BPG Parchment Housing and Storage

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This page covers the housing and storage of parchment. See also: Parchment, Parchment Condition Problems, Parchment Examination and Documentation, Parchment Conservation Treatment, and Parchment Parchment Historic Treatment Methods and Materials.

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American Institute for Conservation (AIC). "BPG Parchment Housing and Storage." AIC Wiki. April 16, 2024. https://www.conservation-wiki.com/wiki/BPG_Parchment_Housing_and_Storage.


Storage and Display[edit | edit source]

[Copied from original]

(See also Housing of Dead Sea Scroll Fragments for Exhibition, and Case Studies.)

Materials and Equipment[edit | edit source]

Housing*Blotter and Polyester Web (cut in small pieces)

  • Thick Plexiglas or Glass (in small squares or rectangles)
  • Weights
  • Straight Edge
  • Scapel, Mat Knife
  • Board Shears
  • Brushes
  • Tweezers
  • Bone or Teflon Folders
  • Dividers
  • Mat Cutter
  • Ultrasonic Welder or Heat Welder
  • Unbleached Soft Finish Linen Thread (for string mats)
  • Japanese Paper
  • Western Handmade Paper
  • Stabiltex Polyester Netting
  • Matboard
  • Adhesives
Starch Paste
PVA Dispersions
  • J-Lar tape
  • Marvel Seal 360
Manufactured by Ludlow Corporation, available from University Products.
  • Polyester Film
  • Acid-free Corrugated Board (Archivart Multi-Use Board).
This expands more than Kraft corrugated for a given %RH.
  • Coroplast E-flute board (corrugated polypropylene)
  • Fome-core
  • Ultra-violet Filtering Plexiglas

Housing[edit | edit source]

Considerations in Housing Parchment Artifacts

  • Size and shape of object: bulkiness or weight of object or its attachments, thinness or thickness of the sheet
  • Format: multiple superimposed sheets (must all sheets be available for easy reference?), multiple contiguous sheets, sewing/lacing/binding, attachments, fold-overs, integral mounts (e.g. original stretchers, Portolan chart boards)
  • Physical condition: state of degradation (integrity or strength of the sheet); friable media, coating, or parchment surface; mold; responsiveness to humidity fluctuations; extent of cockling)
  • Future use: exhibit, research, reference, legal, or combination of the above
  • Storage/Display Environment: are the environments stable or will the parchment be exposed to extremes, ie. fluctuations in humidity and/or temperature? (see Storage and Display.)


Polyester Film Encapsulation and Sleeves

Polyester film encapsulation is the sealing of an artifact on all four sides between two sheets of transparent polyester film suitable for archival use such as Mylar-D. The films are bonded only to each other (either along the edges or at a seam) and not to the artifact. A polyester film sleeve is sealed only on two adjacent sides or on three sides. This option is often chosen for artifacts which are to be periodically removed from the sleeve, and is especially useful for multiple-sheet documents where access to all the sheets must be readily available. Housing an artifact inside a sleeve affords considerably less protection from environmental influences and is often unsuitable for highly cockled parchments, which can slip out more easily than flatter artifacts. Provided there is no information on the verso a leaf of archival bond or light weight mat board can be placed behind the parchment for additional support Nevertheless, the presence of open sides on a polyester sleeve necessitates somewhat more care in the handling of the artifact by researchers.

Polyester film encapsulation is a relatively easy and cost-effective solution for effectively protecting parchment from rapid humidity fluctuations, and it provides minimal physical restraint against cockling. It should be carried out when the ambient relative humidity is satisfactory, and with documents that are relatively flat. Cockled documents will cause an encapsulation to have more pronounced distracting reflections. In the extreme case it may be physically impossible to weld polyester film together near the edge of a very cockled item. Some custodians find all encapsulations aesthetically unacceptable, particularly for artifacts that are to be displayed. For research and archival material, however, encapsulation is invaluable for protecting an artifact from negative environmental influences and from the inevitable stresses and contaminations of handling.

