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Antarctic conservation

September 12, 2012
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Deja Vu

Posted by Conservators Sep 12, 2012

Author: Martin

Date: 12 September 2012

Temperature: -24C

Wind Speed:  30 knots

Temp with wind chill: -55C

Sunrise: 8:00am

Sunset: 5:45pm

 

 

It is only a bit more than a year ago, during last winter, that I conserved over a hundred food storage boxes from Shackleton’s Nimrod Base. So it certainly comes with a sense of déjà vu to start on very similar boxes excavated from Bowers Annex at Scott’s Terra Nova Base.

1 Before treatment.jpg

Before treatment © AHT/Martin

 

For the next two months I am sharing a workshop with Jody, the carpenter in residence here at Scott Base. With stunning views of Mt. Erebus and across the Ross Ice shelf, I am sure it will be a great place to work.   While Jana, the objects conservator, is treating the contents of the boxes, my aim is to make them structurally sound. It involves gluing split boards, re-nailing corner joints and at times adding new boards where boards have been lost. 

2 During treatment.jpg

During treatment © AHT/Martin

 

All these interventions are kept to a minimum but are necessary to allow the conserved content to go back into the box and for the boxes eventually to be placed back to their original locations. Detailed records are kept documenting the work, which will make it possible for future generations of conservators to distinguish between historic and added material. 

3 After treatment.jpg

After treatment © AHT/Jana