ROSCO Document Restoration

ROSCO Document Restoration
City of Peterborough - Centennial Museum and Archives

City of Peterborough - Centennial Museum and Archives

October 18, 2006 14:00 ET

Nationally Significant Balsillie Collection of Roy Studio Images Restored and Returned to Peterborough Centennial Museum & Archives

PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 18, 2006) - Today, the Peterborough Centennial Museum & Archives (PCMA), in collaboration with Rosco Document Restoration, unveiled the restored Balsillie Collection of Roy Studio Images at a ceremony held at the PCMA. Following two years of complex and delicate restoration work, Rosco Document Restoration handed over 10 500 negatives of the Roy Collection, damaged during severe flooding which devastated Peterborough in July 2004.

The Balsillie Collection of Roy Studio Images is a nationally significant photographic collection of 300,000 glass plate and film negatives. Three generations of the Roy family of photographers documented life in the Peterborough area from 1896 to 1992. In 2000 the collection was purchased and donated to the City of Peterborough by Mr. Jim Balsillie, Chairman, Co-CEO and co-founder of Research-in-Motion (RIM).

The Roy Studio collection is under the stewardship of the Archival department of the Peterborough Centennial Museum and Archives, and has been kept in the PCMA's off-site storage vault located at the Peterborough Public Library, since 2000. This is intended to be a temporary location until the Museum can secure a more permanent solution.

The floodwater of July 14 -15, 2004 crested at 30.5 cm (12 inches) from the floor of the Library basement. Approximately 10 % of the collection lay under water for twenty-four hours. An estimated 30,000 negatives, plus related photographic documents were affected.

The quick intervention of Rosco experts and Museum staff, as well as use of Rosco Document Restoration's innovative technology, made it possible to save these nationally significant treasures. At the time of the flooding, Michael Harrington, Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) Manager Preservation Services and Training, had underscored the exceptional collaboration of this Canadian firm, which specializes in the restoration of documents damaged by water or by smoke.

"The salvage and freeze drying of the Roy Studio collection was a huge challenge that broke new ground in conservation practice," stated Mr. Harrington. "Rosco worked closely with CCI, National Library and Archives Canada and the Peterborough Centennial Museum & Archives. Their sensitive treatment, professional experience and expertise led to a successful result unparalleled in the conservation literature for a collection of this kind."

During today's ceremony, Museum Director Susan Neale spoke of the great value of the collection, "Museums are the guardians of our collective heritage," stated Ms. Neale. "The restoration of these photographs will make it possible for future generations to appreciate our cultural roots and treasures."

Mr. Barry J. Ross, Rosco Group President, spoke on behalf of the staff of experts at Rosco to say how proud his team is to have completed this task in a relatively short time span. A project of this size is unprecedented in Canadian history.

"For two years, a dedicated team of Rosco specialists, working with PCMA staff, toiled to bring this photographic heritage back to life. It was hard work, but I think we can safely say that we've met our objectives," declared Mr. Ross. "This type of challenge calls for quick action as the smallest delay can have a devastating impact on the images we try to save. We thank the people of Peterborough, who quickly put their trust in our expertise."

Lastly, Peterborough Mayor Sylvia Sutherland reiterated that a portion of the works of photographer Robert Maitland Roy, of his son Frederick and of his grandson Robert John would have been lost, but for the expertise of PCMA staff and Rosco Document Restoration personnel. "It is with gratitude that we recognize Rosco's contribution here today," stated Mayor Sutherland. "The impressive condition in which these photographs have been returned to us will ensure their future quality and availability to the people of Peterborough for generations to come."

About the Rosco Group

Founded in 1979, the Montreal-based Rosco Group of Companies, including Rosco Apres-sinistre and Rosco Document Restoration inc., has become the Canadian leader in its field. It is the first choice of archives, museums, libraries, insurance companies, hospitals, government agencies, research centres and a myriad of industries suddenly confronted with the problem of documents becoming marred or damaged by water, fire, soot or mould. Rosco offers a unique level of expertise and experience, mastering the most state of the art restoration methods available. The hours following a disastrous occurrence may mean the difference between a temporary halt of activities, a financial disaster or the complete loss of irreplaceable documents. A sense of urgency, and an ability to respond effectively, is at the heart of Rosco's success.

About the Peterborough Centennial Museum & Archives (PCMA)

The PCMA's collection of artifacts is the second oldest in Ontario. Currently there are 33, 000 artifacts and thousands of linear feet of archival material. The collection is built largely through donations from an interested public. The PCMA is part of, and operated by the City of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. The Museum and Archives is a member of the Ontario Museums Association, the Archives Association of Ontario, the Canadian Museum Association, the Association of Canadian Archivists, the Canadian Association for Conservation of Cultural Property, and the American Institute for Conservation. Adherence to the strict policies and procedures set out by these agencies has earned the PCMA a 'Category A' rating as a collecting institution.

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