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Subject: Conference on alum

Conference on alum

From: Jean E. Brown <jean.brown>
Date: Monday, June 19, 2006
The Alum Meeting
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST
A three day conference 11-12 September 2006

Registration forms can be obtained from

    Jean Brown
    <jean.brown [at] unn__ac__uk>

    John Krill
    <jkrill [at] winterthur__org>

Aims: For centuries alum (aluminium potassium sulphate) was one of
the most highly prized materials in Europe with a value so great
that efforts to secure its monopoly sparked off intensive trade wars
resulting in a string of international embargoes on its importation.
Its value lay partly in the limited number of sources from which the
raw material could be extracted but of equal importance was the
extraordinary breadth of its many applications and uses. Of
particular interest to those responsible for the care of collections
was its use in the production and/processing of a wide range of
materials incorporated into  much of our cultural heritage including
textiles, paper, leather, photographs, watercolours, stucco etc. The
meeting will be a cross disciplinary event that will not only draw
together our understanding of this widely used material but also
contribute to our care of artefacts into which it has been
incorporated. Papers will include the following:

Authors and Papers

    Joan Riefschneider
    Alum and the Papacy

    Linda Turnbull
    The Alum Trade in North Yorkshire

    Aki Arponen
    The Alum Trade in Sweden

    William Sheldrick
    The Copperas and Alum Industries

    Kevin Quinn
    Managing an Alum Works

    Daven Chamberlain
    The Effects of Aluminium Chemistry on the properties of
    Thermally Aged Paper

    Anne Laurence Dupont
    Alum in conjunction with Gelatine Size

    Arianne de la Chappelle
    The Use of Alum and Gelatine to make hand made rag paper

    Roy Thomson
    Alum Tawed Leather

    Sophie Denoel
    The Detection of Alum in Illuminated manuscripts

    Penny Jenkins
    Alum in the Treatment of Watercolours

    Sara Burdett
    Alum in Chinese and Japanese Paper Conservation

    Kate Jennings
    Alum in Photographic Conservation (tbc)

    To be confirmed
    Alum in the Marbling Process

    To be confirmed
    Alum as a Textile Mordant

    Nancy Child
    Alum in the Treatment of Water logged Wood

    Susan Braovac
    The Viking Ship Problem and the Oseberg Find

    Emma Wikstad, Annica Ewing, Karin Lindahl, Malin Sahlstedt, Tom
    Sandstrom, Ulrik Skans
    Saving Alum preserved Archaeological Wood

Conference Events and Trip to Alum Workings at Ravenscar

    *   Demonstration of Alum making

    *   Exhibition of Alum Extraction and Processing in North

    *   Evening Reception at the University Gallery to view the
        Matisse Cut-outs as well as the paintings of Brita Granstrom

        For details see



    *   Evening Reception at the BALTIC contemporary Art Gallery

    *   Trip to Ravenscar--the extraction site and site of the alum
        works at Ravenscar are all above ground and easily
        accessible. They are located at Robin Hood's Bay, an area of
        outstanding natural beauty on the North Yorkshire coast and
        well worth a visit if only for the magnificent scenery.

            Geological History of Ravenscar

            Alum Mining at Ravenscar

            Robin Hood's Bay



    *   Trade Fair

            **** Moderator's comments: The above URL has been
            wrapped for email. There should be no newline.

A. Jean E. Brown
Senior Lecturer
Burt Hall
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST
+44 191 227 3331
Fax: +44 191 227 3250

                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:1
                  Distributed: Saturday, June 24, 2006
                        Message Id: cdl-20-1-026
Received on Monday, 19 June, 2006

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