Monday, February 17, 2014

How to Preserve Old Paper: 1959 Traditional Cat Scrapbook

Get ready to say, "AWWWWW!!!" and then quick...find a kitty or a puppy to snuggle.  The owner of this house must have been my mother in another life; it was a fantastic estate.  Her house was full of cat things and books...and then she combined the two and made a scrapbook out of cat pictures from books and magazines.  The most epic find of the year.  Fifty pages or so of kitty goodness.

I initially thought that it was probably created in the 70s, but after further investigation (thank goodness she didn't glue down every single inch of each picture), most of the pictures seem to be from the summer of '59. Wait, that's a song, right?

The amazing thing is that there is not near the yellowing I would expect in something this old.  I am guessing the black pages in the book were high quality in that time.  Good.

Here are my thoughts on preserving it. First, I took it out of the original cover (I should have taken a picture of it before I pitched it), because it was pretty fragile and then my own cats had a hay day from the smell when I got it home and added a few more injuries.

Next, I removed the ends of the pages with the holes in them.

Now, the fun part.  I think I will put it in a 12X12 pocket album with a ring binding.  I believe the pages will fit perfectly in the page protectors and, if not, just a little trim on the edges will do the trick.

I don't want to cut the pictures off the pages nor do I want to try to remove them; they are too fragile and would tear.  Also, if I cut one side, I'll ruin the other; the pictures are pasted on both sides of each page.

A friend of mine suggested that each picture needs its own quote, and I think she might be right, so I might add a little here and there and make this whole process a group effort.  I have several witty friends that won't let me down when it comes to a narrative.

I'm not sure if I want to add any kind of embellishment, and, for that matter, any other pages in between. But that is an option.  What would you do?  Mix old with new and make it a fun journal?  A friendship journal? Oh, I may be getting myself into something big here.  Crazy cat ladies unite.  I'll be sure to show you the finished product! Happy estate sale shopping, my friends!

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