Treatment FOCUS: Map of the Swiftwater Preserve
Trout-fishing enthusiasts from Philadelphia founded the Swiftwater Preserve fly-fishing club in 1896, and in the 115 years since, Preserve members have been fishing the same stretch of stream that the founders fished in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. A map of this area, drawn by member Craige L. Reeves in 1938, hung in the Swiftwater Inn, the Preserve’s original base, until about 10 years ago, when the Inn returned the map to the Preserve to hang in their new clubhouse.
After over 60 years of display, the map showed signs of deterioration. “The paper had become brittle, and we had noticed some losses,” said Scott Stephenson, the Preserve member who recently brought the map to CCAHA for treatment. “We wanted to ensure its long-term preservation.”
The map was covered with thick, uneven varnish, which over the years had turned the color of dark honey, obscuring details of Craige’s small drawings of fishing lures and changing the map’s colors. The varnish worried Mellon Fellow Jessica Keister, who treated the map, because it contributed to the paper’s brittleness and prevented her from effectively washing it.