Sealing parchment inside an encapsulation has not been shown to cause accelerated chemical deterioration as is the case with encapsulated acidic paper. Just as with paper, however, housing of parchment in polyester film is not recommended when flaking or powdery media, coating, or support is present, because of the electrostatic attraction of the film.

Encapsulation of documents with substantial attachments is difficult. Within the encapsulation pendant seals can be supported with ultrasonic spot welds. When they are extremely thick and attached at a distance from the artifact they can be allowed to protrude outside an encapsulation. Of course in the latter case the entire document will require a secondary support or housing (see Problems in Housing Parchment Artifacts with Pendant Seals).

Three methods of encapsulation currently in common use are: ultrasonic welding, heat welding, and adhesion with double-sided pressure-sensitive tape. Heat welding could be problematic because of the high temperatures used in close proximity to the artifact, the solution is to leave more space between the document and the seal. Double-sided tape produces the least attractive package, and exposes the artifact to possible future contact with the sticky adhesive. It is also possible to join two sheets of polyester by means of sewing with an industrial sewing machine. For encapsulation of extremely large oversized collection materials staff at the Library of Congress have come up with a method of using the Ultrasonic Welder to seam polyester film. The largest width of polyester film available on rolls is 60" (from Taylor Made) which in many cases cannot accomodate oversized posters and maps. Using the Ultrasonic Welder, the polyester film is rolled like a scroll to fit under the bridge. The challenge lies in preparing the material to fit in the frame under the horn while keeping the polyester free of dimples, creases and scratches. Information on this method will be presented by Carol Paulson and John Bertonaschi, in a poster session at the annual AIC Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, June 1994. A printed copy of this information is available by a written request addressed to the Phased Section in the Conservation Office of the Library of Congress.

Window Mats

(See also Matting and Framing.)

Sometimes documents, especially those that are several centuries old, were marked on the reverse with annotations and stamps with historical or legal importance by owners, officials, and archives. Such evidence should be available for viewing and study by scholars, even while the artifact is mounted in a window mat. To this end, it has been suggested that the document be attached to the reverse of the window mat, instead of to the backboard.(HS) An alternative solution would be to cut a window in the backboard and adhere a piece of transparent polyester film over it. A deeper window mat is generally needed to accommodate the thickness and movement of a parchment sheet.

