Category Archives: Preservation

Zachary Taylor letter in DC Archives

President Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor (1784-1850; president from March 1849 to July 1850)

Zachary Taylor letter, before restoration

Zachary Taylor letter, prior to undergoing conservation treatment (used with permission of Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today marks the 164th anniversary of the death of President Zachary Taylor, who died only 16 months into his term of office. Theories about the cause of his unexpected demise still vary from the result of his eating large quantities of cherries and gulping down iced milk followed by several glasses of water to some real medical conditions linked to elements of that story: cholera from the water, bacteria in the milk, or gastroenteritis from acid in the cherries. What has this to do with the Daughters of Charity? Years ago, one of the Sisters inherited an autograph letter written by Taylor in 1848 to a certain Dr. Prichard in Iberville, LA. As the photograph demonstrates, the years took a toll on the letter, its ink having eaten through parts of the paper. The letter is currently undergoing conservation treatment and will be back in the Archives within the next few months. Provincial Archivist Dee Gallo recently saw it and reports that the repairs are amazing. We’ll be posting an image of the letter as soon as it is returned to our collections.

Learn more about Zachary Taylor’s presidency (from WhiteHouse.gov)

Link to finding aid for the Zachary Taylor Papers housed at the Manuscripts Division of the Library of Congress

Leave a comment

Filed under Preservation, U.S. Presidents, Zachary Taylor

New Exhibit: Conservation of the American Rule of 1812

The newly-restored 1812 American Rule (front, center), now on display in the Provincial Archives. In the background are images of three of the restored pages

The newly-restored 1812 American Rule (front, center), now on display in the Provincial Archives. In the background are images of three of the restored pages


(Images used with permission of Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives)

Our collections are unique and irreplaceable, and preservation measures are an ongoing activity for the Provincial Archives. The Provincial Archives, working with conservator Mary Wootton, has just completed conservation treatments for one of the most historically valuable items in our collection: The Regulations for the Society of Sisters of Charity in the United States of America, commonly known as the American Rule of 1812.

Conserving the American Rule was a labor-intensive process, as each of the book’s 60 leaves received attention. Mary’s treatment plan involved several steps. After removing the binding, she washed all the pages in special solution. She then removed strips of tape that had been used to repair the volume at the beginning of the twentieth century. She then repaired the newly-cleaned leaves and re-bound the book. According to Mary, the American Rule is now in a condition very close to its original condition at the time it was written in 1812.

This is one of the most important pieces in our collection because it is the common link for all members of the Sisters of Charity Federation. It is the first American translation of the Vincentian Rule. For this reason, too, it is important for the Sisters of Charity who descend from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Preserving the legacy of Mother Seton, seen in documents such as the American Rule, is an important part of our stewardship responsibilities. Thanks to Mary’s efforts, the American Rule will be available for many years into the future.

The restored American Rule is now on display in Gallery 2. It is open to the public on Wednesday afternoons; open to Sisters and Associates on the Emmitsburg Campus during our normal hours (8am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday).

Opening page of the restored American Rule

Opening page of the restored American Rule


Another page from the restored American Rule

Another page from the restored American Rule

7 Comments

Filed under Elizabeth Ann Seton, Exhibits, Preservation, Sisters of Charity Federation, Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph's

Preservation activities: American Rule of 1812

Mary Wootton and Dee Gallo examine American Rule

Conservator Mary Wootton (left) and Provincial Archivist Dee Gallo examine the American Rule of 1812

(Image used with permission of Mary Wootton)
Our collections are unique and irreplaceable, and preservation measures are an ongoing activity for the Provincial Archives. Today, Dee Gallo (right) met with conservator Mary Wootton to discuss conservation treatments for one of the most historically valuable items in our collection: The Regulations for the Society of Sisters of Charity in the United States of America, commonly known as the American Rule of 1812. The American Rule is an English translation of the French rule of the Daughters of Charity, modified by Elizabeth Ann Seton and the Sulpicians for the Emmitsburg community. It was approved by Bishop John Carroll in 1812.

Conserving the American Rule will be a labor-intensive process, as each of the book’s 60 leaves will receive attention. Pages will be cleaned, existing mends will be removed, and new mends will be done with Japanese paper. The book will then receive a new binding and a custom-made box.

We are pleased to be working once again with Mary, whose efforts will ensure that the American Rule will last for many years into the future.

3 Comments

Filed under Elizabeth Ann Seton, Preservation, Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph's, Sulpicians