The Hall and Dods Project

In early 2010, the State Library acquired an historically significant series of 297 architectural plans from Gray Puksand Architects. Many of these plans are the work of Hall and Dods, a Brisbane based architectural firm, and date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. This respected duo were responsible for a number of iconic commercial and domestic buildings in Queensland including the Wool Stores, Teneriffe and St Brigid’s Church, Red Hill both in Brisbane and Maryborough City Hall.

As the plans were working documents, many of them are now in a fragile condition and require conservation treatment before they can be safely handled. Thanks to generous donations by the State Library Foundation’s Partners, a project to conserve, digitise and store the plans recently commenced. The project requires collaboration across a number of State Library departments and will take approximately a year to complete.

To date, fifty plans have already received conservation treatment. All plans will be surfaced cleaned and humidified to gently flatten. Tear repairs using a range of conservation adhesives and repair papers will then be carried out. Some plans also require extensive adhesive tape removal and infilling of areas of loss.

Once repaired, each plan will be digitised using large format scanners. The digital images will be easily accessible to all via the State Library’s website catalogue, One Search.

An exhibition celebrating the work of Hall and Dods will open at State Library in March 2011 and will include a fascinating selection of the conserved plans. Additional material from external collections and the exhibition curator, Brisbane architect, Robert Riddel’s personal collection will also be included in the exhibition.

Lydia Egunnike, Senior Conservator, Collection Preservation

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