  • Object Secured in Encapsulations or with Polyester Film Corners, Slings, and Straps
If an artifact is encapsulated it can easily be secured to a window mat backboard using double-sided tape. The window can be cut to a size which reveals the entire document but conceals the weld or join of the polyester. Reflections from the polyester will always be discernible to some extent, however, and some custodians will find this aesthetically unacceptable.
Polyester corners, slings, and straps have the advantage that they can be overmatted (unless the artifact must be “floated” in its mat) and would therefore not disturb the viewer. They do not require any adhesion or attachment directly to the artifact. These systems are not appropriate for very cockled pieces or for artifacts with friable paint. There is also the risk that a humidity-responsive parchment will pop out of its restraint when excessive movement occurs in an uncontrolled environment.
The polyester film sling mount, described more completely in Matting and Hinging Works of Art on Paper, Library of Congress, 1981, could be considered appropriate under certain situations. Polyester film circles, about 1" in diameter, are folded in half and placed at the edges of the artifact. A piece of double-sided tape, placed on the reverse of the other folded half of the circle, allows one to secure the sling to the back mat. Polyester, polyethylene, and polypropylene films can all be used to fashion photo corners or straps as mounts for parchments. Some parchments with pendant seals which lace through a fold-up at the bottom can be held very securely to a mat with an unobtrusive strap placed under the fold-up and brought through to the back of the mat board via slits. Some give in the length of the straps and the positioning of photo comers allow for dimensional changes in the parchment. Corners and straps should not be placed over friable media. Polypropylene and polyethylene are softer than polyester and can be folded without creating a cutting edge. Polyester can be very sharp and is very shiny. Abrading it with emery paper will lessen reflections but will also make it less transparent. (EO)
  • Object Secured with Paper Hinges
A stronger or thicker adhesive is required for hinging parchment with paper hinges than is necessary for most paper artifacts. The hinge must be weighted for a considerably longer time in order to avoid puckering or cockling of the parchment; the hinges should never be dried using a tacking iron (see Potential Alteration/Damage to Object in Treatment: Problems Caused by Use of Heat). Hinges which are too thick can leave an impression and/or cause puckering over time.
Hinging only across the top of a parchment artifact is insufficient for all but the thickest and least humidity-reactive parchment. Most parchment must be hinged also at the bottom, and perhaps at the sides as well (see below). Otherwise a “floated” sheet may move forward in the window, perhaps touching the glazing, and a slightly over-matted parchment could escape from underneath the window. When hinges are placed at opposite ends of a document they must not pull the sheet taut, but should allow sufficient movement to avoid creating draws in the sheet or tearing the hinges when the parchment contracts.
Solvent-activated adhesive-coated tissue can also be used as a hinging material, as long as heat is not used to attach the hinge (see Potential Alteration/Damage to Object in Treatment: Problems Caused by Use of Heat and Mending and Filling: Adhesive-Coated Tissues and Membranes).
  • Object secured with Paper Straps
This mounting system is especially suitable for large documents. It was designed for temporary exhibition and for archival rather than fine art materials. It will function well in any relatively stable environment, the important requirement being the built-in break-point which allows the parchment to detach from the support board if it is placed under excessive tension. The requirements of a mounting system for such material are necessarily quite simple, and must simply be able to perform satisfactorily on a large scale, be strong enough to restrain the skin under modest fluctuations in relative humidity and allow a little movement as it does so, yet at the same time not be so strong as to threaten to split the skin if it shrinks significantly in overly dry conditions.
  • The support board
The support board needs to be rigid, light in weight and chemically stable. Acid-free honeycomb board can be used, or sheets of multi-purpose acid-free double-wall corrugated board (E-Flute). If corrugated board is used it should be lined on both sides with 4-ply museum board to provide dimensional stability and a smooth surface. A single sheet of the corrugated board will be sufficiently strong for smaller items, and extra sheets can be laminated together with PVA for larger material. To finish the board, it can be ‘wrapped’ in acid-free paper adhered with a finely sieved wheat starch paste. The “wrapper” should be taken over the cut edges of the corrugated board to hide them. The resulting board is comparatively lightweight and very rigid.
  • The mounting system
