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Wednesday, May 31 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
024. (Book and Paper) History, Treatment, and Preparation for Digitization of 14th century Estate Rolls

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Composed of over eighty-five percent collagen, parchment substantially differs from paper and must be treated accordingly by a conservator. In ancient and medieval times information was commonly written upon parchment membranes which were sewn end to end, then rolled into extensive documents referred to as estate rolls. These long sheets of parchment have proven to be inconveniently bulky research use and preservation strategies. Parchment rolls have often been disassembled, and then conserved by treating and storing flat as separated membranes. This method eradicates the original format of the artifact and destroys its historical context. The purpose of this research is to develop a reliable methodology to effectively treat the vast surface area of medieval rolls, provide the rolls with the strength and flexibility to be physically handled in future research endeavors, and to maintain the documents' rolled format, thus preserving their historical integrity. Two rolls from France, dating from 1370 and 1371, each measuring over forty feet long were studied in the process of developing this method. The treatment process was separated into three stages: cleaning, humidification, and repairing. Through an intense study of the material properties of parchment, each of these stages consisted of unique treatment techniques which catered to the size and composition of the rolls. Among the most noteworthy developments in this process was a handling system to administer treatments on large sections of roll at a time, eliminating the need to separate the membranes. The conservation was concluded by designing a storage system for the rolls. The resulting storage design is space efficient, user friendly, and convenient for display. The applied treatments effectively resulted in each roll attaining an ideal state, true to their originally intended form. In order to protect the integrity of any artifact it is important to respect its original composition and configuration. The ability to conserve a medieval parchment roll of any size without disassembly has been established by this work.

avatar for Annabel Pinkney

Annabel Pinkney

Student, The Ohio State University
Annabel Pinkney is an undergraduate student at the Ohio State University majoring in chemistry and minoring in the history of art. Annabel has been working as a student assistant at the University Libraries Technical Center preservation unit at Ohio State for two years, apprenticing... Read More →

Wednesday May 31, 2017 3:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Riverside West Exhibit Hall Exhibit Level, East Tower
  9. Poster, Book and Paper