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Conservation of the Dred Scott Papers
The majority of them were in relatively good condition. A few were ragged and badly torn, but most of them just had a few edge tears, primarily in the areas where they had been previously folded. The fact that almost all of the tears in the documents were under the tissue suggests that the documents suffered very little damage after the WPA had treated them.
After careful examination, testing and assessment of the different treatment options, the conservators decided that the labels, tissue and paper reinforcements should be removed. Although the tissue was very thin, it did make the documents more difficult to read. Removing the tissue would both improve the legibility of the documents and allow us to perform some other treatments that would be beneficial. This photo shows a document from which the tissue has been removed. We've laid the tissue back over part of the document to show the contrast.