The sheet of parchment is held to the support board by straps of long-fibered Japanese tissue, the weight and width selected according to the size and weight of the skin to be mounted. The strap width normally used is in the range 5–10 mm and sufficient straps are cut to allow them to be placed perpendicular to the edge of the document at intervals approximately equal to their own width. This close spacing keeps the edges of the parchment under control, provides enough strength to hold it under sufficient tension and avoids the risk of distortion which might result from adhering a continuous frame to it. The length of the strap varies according to the size of the skin, but 100–150 mm accommodates most material. At the corners, L-shaped straps can be used, which avoids having two thicknesses of Japanese paper at these points. The tissue straps are secured to the verso of the skin with a stiff wheat starch paste, attaching no more than 5–10 mm of the strap to the skin. The other end is secured to the back of the mount with PVA. The length of the straps is intended to allow some lateral movement as the skin expands and contracts, and the tissue paper itself is able to stretch (though not recover) to compensate for a certain amount of shrinkage.
Should the skin shrink too much, the straps will either pull apart or tear along the edge of the support board, thus releasing the skin from further tension and preventing damage. If the skin does not cockle too much when this happens, it is possible to repair the mounting merely by replacing the torn straps.
  • Attaching the skin to the mount
This work should ideally be done at the same humidity level as the place where the mounted item is to be hung or exhibited. If this environment cannot be achieved within the workspace, then it is best that the item should be mounted in the location where it is to be kept.
It is important, having found the best position for the skin on the support board, to make sure that it is not shifted in the course of attaching it. This is most easily accomplished by placing the support board recto upwards on a block sufficiently high to give easy access to the underside around the edges. With the skin in the correct position, and held from moving by weights, stiff PVA is applied to the underside of the straps in the center of each side. These are then carefully molded around the edge of the support board and stuck to the underside, taking care to smooth them across the board before sticking down the glued ends. The corner straps can then be similarly glued down. Once the corners and centers of each side are secured, the mount, with the attached skin, can be carefully turned over onto clean paper or blotters and the rest of the straps can be glued in place. The straps at the corners need to be ‘woven’ over and under each other so that no strap is glued on to another. This can be achieved by gluing them down in the right order.
  • Framing the mounted skin
Once the assembly is complete, steps must be taken to protect the straps around the edge of the mount or they will be damaged by handling. If the assembly is to be framed, then the frame can be used to give this protection by allowing a small gap between the edge of the mount and the inside of the frame.
The mount itself can be attached to the backing board of the frame via strips of Velcro to give an easily dismounted assembly, or, more simply, via blocks of single wall corrugated board, glued with PVA to both the back of the mount and the backing board of the frame. Should the mount ever need to be removed, the corrugated board can easily be split apart. It is important that the Velcro or the corrugated board are attached without overlapping any of the mounting straps, and that the straps themselves are not in contact with the backing board. The Velcro and the corrugated board will both ensure this.
So as to avoid the risk of the skin expanding and touching the glazing or to prevent loose or friable pigments from being dislodged by the static pull of the glazing material, a space of 10 mm to 20 mm should be left between the surface of the object and the frames glazing. If a glazed frame is not required, a shallow tray, the edge just deeper than the combined thickness of the mounted skin and the Velcro or corrugated board attachment can be used instead. It can be provided with a lid for secure, dust-free storage if required.
  • Mounting irregularly shaped skins
Square or rectangular support boards, cut slightly larger than the maximum width and height of the skin, work well with most material, which if it is not exactly square, is usually not far off, and the straps, if similar in color to the paper used to line the support board, need not be visually intrusive. A gilt fillet inside the frame under the glass or Plexiglas will mask the edge a little if required. However, material which is not at all square will need to be mounted on boards cut approximately to the shape of the skin to be mounted. This need not follow every exact contour of a highly irregular edge, and the straps can be masked with a more accurately shaped window mat if necessary. Alternatively, a special support board, made up of three or more layers of museum mounting board, glued together with PVA with the grain of each layer at right angles to the previous one, can be cut to the exact shape of the skin, bevelled on the underside, so that the mount will be all but invisible under the mounted skin. It is attached to the backing board or tray in the same way, and the same strapping arrangement is used, only here the straps are attached at right angles to the edge of that part of the skin to which they are pasted, and not in the neat parallel arrangement which is used for square and rectangular skins.
