Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Reagents on manuscripts

Reagents on manuscripts

From: Kathryn Wright <libkat>
Date: Tuesday, July 16, 1991
Here's something that might prove interesting to you.  JM has given
permission to propagate it.  He had spoken some time back of the use of
nut galls in making MSS legible.  A classicist member of NOTRBCAT who
had been fed that message by an acquaintance (not me) contended that
that was a very wrongheaded view, that such had never occurred.  Me, I
don't know.--Ksw

    From: James Marchand <marchand [at] ux1__cso__uiuc__edu>
    Sender: ANSAXNET Discussion Forum <ANSAX-L [at] VNVM__BITNET>
    Subject: Reagents on manuscripts
    To: Kathryn  Wright <LIBKAT [at] INDST__BITNET>

    Several people have challenged my statement that people still use,
    nay recommend reagents as an aid in reading manuscripts, and I do
    not blame them. This is such a barbaric practice that it seems to
    fit in another age, but I suppose it is with ages as with men, nemo
    sine crimine. Unfortunately, the studies I cite here are e pluribus:
    In special number 12 of Archives et bibliotheques de Belgique,
    Etudes concernant la Restauration d'archives, de livres et de
    manuscrits (Brussels: ABB, 1974), there are a number of articles
    which recommend the use of reagents, e.g.: O. Waechter, "Die
    chemische Verstaerkung verblasster Eisengallustinten," 209-222.
    He quotes M. G. Ouy from an earlier paper (I translate): "As far as
    chemical techniques are concerned, they are suspect if they are used
    in a careless manner, and it is not at all certain that we will be
    able to give them up totally." This is a translation of a
    translation.  O. Waechter, "Fixierungsmoeglichkeiten fuer
    Eisengallus-tinten bei chemischen Instandsetzungsarbeiten,"
    223-234.  O (with stroke). Wendelbo, "The Use of Enzymes for
    Restoration Purposes," 235-242.  All of us need to take a firm stand
    against invasive techniques in all our studies, painting in runes,
    freshening up paintings, using chemicals on manuscripts, bulldozing
    as a method in archaeology, etc.  It is difficult to yell ad fontes
    when there are no fontes left.

    Jim Marchand

                  Conservation DistList Instance 5:11
                   Distributed: Friday, July 26, 1991
                        Message Id: cdl-5-11-003
Received on Tuesday, 16 July, 1991

[Search all CoOL documents]