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Subject: Birch bark manuscripts

Birch bark manuscripts

From: Nicole Gilroy <nicole.gilroy>
Date: Tuesday, April 8, 2003
I am involved in the survey of a collection of birch bark
manuscripts, with the ultimate aim of making the items safe to
digitise. There are thirty manuscripts in all, some of which have
been folded into codex form, some sewn and some have bindings of
various types. Many are extremely brittle.

I have asked for advice from colleagues and searched the literature,
and have found mostly recommendations to humidify and relax the
bark. There are some though few reports of repair using Japanese
tissue and CMC.

My first request is for information from anyone who has worked on
this type of material, especially with regard to reattaching loose
fragments. Secondly I wondered if anyone had tried or considered the
use of vapours of PEG or other plasticising agents in the treatment
of birch bark, or if any other method of reducing brittleness and
imparting flexibility has been successful.

Nicole Gilroy
Preservation and Conservation Department
Room 325
Bodleian Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG
+44 1865 277080
Fax: +44 1865 277182

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:60
                 Distributed: Thursday, April 10, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-60-015
Received on Tuesday, 8 April, 2003

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