For the past month, I have been working with maps from the General George Meade collection. Four large, flat Hollinger boxes contained hundreds of maps and large documents that range in date from the early 1830s through the Civil War. The maps require individual treatment and I have enjoyed being able to soak in the aesthetic quality of the maps. While most of the maps are printed, there are a number of manuscript maps and surveys. These are the maps I appreciate the most – I love looking at the intricate patterning, line work and application of colors. Enjoy the following photographs of hand-drawn details from various maps from the collection.
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One of the larger collections in the DCA Project is the Meade collection. The collection contains a number of volumes, nearly twenty of which are the General’s correspondence books dated from the early 1860s through the late 1860s. The books are all of the same make and appear to be all the same state of disrepair.
Letter books in their old housing
The volumes had been housed together in Hollinger boxes. The spines of each are broken, folios are loose, and the books have collected their fair share of dust and dirt over the years. After vacuuming and dry cleaning the pages fully, the text block is removed from the case. Each outer folio of a signature is guarded and the text block is sewn together again.
Lining the spine with Japanese papers
Since the cases are in fairly good condition, the newly sewn text block is set back into its case. Each volume receives its own custom-made multi-use box.