  • Conclusion
This method of mounting larger pieces of vellum or parchment for display or storage is not intended to be a perfect solution to the problem of securing such a highly hygroscopic material as parchment. Parchment's capacity for movement in response to changes in humidity levels is greater than the straps can possibly cope with, but provided that the mounted skins are not exposed to excessively dry conditions, the straps will secure the skin without exposing it to too much tension, and should the humidity levels rise, the skin will still be held around its edges, even though the tension of the mounting will be released. When the humidity levels return to normal, the skin will once more pull itself flat between the straps. Should it be necessary, the skin can be removed from the mount simply by peeling the straps away from the skin, dampening them lightly from the back if necessary. (NP)
  • Paper/False Margins
Method used at the J. Paul Getty Museum
  • First suggested by Keiko Keyes for mounting double-sided, Old Master drawings, this method has been successfully used for mounting small manuscript fragments on parchment, particularly in cases where the design layer extends to the cut edge on the recto or if there is text or design on the verso.
  • The paper selected for use in the mount should be of the same thickness as the parchment cutting or fragment being mounted (use a paper thickness gauge), usually a medium-heavy weight Western handmade paper. The inner edge of the paper margin is cut approximately 1 mm beyond the edges of the object, so that there is a slight gap between the parchment edge and the paper margin; the width of the margin is discretionary (2"-4" in width as required.)
  • Thin strips (4–5 mm in width) of fine, long-fibered Japanese tissue (such as Kizukishi) are torn in separate lengths to correspond to each edge dimension of the fragment. The torn-edge strip of Japanese tissue is then pasted with rice starch paste and adhered to the verso edge of the cutting and the inside cut profile of the paper margin, bridging the 1 mm gap. The Japanese tissue need adhere only 1–2 mm or so onto the verso edge of the object, keeping the amount of paste to a minimum. A sufficiently strong attachment is made if only the fibrous edge of the tissue is pasted onto the object. The pasted edges are weighted between blotter and hollytex to dry. Once dried, the pasted, fibrous edges of the tissue become virtually transparent.
  • Once the attachment to the paper margin is complete, the whole can be mounted in either a single or a double-window mat, hinged, or mounted in place with photo corners. This mount allows the fragment to be float matted with a 1/4" margin so all edges are visible, and over-matting can thus be avoided (this is particularly important if the design layer extends to the edge of the support or if the support is badly cockled). Moreover, the window of the mat, when closed, puts pressure on the paper margin, not on the leaf itself, holding the entirety in plane.
  • If the object experiences RH change, the mount will react with the piece and not against it. By leaving the gap between the paper margin and the object, the object still has room to move. Moreover, since the paper margin is not a heavy card but a paper of comparable thickness and flexibility to the parchment, the mount will not act as a rigid constraint, as in the traditional drum mount technique. Therefore, any stress or strain will be acted upon the Japanese paper strips that bridge the gap between the object and the paper mount, not on the weakest area within the object itself.
  • The addition of paper margins to a manuscript fragment (a) prevents readers from handling the leaf directly, (b) keeps the fragment in plane and prevents the parchment support from curling, particularly if the cutting has been removed from a backing and may have residual adhesive on the verso or if the paint layer on the recto surface is thickly applied, and (c) can be easily replaced if soiled or damaged. (NT)
Library of Congress method
  • This mounting system uses false margins of Japanese paper within a window mat. It was developed by library of Congress staff as an alternative to string mounting (which is one of the primary methods of housing parchment at LC).
  • The principles behind string mounting (ie. movement with the object and detatchment of the string if the tension becomes too great) defined the approach when developing this mounting method. The string mounting system works best when held in rigid housing such as plexiglass sandwiches or frames. For materials that will not be kept in ideal environmental conditions or for those that are in a mat that cannot provide a rigid support, the false paper margin mounting method is designed to avoid the need to re-enter the housing when a string pops off.
  • The principles of tensioning all around to emulate the manufacturing process and the use of an attachment material which will expand and contract as well as give-way first can be accomplished by using a modification of the Japanese scroll mounting technique (designed for drying objects on a drying board). This technique adheres false margins all around the edge of the object. For parchment objects, the paper margins are then slit at regular intervals. Without the slits, the paper margins cannot move and respond along with the parchment.
