Conservation of medieval manuscripts on rag paper with rolled sewing

  • Owner: Regional Archive of Baix Ebre (Tortosa, Tarragona, Spain).
  • Artefact: Two medieval manuscripts on rag paper and limp vellum binding. The sewing thread is made of rolled parchment,  sewn  with independent knots onto inner parchment stays. One of them onto outer leather tackets as well (see video below, although there is almost no trace of the leather support).
  • Date: Dated 1356 and 1369.
  • Damages: Paper and parchment is seriously woodorm eaten. Covers are wrinkled, sewing is partially broken and folios have tide lines and mould stains.
  • Conservation treatment:  Disbinding, dry cleaning. Reporting collation and fragments of papers.  Wet cleaning and leaf-casting the folios with paper pulp. The parchment covers were reinforces with toned japanses tissue, The restored bindings swen back on the textblock, reproducing the original rolled sewing on parchment, with leather tackets.
  • Conservators: Maria Correa, Se Hee Song, Rita Udina.
  • Other liks: Facebook album and Instagram. Read the POST of this project if you want to see two medieval angels jumping happy as Larry.
    The discussion wether sometimes the binding is restored, and other reproduced, has these manuscripts as an example in the lecture about conservation of reused bindings (minutes 5:20 – 7:40″, at the end of this post).
    In the interview with IBookbinding ethical issues of this conservation is discussed (bottom).

Rolled sewing on medieval limp vellum binding, before and after conservationMedieval manuscript on rag paper with limp vellum binding, before and after conservationRolled sewing on medieval limp vellum binding, before and after conservation
Conservators assembling fragmented medieval mansucript

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