Tank Corps Journal

Restoration in Action

4th August 2017

These images show Tank Corps Journals from our Archive dating from the early 1920s, however the bottom image shows a journal that has recently been restored compared to an original. The difference is stark. Collection Care is a vital part of the Archive’s mission to ensure that documents are preserved and protected for future generations. While restoration is a time consuming process, the results are clearly worthwhile.

Journal restorationThe image (left) of an unrestored journal reveals the damage sustained after nearly a century of use in addition to the generally expected wear and tear. During the original printings of the journal, different qualities of paper were utilised, and this has resulted, in conjunction with the deterioration of the original binding, with several pages becoming loose. These loose papers are vulnerable and have suffered severe boxing, creasing and tears during the documents everyday use.  In addition, the front cover is almost completely torn away from the spine while the fabric making up the cover has split. At some point, water damage, which has effected several pages of text, has also resulted in the cover warping.

By contrast the restored journal [right] has been completely rebound. Each of its 340 pages has been individually washed to remove acidity from paper while additional leaves of paper increases support to original sheets which were seen as particularly vulnerable. Indeed, the need to support several pages has resulted in the document increasing in size. This can been seen most clearly on the depth of the spine, where the additional width is over 1cm!

The Tank Corps Journal has been published since 1919 and during that time has undergone several changes. As time passed the journal transformed from a monthly printed journal to an annual produced digital magazine called ‘Tank’. Each journal contains fascinating historical articles and photographs and are a particularly rich source of information during the Regiments inter war years.