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Subject: Preservation of palm-leaf manuscripts

Preservation of palm-leaf manuscripts

From: John Dean <jfd5>
Date: Friday, May 10, 1996
Jan Lyall <jlyall [at] nla__gov__au> writes

>I am very keen to collect information relating to the preservation
>of palm-leaf manuscripts.

The following works on the conservation treatment of palm leaf manuscripts
are quite old now, but treatment techniques do not seem to have changed a
great deal over the last twenty years.

    O.P. Agrawal, "Care and Conservation of Palm-Leaf and Paper
    Illustrated Manuscripts," in Palm Leaf and Paper: Illustrated
    Manuscripts of India and Southeast Asia (editor John Guy)
    Victoria, Australia: National Gallery of Australia, 1982.

    O.P. Agrawal, Conservation of Manuscripts and Paintings of
    Southeast Asia, London: Butterworths, 1984.  Ranbir Kishore,
    "Preservation and Repair of Palm Leaf Manuscripts," India
    Archives XIV (January 1961).

    D.G. Suryawanshi, M.V. Nair, P.M. Sinha, "Improving the
    Flexibility of Palm Leaf," Restaurator 13 (number1, 1992).

    D.G. Suryawanshi, P.M. Sinha, O.P. Agrawal, "Basic Studies in
    the Properties of Palm Leaves,"  Restaurator 15 (Number 2,

    "Sastra: A Project for the Restoration of Cambodia's Written
    Heritage," Asian Libraries (June 1993).

    Myat Khine, "The Fine Writings on Ancient Parabaiks,"  Forward
    (October 1986) (although mentioned only briefly in this work).

    Vinas and Vinas, Traditional Restoration Techniques,Paris:
    UNESCO, 1988, RAMP Study PGI-88/WS/17.

There are many other unpublished instructional materials and
guidelines on this topic produced as internal documents by libraries
in Southeast and South Asia.  The paper of U Thaw Kuang, produced at
the Chiang Mai University/Cornell conference describes procedures
that seem largely derived from the Agrawal work.  A paper given at
the same meeting by M.R. Rujaya Abhakorn, "The Preservation of
Northern Thai Manuscripts," describes a microfilm and stabilization
project with some reference to repair.  I am working on a treatment
guide for this material, and hope that it will be published within
the year.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:76
                   Distributed: Sunday, May 19, 1996
                        Message Id: cdl-9-76-003
Received on Friday, 10 May, 1996

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