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Subject: Restoration standards

Restoration standards

From: Harvey L. Sharrer <sharrer>
Date: Tuesday, December 7, 1993
Do international norms exist for the restoration of manuscripts? I am
referring to procedures used to clean parchment, remove extraneous
material (e.g., 20th-century paper stickers and 20th-century ink used to
indicate a library call no. or shelf-mark), and the placing of new
parchment in holes and along the margins of truncated and mutilated
parchment sheets.

I would appreciate receiving up-to-date bibliographical references on
restoration norms, procedures, techniques, etc.

Let me also explain to you that I am making the query because of damage
caused in the restoration of a late 13th-century parchment fragment (one
folio) I discovered in 1990 at a European national archive.  The
fragment once formed part of a songbook (love lyrics plus musical
notation).  Last summer when I asked to see the fragment again at the
archive, I was told that it was in a press following restoration in
anticipation of the fragment being put on display at an exhibition in a
neighboring country.  When the fragment eventually came out of the
press, a musicologist collaborator and I found that in the restoration
process, musical notes previously visible had disappeared (including the
area where a collection call no., written in ink around the year 1913,
had been removed) and that in adhering new parchment around the margin
and in holes in the MS, several millimeters of the original parchment
were covered over, including some letters of the poetic texts.  In 1991
I published black and white photos of the MS fragment, and for a
critical edition to be published in book form by the end of 1994, I have
in my possession color photos of the pre-restoration state of the MS.
Through the publisher I have requested post-restoration photos, and I
believe some sort of statement will have to be made in the edition about
the damage caused to the MS because of the restoration.  For this reason
I am hoping to come up with some information on restoration standards in
order to better document the case.

Many thanks for any help you can provide.

Harvey L. Sharrer
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
University of California
Santa Barbara, California 93106

                  Conservation DistList Instance 7:43
                Distributed: Thursday, December 9, 1993
                        Message Id: cdl-7-43-003
Received on Tuesday, 7 December, 1993

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