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Ramsey House Wallpaper

photo of Ramsey House wallpaperThe Book Lab treated wallpaper samples from the Alexander Ramsey House to document the various wallpapers used in the house over the years by preserving samples of the original papers. The information conveyed by these samples is of great value to researchers. The wallpaper samples were identified by the room and time period in which they were used in the house. Samples ranged from partial rolls to small fragments. Two sets of samples were created, with one set going to the Alexander Ramsey House and one set to the Museum Collections Department in the Minnesota Historical Society.

photo of Ramsey House wallpaperTreatment of the wallpaper included cleaning, humidification followed by flattening, and mending with Japanese tissue and wheat starch past. Each sample was then encapsulated in polyester film, a clear inert plastic used in conservation. The polyester film allows researchers to see the samples and protects the paper while it is handled. The samples for the Ramsey House were put into two postbindings, which were constructed from lignin and acid-free binders board and covered in buckram. Because of the way the samples would be used and stored in the house, binding facilitated their use. The encapsulated samples for Museum Collections were placed unbound in a lignin and acid-free box.

Ramsey House staff report that the wallpaper postbindings have received considerable use and have proven to be a valuable research tool in studying the history of the house.