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Subject: Parchment


From: Jack C. Thompson <tcl>
Date: Wednesday, September 30, 1998
Ilias Kastritis <ikast [at] aueb__gr> writes

>Being a graduate from the Department of Conservation of works of art
>and antiquities at the Technical University of Athens, and within
>the context of my dissertation, I have done some ground work on
>conserving vellum/parchment manuscripts of a very old and famous
>Greek poet. Some of these items are going to be exhibited at a
>section of the library as part of a general exhibition of his works.
>I would like, if anyone could kindly give me some insight or help on
>references ( bibliography, tutorials, handbooks, ...) regarding the
>current techniques of conserving vellum and techniques/approaches
>to displaying such items within a museum/exhibition ( eg.

Recently, Barbara Appelbaum asked that we discuss various aspects of
the day-to-day business of the conservation of artifacts.  Zoe Ginni
has given us one benchmark; recently, a retired Indian engineer
(from India, not America) from London went to the Ukraine to teach
local Jewish people how to restore damaged Torah scrolls.  He
apparently learned what he felt was needful during the 8 years
following his retirement.

Without putting too fine a point on it, I would suggest that a
student should not be left to inquire of this list what treatment is
appropriate for a manuscript from "a very old and famous Greek
poet," nor that a retired engineer should be responsible for
teaching students how to repair parchment scrolls.

But, in the real world, this is what happens.  Sometimes it works.
Sometimes, Scotch tape works.  And we sit within our little circles
of influence and talk about certification.

At our current level of sophistication and influence, certification
is congruent with reduction of competition.

I apologize to Zoe Ginni for using an innocent inquiry as my
springboard, but the question did not include enough relevant data
to provide a substantive response; however, I'm the person who
flunked a graduate student for failing an open book exam.  But
that's another story.

Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, OR  97217
503-735-3942  (voice/fax)

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:32
                 Distributed: Thursday, October 1, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-32-003
Received on Wednesday, 30 September, 1998

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