use this rebinding method the most because it gives the books  new life without changing much of the original look.


What bank ledgers contain, as anyone could imagine, is bank records. But in these old ledgers from the First Bank of North America collection, we have encountered several physical contents far beyond what one might expect.  We have found bits of quills, pieces of blotter paper, particles of iron from the ink, some mysterious metal fragments from the original binding materials, etc. (link)


Since the conservation team started the Bank of North America project at the end of November, the most noticeable change or difference would be the empty shelves in the vault where the collections have been placed. But this is just the first step,as the photos below will show.