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Manuscript collections can include a wide range of writing and binding materials such as paper, parchment, leather, papyrus as well as inks, pigments and metals in the script and decorations. Most of the materials are organic and these are particularly vulnerable to deterioration through exposure to heat, light, moisture and pollutants.

In this section, we will discuss how conservators help care for manuscript collections and address the following questions:

  • What are the techniques and analysis methods used in conservation?
  • How can you identify the material / writing support? (sheep / goat skin?)
  • What are the special considerations for religious manuscripts?
  • What kinds of reports do conservators make? (e.g. condition reports, binding etc)
  • What are the methods used in the conservation and care of manuscripts?

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This article is from the free online course:

The Birmingham Qur'an: Its Journey from the Islamic Heartlands

University of Birmingham