Conservation and Restoration of Graphic Documents


With this Curricular Unit we intent to give students the necessary skills for conservation restoration interventions on Graphic Documents, covering the main steps, techniques and methods available to Conservators of Graphic Documents (e.g., cleaning, stabilisation, consolidation, reintegration, pressing and storage, etc.); and developing critic thought and the theoretical and practical capabilities that allow them to examine, select and do conservation and restoration treatments of objects or mock-ups, autonomously and according to standard ethic principles.

The student will have the opportunity to develop the critic approach, regarding different conservation options, including the conservation materials selection and procedures evaluation, at least, in a specific object; carrying out in a detailed and complete way the Conservation Documentation of the treated object. The state of conservation and the diagnosis of the object (including objects technique and materials composition), the conservation proposal and the treatment report, with a full photographic record of the object, before, during and after treatment, should make part of the Conservation Documentation, as well as the analyses and exams made for the objects study and its characterization.

Main attention will be giving to the students ability to argue the advantages and disadvantages related to treatment decision, applied on the selected objects, through different case-studies presentation and the discussion of various treatment options, at class environment.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria da Conceição Lopes Casanova


Weekly - 6

Total - 84

Teaching language



The student should do the "Graphic Documents Diagnosis and Conservation" discipline, previously.


Specific bibliography in ''others''.

PAPER Journals: The Paper Conservator; TAPPI - Technical association for pulp, paper, and converting industry;  AIC Paper Conservation CatalogRestaurator.

Teaching method

The program of this course is presented in the form of expository materials with use of projected images, but mostly by the observation and analysis of practical case-studies, as well as the implementation and execution of practical conservation & restoration treatments on samples and objects of cultural heritage. Students are also invited to participate on the discussion and reflection during case studies presentation.

Evaluation method

This course has frequency, that is a set of conditions to be met by the student to be able to have access to exam; The student will have access to the Appeal Exam if he / she have not miss more than 2/3 of the practical classes.

This UC has 2 continuous assessment components: a Theoretical-Practical Assessment (TP) test and four Practical Assessment (P). To be approved by the UC it is necessary to have a minimum of 9.5 values in both components (  Theoretical-Practical and Practical)

The assessment includes:


Test: 25%


Conservation Condition Report + Treatment Proposal: 15%

Treatment report: 20%

Final Presentation and Discussion: 20%

Participation and Hands-on: 20%

Final Note = (T * 0.25) + (P * 0.75)

TP = is assessed by the test grade or the exam grade.

P = includes Conservation Condition Report + Treatment Proposal (15%), Treatment Report (20%), Final Presentation and Discussion (20%), Participation and Hands-on (20%)

The Hands-on participation and praxis assessment includes:

- Attendance and punctuality;

- Organization and maintenance of update records at the conservation and restoration laboratory notebook;

- Desk / workspace organization;

- Tideness of workspace and objects at the end of the day;

- Careful handling of objects and personal protection and hygiene;

- Fine skills in performing C&R procedures and treatments;

- Critical approach in the conservation decision making and treatment proposals and performance ;

- Preservative conservation measures and proper packaging for the object.

Subject matter

Principal syllabus

  • Professional ethics considerations and Graphic Document treatments philosophy: from archives and libraries materials to works of at on paper;

  • Technological and material characterization of different Graphic Documents typology and selection of objects for study and treatment.

  • Diagnosis and conservation state of the object understudy and Conservation Documentation preparation

  • Graphic Documents Conservation and Restoration: principal concepts and cleaning methods, Stabilization and consolidation methods, Storage and environmental methods for future preservation.

  • Treatment and ''''decision making'''' process for the case-studies: Ethical rules and value and significance meaning of the object, considering its historic characteristics and the object function evolution; Risks evaluation, considering the conservation state of objects; Selection and justification for treatment materials and procedures chosen, Treatment practical methodologies application - cleaning needs evaluation, stabilization, consolidation, pressing and storage of the objects under study.

  • Evaluation of preventive conservation needs and discussion of results achieved with the treatment of the objects under study.