Linen Mummy Wrappings

By
Jennifer Torres
Jennifer Torres is the Collections Technician of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum. Her primary duties include the rehousing and photography of the museum’s collection. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Florida, where she received her B.A. in Anthropology and Classical Studies in 2013. In 2015, she received her M.A. in Museum Studies with a concentration in Collections Management from the George Washington University.

I’ve been working closely with Conservation Fellow Julia Commander from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation on the rehousing of a collection of linen mummy wrappings. Many of these wrappings had been placed on or around old acidic cardboard scraps and put inside manila envelopes, causing more harm to the already fragile ancient wrappings.

Julia and I developed new housing for these mummy wrappings that contain the wrappings and allow for enhanced accessibility. Each linen wrapping was carefully placed on acid-free board and put inside an archival box, and the acidic cardboard was removed and replaced by foam that supported the foldings of the wrappings. The box holding the tray of wrappings was then placed within a large bag to contain the wrappings. By attaching custom drawers made of corrugated board to the inside of a large archival storage box, the wrappings could be safely stacked within the storage box, and easily removed and returned as needed.