Paper Restoration Project 2011

In the 2011 paper restoration workshop students worked on material from three sources: one was an 18th Century book printed in Greece; a manuscript from the Historic Archives of the City of San Gemini, and; another manuscript from the Historic Archives of the Dioceses of the City of Narni.

The printed book was the first project. This book is not a rare book, nor very valuable, however, its poor condition offered a good opportunity from a pedagogic point of view.  The book is missing its original binding, so the work concerned only the text block. The project involved the disassembly of the block and the signatures, the dry cleaning, the washing of the sheets, the drying and flattening, the patching of missing sections and borders with new material, as well as the consolidation of the paper wherever necessary. The final operation was the reassembly of the signatures. The text block will be reassembled next year, when the work on all the sheets is completed.

The  second project dealt with original material from the San Gemini Historic Archives. They were all single sheet manuscripts, mostly letters, from the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries. The work  involved the dry cleaning, consolidation and patching of the paper material. In the letters, the tears caused by the breaking of the seals were not repaired because the damage was the result of the intended use of the document.

The last project was  a manuscript report of a Pastoral visit done by Bishop Eroli of Narni to the nearby city of Otricoli in the 16th Century. The document was a libretto of several stitched sheets. It had serious damage from acidic ink that had perforated the paper causing  splits in the paper and sections to fall off. The material was disassembled, taking great care not to lose any additional material, was cleaned, de-acidified, and lined with tissue to consolidate the separated portions of the paper and reassembled with new string.