Yan focused on the album cover and two album pages, with the goal of dating and learning more about its historical origins. Through scientific analysis she also wanted to identify the inorganic colorants and coatings used on the album pages.
The album has lost its spine, is not inscribed, and carries no provenance. Yan determined, however, that it likely dates from the late 19th century, based on a comparison of the binding remnants with other scrapbook bindings in the Winterthur Library and research into “PAT. MARCH 1886” embossed on its back cover. The two pages contained 57 different items, including decorative borders made from Dresden trim and printed images of hanging pictures, a desk, flowers in a vase, a lamp, cup and towel, a woman wearing a dress from the Bustle period (1870-1890), a handbag, dogs, and paper fans.