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Subject: Papyrus

Papyrus

From: Amy Lubick <amylubick>
Date: Monday, June 23, 2003
Nicole Gilroy <nicole.gilroy [at] bodley__ox__ac__uk> writes

>Does anyone have experience of mounting collections of fragments
>(such as papyrus, bark etc.) between glass plates? ...

At the Walters Art Museum, we are currently working on the
conservation treatment and rehousing of a collection of papyri. Both
exhibition housing and long-term storage housing for the collection
will be fabricated using shatterproof and UV-filtering glass plates.
Several conservators experienced with papyri were consulted in
preparation for the project.

Hugh Phibbs, of the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC,
published an article in the May 2003 issue of Picture Framing
Magazine, titled, "Anti-Reflective Glass and Acrylic for
Preservation Framing."  We contacted Hugh, who was extremely helpful
in discussing with us the various types of glass available and
offered suggestions for materials we should use to seal the
packages.

I would only note that consideration should be given to the problems
associated with papyri and the formation of salts in certain
environments (see Gerhard Banik and Herbert Stachelberger's article,
"Salt-Migration in Papyrus Fragments" in Recent Advances in the
conservation and analysis of artifacts: Jubilee Conservation
Conference, London 6-10 July 1987).

Our long-term housing will include a matboard spacer, which prevents
the papyrus from coming into direct contact with the glass, cut to
follow the irregular edges of each papyrus leaf and allowing 3-5mm
of space on all sides. The papyrus will be attached to the spacer
with Japanese paper tabs. Our papyri have text on recto and verso,
requiring both sides to be visible.   In addition, we are
recommending that the papyri be exhibited and stored horizontally.
Please feel free to contact us directly for more information
regarding our project.

Amy Lubick
Contract Conservator
The Walters Art Museum


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Received on Monday, 23 June, 2003

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