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PRESERVATION

COPYING ORIGINAL BLUEPRINTS AND OTHER WORLD WAR 2 DOCUMENTS

This activity it not to be confused with the redrawing programme mentioned elsewhere although it has often assisted where original documents could not be risked in the post.

When this project first got underway, we were most concerned that we held the only drawings and schedules in existence so a major copying programme had to be put into place. Also in no way could we risk the only originals going into an area where drilling, angle grinding and welding was going on, so all of these had to be copied first.

This operation has been carried out by Nortel volunteers at Harlow where the company had kindly provided the resources and the materials.

The main purpose of this exercise was to preserve the original information for posterity. Nortel solved our main technical problem of how to copy negative Blueprints. They located a modern machine which could pick out the small variations in ‘blue’ and reproduce them, albeit still as a negative, in quite readable form. This machine used a form of lighting, which is very kind to blueprints. Others are prone to rapidly accelerating the fading processes. The large Blueprints were copied and returned to the Bletchley Park Archive.

The Dyeline prints were similarly processed. Approx. 500 small ‘single copy only’ blueprints were also completed

We made two copies of each original drawing, the project keeping one to work on and the other together with the original returned to Bletchley Park for safekeeping.

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