This one day project involved the lining of an oversized and fragmented OS map at the Essex Record Office. The lining was an exercise in working with a large scale object, and also in using a map wall with an inbuilt light.

The map was in four sections, and each piece had been cleaned, washed, and deacidified prior to lining. These processes were undertaken by another conservator, thus only the lining itself is discussed here.


The whole lining process was quite wet, and therefore only objects that can sustain such moisture levels and don’t have fugitive media, can undergo the process used in this case. Variations on this technique do of course exist, such as the lining material and adhesives used etc, and the brief description of the technique used below was considered well before prior to being carried out on the object.

The map in question was to be returned for heavy use in the ERO’s reading rooms, therefore it was decided to line it with linen, and create a paper inlay surrounding the map on the recto.

The map and inlay papers were humidified gently and slowly at the same rate, whilst the map wall was prepared. Terylene was adhered to the map wall, followed by the linen. Next each section of the map was adhered on top of the linen:




Once each section of the map was adhered onto the wall, making use of the inbuilt light to help align the pieces, the humidified inlay papers were adhered to the wall, around the edges of the map only, one at a time. The central section of each inlay paper was removed by needling out the outline of the map and removing small sections of waste paper at a time:




The needled edges of the lining paper were then neatened up by tucking below the map sections using a microspatula:




After the edges had been tidied up, any infills that were required were adhered. Japanese tissue was then adhered along all four joining sections of the object; and between the object/inlay borders, for extra support:



The lined map was left to dry and removed from the wall one week later. The destination of the map for the reading rooms, meant a strip of mount board had to be adhered to the top edge and holes punched within this, so the map could be stored in a hanging position in the unit with the other OS maps.


The whole exercise proved an invaluable experience in terms of working on and handling a larger object, forward planning and preparation in terms of taking measurements, having equipment and tools ready and to hand etc, and time management, as the lining had to be completed in one day once it commenced.

The end result was a safe and neat lining, that has reintegrated the object into its original formation, and provided a secure solution for future handling.