Oversize, overwhelmed? Caring for Maps and Architectural Drawings in Your Collection

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What can you do with large maps, posters, architectural drawings, and other items that often are rolled up and pushed to the back of storage or placed on high shelves in hopes they might disappear or go away? How can you make these materials available to your patrons without worry? This webinar will address organizational, storage, handling and reformatting challenges for the safe access and preservation of these often fragile, oversized materials. Particular consideration is given to the variety of processes used to produce maps and architectural drawings, and the special degradation processes particular to these materials. Our focus is on pragmatic, low cost methods for processing, preserving and using large volumes of these records.


Robin Carlson has been a conservator at the Wisconsin Historical Society for over 25 yrs. Robin received an MFA from the University of Wisconsin in 1983 in Art and is a bench-trained book and paper conservator. After decades at the Wisconsin Historical Society caring for and treating architectural drawings and maps, she has developed an acute understanding of the issues that oversize materials present to institutions.

David Erickson began volunteering for the Wisconsin Historical Society early in 2014, working on expanding and organizing the John Randal McDonald architectural collection. He is co-authoring a book about the life and career of the Wisconsin native architect. Doing research and discovery for the book, David has received, stabilized, processed and digitized over 3,000 architectural drawings before donation to WHS and the State of Florida Archive. Today, David is the Architectural Records Specialist for the Wisconsin Historical Society. When not researching, writing or at WHS, he works as an independent architectural photographer.

Katie Mullen holds a degree in book and paper conservation from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the preservation administrator for the library, archives and museum collections at the Wisconsin Historical Society, and teaches preservation courses in the iSchool at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Recorded: Thursday, March 16, 2017
Duration: 1 Hour 26 minutes



Oversize Overwhelmed Handout


Oversized Overwhelmed PowerPoint Slides


Trailing Questions and Answers


Double Stick Tape Encapsulation


Additional Resources from Participants



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