Historic posters have often survived in far from ideal conditions and may have visible signs of age, such as tears, folds, edge nicks, creases and surface dirt. Sometimes the poster itself has become fragile due to chemical changes in the paper or because of stress along fold lines. This can make posters difficult to store, handle and display. In such cases, sympathetic conservation can dramatically improve condition and significantly enhance appearance.

Twentieth Century Posters only recommends museum approved conservation methods, which are fully reversible and free of harmful chemicals. We believe that the best results are achieved by mounting posters on Japan tissue backing, which stabilises the artefact while maintaining the original ‘feel’ of the poster. For long term storage and ease of handling we recommend that posters are kept flat in protective Melinex (or ‘Mylar’) polyester sleeves, which are available from conservation suppliers.


PH7 paper conservation studio
Most of our conservation work is carried out by our friends at PH7 Paper Conservators in Ealing, West London – a private practice established in 1985 by Rose Yates and Victoria Fordam. Their many clients include national museums, libraries and collectors. For those unfamiliar with the conservation process, Rose explains how this is achieved: “surface dirt is cleaned off. The poster is then washed in water and laid onto a Japanese tissue with wheat starch paste to support the creases and tears and allow for better handling. No bleaching is possible and rust stains and sensitive tape stains cannot be completely removed but the washing process will really lift the overall appearance and stablize 'foxing' mould growth. Missing areas are infilled either with a toned japanese tissue or facsimile and are reversible.”

We have worked with PH7 for over 15 years and are delighted to recommend their services.

For further information, please contact Rose or Victoria direct on +44 (0) 20 8896 9690 or email