Approaches to Conservation

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We have now appointed the conservator who will treat the Great Parchment Book. Rachael Smither will work on the membranes for the next six months.

Her working approach will be of minimal intervention in order to facilitate the digitization of the pages.

The treatments will be localised to the areas where the writing is hidden by creases, folds and dirt.

The decision to work in this manner came from the realisation that the parchment is so damaged that a more invasive intervention could damage the material even further.
This modus operandi is also based on the Code of Ethics, promoted by the European Confederation of Conservator-Restorers’ Organisations and adopted by its General Assembly, Brussels 7 March 2003.

For the first weeks Rachael will assess the type of damages in the book and decide the best technique to use to relax the areas which present problems for the digitization process. Once the assessment is completed Rachael will then start to work on the membranes that need to be treated. We will record the stages of these treatments, show you pictures of the procedures, and the final results of the treatment.

I hope you will enjoy taking this challenging journey with us!

A membrane from the Great Parchment Book

A membrane from the Great Parchment Book

2 thoughts on “Approaches to Conservation

  1. Fantastic! I hope time and funds can be found to continue the work with the other unfit material including lists of apprenticeships damaged in this fire
    Cliff Webb

    • We are hoping that the work on digital imaging being undertaken by UCL will produce a solution which can be applied to other burnt and shrunk parchments, making them available for study for the first time.

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