Restored Oregon Constitution On Display

posted by Brad Ford - 

Following a massive statewide crowdfunding campaign, the newly restored Oregon Constitution is now on view at the Oregon Historical Society through September 3, 2018. 

What started as a penny drive targeted at Oregon students to raise funds to preserve and exhibit the original 1857 Oregon Constitution turned into over $100,000 raised to restore this historic document. 

The Oregon Historical Society is proud to have joined many Oregonians in contributing to this effort, and is the first location outside of the Oregon State Archives in Salem to host the document.

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson arranged special TSA clearance as the constitution traveled from Portland to the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) in Andover, Massachusetts. The detailed conservation effort included digital imaging to create a record of the document prior to restoration, and some of the “before and after” photos of the constitution are on view in the Oregon Historical Society display.

Mary Beth Herkert, Director of the State Archives Division, shares an overview of the restoration in a video, and the NEDCC further details the complex conservation process in this video. Steps included repairing pages that were loose from the binding (while preserving the original binding), as well as essentially giving the pages a “bath” in order to clean the pages that were starting to discolor due to the type of ink that was used in writing the document. The full effort took a single conservationist four months to complete.

Source: Oregon Historical Society

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