History Nebraska Blog

Preserving Current Events

It can be difficult to know what objects in present times will be valued in the future.  However, the staff at History Nebraska actively seeks to build its collection of objects related to current events.  One such object is a poster for the Black Lives Matter march at Southpointe Pavilions in Lincoln, Nebraska that occurred on June 11, 2020.  The march took place just two weeks after the murder of George Floyd which sparked demonstrations across the country in the summer of 2020.  Posters like this are often seen a temporary and not made to last, but they document important events in local history.

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BLM poster before treatment


This poster is screen printed in black ink on heavyweight, white, wove paper.  The primary concern was that white duct tape was attached to the front of the poster at the top and bottom.  The poster also has planar distortions overall and some surface dirt and grime.  Although the duct tape was  original to the function of the poster, the curator and conservator decided it should be removed before it caused irreversible staining, and structural damage to the paper support.

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Paper conservator, Hilary LeFevere, removes the duct tape from the top of the poster


Hilary LeFevere, paper conservator, surface cleaned the paper support before removing the duct tape.  The tape left behind adhesive residue which was removed with a crepe eraser.  Removing the adhesive residue disrupted the surface of the paper. 

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Using a crepe eraser to reduce the adhesive residue left behind by the duct tape



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BLM poster after treatment


After the tape and adhesive was removed, the paper support was humidified and flattened under weight.  A Mylar sleeve was created for the poster to protect it for long-term preservation. 

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