  • Select a Japanese paper which is aesthetically compatible with the object, but lighter in weight. Make the margin strips by tearing the grain long Japanese paper about four or five inches longer than the length of each side of the object and approximately one and a half to two inches wide. The margins may require shaping to the contour of the parchment. To attach the margins to the object, adhere the feathered edges to the perimeter of the verso, centering the object on the margin so that the extra lengths of paper extend equally. Working one half inch away from (and parallel to) the edge of the object cut inch long slits, every other inch, in the paper margin. Move one inch away from the object (half an inch from the cuts) and create an alternating pattern by making a second row of slits (parallel to the first row).
  • The paper margins are then adhered to the back mat board only along their outer half inch. Gelatin tends to make the tissue feathers transparent and is likely to expand and contract at a rate similar to the parchment document. Swab away any excess adhesive. This technique works well on a skin with a closed surface. As with any hinging method, open, pumiced surfaces could possibly go transparent or turn grey depending upon the characteristics of each individual skin. (JM)
  • Object Secured with Linen Threads
  • Standard thread mat: For a good description, see Clarkson, 1987, pp. 201–209.
  • Reverse thread mat
The reverse thread mat requires a mat cut to more than twice the width and height of the piece of parchment to be mounted, as the combined lengths of any two threads placed opposite each other around the edge of the object should be approximately equal in length to the width or height of the object between those two threads. This becomes a problem when miniatures or other drawings and paintings on parchment need to be remounted but still have to fit into existing frames or exhibition spaces.
One answer to this problem is the reverse thread mat, in which the linen threads are taken around the edge of a specially prepared support board and held at the center of the reverse of this support board instead of around the margins of a larger mat. The system does not allow for double-sided viewing, which the thread mat allows without difficulty, so any writing or image on the verso of material mounted this way must be photographed beforehand.
  • The support board
A piece of 4-ply acid-free mounting board is cut to the required size, normally larger by a margin of 1–2 mm on each side than the piece of parchment to be mounted. This is then set into a hardwood frame with a waxed and polished half-round edge, into the center of which are set small brass or stainless steel nails equal in number to the number of threads to be used to secure the piece of parchment. These pegs locate the threads as they pass around the edge of the support board and prevent them sliding towards the center of each edge; the polished edge allows the threads to expand and contract without difficulty. The back of the support board is filled in with mounting-board.
  • Attaching the threads
The cut lengths of bookbinders' linen thread, washed in water with a little soap, are secured to the parchment with wheat starch paste, as described by Clarkson. The object is placed face down on a sheet of clean paper on which are drawn guides to enable the support board to be placed exactly in the right position on top of it. The center thread from each side is then twisted between finger and thumb until the thread, held under light tension, begins to kink; it is then untwisted until the kink disappears, and the loose end of the thread is secured to the center of the back of the support with stiff PVA. The extra twisting increases the change in length of the thread in fluctuating humidity levels. As soon as these four threads are secure, the remaining threads can be attached in the same way, making sure that they are hooked over the correct brass peg. Care must be taken not to rotate the parchment during this process by pulling more firmly on some threads than others. Where miniatures cut from manuscripts with very uneven edges are being mounted, it will often be necessary to vary the angle of the thread attachment to suit the shape of the fragment.
An alternative approach is to twist the linen thread until it kinks a lot and then stretch it out, set the frayed end down with the PVA and weight it. This creates sufficient tension on the parchment, which is evidenced by one one particular piece which held its planarity for 17 years after having traveled for three years on exhibit. (JFM)
  • Attaching the support board to a frame
The support board must be held away from the board to which is it attached, and this is done by securing it with brass or stainless steel screws passing through the board, through spacing washers and into the wooden frame of the support board. The whole assembly can then be framed, making sure that there is at least a 5 mm gap between a small (100 mm × 100 mm) piece of parchment and the glass, the gap increasing as larger pieces of parchment are framed. If Plexiglas is used to glaze the frame, a wider gap may be necessary to avoid the risk of friable pigment being detached from the surface of a painting by static pull.(NP)


