…would be just as useful. Following a recent orientation I gave for student employees within IU University Archives, it occurred to me that a microspatula can be just about as useful to archivists as it is to conservators. These small, hand-held pieces of metal with both rounded and tapered ends never fail in helping us with our jobs. I decided that an informal poster might be just the thing to spread the word to students and share with fellow conservators, so Paper Conservation Technician Hannah Helton and I set to work making one. The list certainly isn’t exhaustive (other uses range from spreading poultices and setting down flaking paint, to cleaning fingernails and using as a hair stick!) but you may learn a new tip nevertheless.
How do you use your microspat?
An 11 x 17″ .pdf copy of our poster is available by requesting from our department.
Alternately, for those who may be using text readers, here are the tips:
For processing of archival materials, the spatula can be used to
- remove staples
- leaf through fragile papers
- score and crease paper
- slit paper
- remove loose cellophane tape
- as an impromptu placeholder in stacks of paper
For conservation of paper-based materials, the spatula can be used for
- applying paste and glue in hard to access places
- picking at and removing accretions
- splitting and lifting boards or paper
- incorporating glue and solids to make filler material
- removing caked glue and paste from brushes