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Q: Help with restoring an old European diploma ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Help with restoring an old European diploma
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: zoomie-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 15 Oct 2003 10:14 PDT
Expires: 14 Nov 2003 09:14 PST
Question ID: 266523
Hello Google Answers:

My grandfather grew up in Austria as a child and moved to the USA as a
young man around 1917-1918.  When he lived in Austria, he received a
technical trade-school diploma that is written in either the Austrian
or German language.

Well, my father has the dipoma, and he glued it to a piece of wood. 
Taking everything into consideration, it is in pretty good condition.
There are, however, some wrinkles and more importantly a few tears in
the diploma where sections are missing.  Its a very small section.

My father and I would like to get this diploma restored and mounted to
hang on the wall.  I told my dad that we would need a freelance
graphic artist, and that they would need to take a digital image of
the diploma and do some "creative improvements" in order to restore
it.  But that is only half the battle, we might need someone who reads
Austrian to help us fill in the missing text (We can find this
person).  We also would need to have the graphic image transferred to
a parchment (or whatever material they would have originally put it

So I guess my question for you is:  Where do we begin?  I live in the
Chicago area.  Price isn't really the main issue here, getting it done
right is.  Who can I contact to "get the ball rolling"?  Is there
anyone who can do this turn-key, or is there more than one step in the
process?  Ideally, they would be in the Chicago area, but they
wouldn't absolutely have to be.

Any information you can provide would be extremely helpful.  

Thanks, Brian

Request for Question Clarification by kriswrite-ga on 15 Oct 2003 12:51 PDT
Hi Brian~

If you want to restore the diploma and have it last generations to
come, you should consider hiring an expert. There are folks who spend
their whole careers beautifully restoring historical paper items.
Would recommendations to such restorers be an acceptable Answer?


P.S. Your diploma is almost certainly written in German, since that is
the tongue of Austria.

Clarification of Question by zoomie-ga on 15 Oct 2003 13:29 PDT
Yes, refering to these experts at restoring paper items would be
fine.. Maybe if you could delineate which ones are the least to most
expensive, or if that is too difficult or unknown, which ones are are
available through the Web, and/or located in Chicago, and/or a way of
differentiating their services.


Subject: Re: Help with restoring an old European diploma
Answered By: missy-ga on 15 Oct 2003 20:51 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Brian,

Due to the nature of document conservation and restoration,
conservators don't offer standard pricing - costs associated with the
restoration of a piece are based on each individual piece's needs.

A thorough examination of the document and full written estimate are
typically free, and no service listed below proceeds with the
restoration without your explicit consent.  You may need to send your
document to several conservators to obtain a good comparison, before
you decide which service to use.

I've included gallery recommended services in Chicago, as well as a
number of reputable conservators in other parts of the country.

Graphic Conservation Company
329 W. 18th Street, Suite 701 
Chicago, IL  60616
Tel 312-738-2657
Fax 312-738-3125
Hours: M-F 9-5 p.m.

Kenyon Oppenheimer, Inc.
Wrigley Building
410 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Il.  60611 
Phn: (312) 642-5300
Fax: (312) 644-9042

Scott K. Kellar Bookbinding & Conservation  	
2650 West Montrose 
Chicago, IL  60618
Tel 773-478-2825
*No website available.  Listed with the Chicago Gallery News as
offering a full line of archival and paper conservation services.

Chicago Conservation Center, Inc,
730 N. Franklin, Suite 701
Chicago, IL. 60610.
Phone. (312) 944-5401  
Fax. (312) 944-5479

Marcella Slezak
218 S Wabash Ave. #601
*No site available.  Listed with the Association of Restorers &
Council of Certified Artists.

A query of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and
Artistic Works [ ] member database shows 7
member paper conservators in Chicago.  Unfortunately, it provides only
names and phone numbers.  To determine if any of them are right for
you, you'll need to give them a call with specifics:

Dan M. Cochrane
Chicago, IL
Tel: (773) 279-1036

2. Carol Turchan
Chicago, IL
Tel: (312) 799-2073

3. Christina Marusich
Chicago, IL
Tel: (312) 738-2657

4. Margo Powell
Chicago, IL
Tel: (312) 738-2657

5. John Pofelski
Wood Dale, IL
Tel: (630) 616-8990

6. Barry R. Bauman
Chicago, IL
Tel: (312) 944-5401

7. William P. Crusius
Chicago, IL
Tel: (312) 738-2657

You can obtain additional information, as well as a brochure detailing
how to choose a conservator here:

American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works (AIC)
1717 K Street NW, Suite 200)
Washington, DC 20006
phone: (202) 452-9545
fax: (202) 452-9328

For additional referrals in Chicago and the surrounding area, it may
also be worth your while to contact the School of the Art Institute of
Chicago.  Ask to be put into contact with an instructor who deals with
paper conservation and restoration:

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
37 South Wabash
Chicago, Illinois 60603-3103

...or contact the Department of Conservation at the Art Institute of

The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois  60603

Following are reputable paper conservationists in other parts of the
country.  Though most ask that you bring your document personally, all
accept shipped documents:

Westlake Conservators
PO Box 45
Skaneateles, New York 13152

Cleveland Conservation of Art on Paper, Inc.
* It's strongly suggested that you review the following pages within
their site:	

Northeast Document Conservation Center
100 Brickstone Square
Andover, MA 01810-1494
Telephone: (978) 470-1010
Fax: (978) 475-6021

Ponsford Ltd.
5441 Woodstock Rd
Acworth, Georgia 30102
phone: 770-924-4848
fax: 770-529-2278

The New Orleans Conservation Guild
3301 Chartres Street
New Orleans, La. 70117-6201
Phone: (504) 944-7900
Fax: (504) 944-8750

Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives
Public Records Division
Document Preservation Laboratory
P.O. Box 537
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
(502) 564-8300, ext. 290

Also of note, since the document you're looking to have restored is in
German, is the German Association of Conservators:

Verband der Restauratoren e.V. (VDR)
Haus der Kultur
Weberstraße 61
53113 Bonn
Tel.: 0228/24 37 366
Fax: 0228/26 19 669

Specifically, the group you'll want to contact is:

Fachgruppe Grafik, Archiv- und Bibliotheksgut

Almuth Corbach
Kanzleistrasse 15
38300 Wolfenbüttel
Tel. d.: 05331 / 808 218
Fax d.: 05331 / 808 302
Tel. pr.: 05331 / 92 59-63
Fax pr.: 05331 / 92 59-64
E-Mail d.:

The pages are in German, but don't let that intimidate you!  Most
Germans, especially those involved in academic and artistic fields,
speak perfectly lovely English.  These fine folks will be able to
assist in getting the missing portions filled in for you.

I hope you find this information helpful!  If anything is unclear or
you need further assistance, please don't hesitate to ask for
clarification.  I'll be happy to help!


Search terms: [ "paper conservation" Chicago ], [ document restoration
OR preservation ]
zoomie-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Thank you!  Very helpful...


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