Problems of Housing Multi-Sheet Documents

  • Research/reference materials:
  • Display/exhibit materials: It is very impractical to exhibit sheets other than the top one in a multi-sheet document. It may be possible to roll back the upper sheet/sheets and restrain them with polyester straps joined with double-sided tape or with very wide cotton twill tape ties to display a lower sheet.


Problems of Housing Artifacts with Seals and Ribbons

(See Szczepanowska 1992 and Burns and Bignell 1993.)

Seals are either applied directly on the document or are hung from lengths of cord, parchment, or ribbon. Documents can be sealed with one or more seals, made out of wax, resin, paper or metal. Some seals are protected by metal or wooden skippets, and some are without protection. Every seal and its method of attachment are integral elements of the document, and must be taken into account when devising appropriate housings for their storage and display. Many require solutions that are very individually suited to the needs of a particular artifact.

The thickness of seals and ribbons must be accommodated in a window mat or in a sunken backboard/mount. A container for a seal can be attached to the surface of the mat (with a spacer placed on the mat), or between the window and the backboard. They can also be housed in a sunken compartment in a built-up thick backboard. Depending on their shape and placement on the document both seals and ribbons may require awkwardly-shaped windows. Heavy seals are also best supported by tailor-made compartments within the storage container even if they are not mounted for display. Surviving original containers for important documents are constructed with such compartments.

One housing system used for a large detached pendant seal at the National Archives consisted of a three-dimensional construction of archival corrugated board crimped with the direction of the corrugation to form a circular receptacle slightly larger than the seal. The corrugated board was two layers thick, lined on the inside with Nalgene 1/8" “clean sheet” expanded polyethylene The composite was then covered with Japanese paper applied with wheat starch paste. The construction was slightly deeper than the thickness of the seal. A gap could have been left for any ribbons present. This construction can be used for long-term storage or for exhibit (with proper build-up of the window mat to the height of the construct) and can be attached to a rigid support or back mat with an appropriate adhesive. The outer covering of Japanese paper makes an unobtrusive presentation, and is usually close in color to mat board. (EO'L)

When an artifact with attachments or seals is encapsulated, the polyester should be welded close to and along the bottom edge of the artifact, up to the strap from which the seal hangs. This weld is important for helping to support the edge from which the seal hangs, so it is less likely to stress or deform that area. Additional welds or spot welds below and beside the seal will also help support the weight of the seal.

A housing system used for pendant seals and other large attachments can be created with plexiglas “skippets” mounted on the encapsulated assembly. Prior to encapsulation the parchment documents with seals are flattened. The document is then laid out on a large sheet of five mil mylar and a smaller second sheet (approxi-mately 25mm larger than the parchment on all four sides) is used as a top sheet. Using an ultrasonic welder the document is encapsulated on all four sides except where the ribbon, strap or thread extends to which the pendant seal is attached. A plexiglass skippet is fabricated from plexiglass tubes which are available from plastic suppliers. As they come in varying diameters, select one which is slightly larger than the seal. Creat a disk by cutting a section off of the tube that is taller than the seal is thick. To accomodate the ribbon or strap cut a notch out of the disk then finish and polish the edges. For a back plate cut a piece of 1/16" plexiglass sheeting that is slightly larger than the disk, bevel and polish the edges. Using a small drill bit that matches the size of brass escutcheon pins, drill holes every couple of inches through the back plate and into the bottom edge of the disk (the plexiglass tubes come in various wall thicknesses, the thicker the better to accomodate the pins). The large bottom sheet of mylar which supports both the document and the weight of the seal will be sandwiched between the back plate and the disk. The seal is placed into the plexiglass skippet and the back plate is pinned into place on the underside of the mylar, the pins can be adhered in if they are a little too small. The seal is then cushioned around the sides with strips of felt to prevent the seal from moving around in the skippet. This method of housing allows a document and seal to be safely and easily viewed from both sides, and is light weight and not bulky. (JFM)

Storage and Display[edit | edit source]

(See also Housing of Dead Sea Scroll Fragments for Exhibition, and Case Studies.)

Environmental Guidelines

The establishment of temperature and humidity guidelines for the storage and display of parchment must take into consideration many factors including the age and condition of the artifact, its previous storage environment, the format of its present housing, and the way in which it is expected to be used by curators, scholars and others.

Humidity standards for the storage and display of parchment have traditionally been set at around 55% RH, with an allowable variation of 5%. These environmental standards widely cited for parchment have generally been based on the high RH typical of Great Britain and Ireland (eg. 55–60% RH) (see Cains, Stolow and Thompson). However, more recent research by Eric Hansen and other scientists at the Getty Conservation Institute has determined that parchment is more susceptible to gelatin and biological attack at relative humidities of 40% and above. Therefore it has been recommended by these particular authors that if preservation of collagen is the primary consideration then parchment should be stored and displayed in an environment of 30% RH +/- 5%. In their published paper, however, the authors include the following caveats:

  • The lower RH of 30% may be harmful to composite parchment documents which have illuminations or poorly bound ink due to the different reactions to changes in RH of the various materials.
  • Parchment may buckle or curl at the lower humidities.
An additional area of concern is if the parchment is brittle at lower humidities, such as medieval and modern vellum (from Hansen's studies), damage may occur if the parchment is subject to manipulation (such as items stored in mylar or unframed mats, or the leaves of a book).(JM)
Careful consideration should be given to the application of rigid standards to old collections stored for centuries in the same environment which, although not perfect, seem to be working well for the artifacts. Therefore, before making storage recommendations first examine the existing storage conditions, if possible, determine how long the parchments were stored in those conditions, assess any problems and establish if, in fact, the environment caused the problems. (HS)

Relative Humidity Levels for the Display and Storage of Parchment: A Consideration of Levels Below 50%

(Eric Hansen)

The most often encountered recommendations for the optimum relative humidity (RH) for the storage of parchment are usually around 50%. Investigations were carried out at the Getty Conservation Institute from 1988 to 1992 to determine the basis for this recommendation; and, what further information needed to be gathered to confirm or augment this recommendation (Hansen et al 1992). The effect of relative humidity on the biodeterioration of parchment was also studied (Valentin et al 1990). A further investigation was conducted specifically for the effect of relative humidity on the Dead Sea Scrolls (Schilling and Ginell 1993).

Conclusions based upon a survey of the previous conservation literature were: 1) 50 % RH was necessary to maintain a pliable or manipulable state of parchment; and 2) that a relative humidity below 70 % was necessary to inhibit noticeable fungal or microbial growth. One noticeable exception was the preservation conditions suggested by the National Bureau of Standards for the Charters of Freedom of the United States (the Constitution and Declaration of Independence), which are maintained in a helium atmosphere humidified to 25% RH (NBS 1951).

An extensive review of the biochemical literature was conducted to determine the degradation rates and physical properties of collagen, which constitutes 95% of defatted, dehaired skin. It had been shown since the early 1940's that collagen requires a certain amount of water to maintain its molecular stability, which is present at relative humidities above 25% (Kozlov and Budygnia 1982). Thus a lower limit of relative humidity for the preservation conditions of objects containing intact collagen is 25%. This was the reasoning that was used by the NBS to set the conditions for the Charters of Freedom of the United States. Further data from the leather industry (Bowes and Raistrick 1964, 1967) indicated that relative humidities above 40% increased the rate of the conversion of collagen to gelatin (the course of denaturation for the protein collagen).

Further testing (Hansen et al 1992) was done to determine the effects of maintaining different relative humidities on the mechanical properties of modern, intact parchment at different relative humidities. Standard samples of calfskin parchment were subjected to (1) tensile fracture, and (2) measurement of the force that developed when restrained samples were subjected to step decreases in relative humidity in the region between 60% and 11%. The results indicate that, although no particular level of relative humidity can be excluded in general from consideration as a storage or display condition on the basis of tensile fracture testing data alone, at 11% RH there is a decrease in both the ability to elongate and in the tensile strength. It was further demonstrated that below 25% RH large stresses could develop in restrained samples.

Valentin and her co-workers (1990) demonstrated that biodeterioration, for both aerobic and anerobic micro-organisms common to parchment deterioration, resulting from the growth of micro-organisms occurred beginning at 40% RH and increased with higher levels of relative humidity. Hansen and co-workers (1992), on consideration of the physical chemistry and chemical reactivity of collagen, the effect of RH on physical properties, and the results of the biodeterioration study, suggested that a relative humidity below 40% and above 25% should be optimum for storage or display if preservation of the collagen was the primary consideration. 30% was suggested as an optimum level, permitting a cyclic variation of ± 5% with minimal effects of swelling and shrinkage.

These considerations have been the subject of some debate and concern among librarians and archivists. Of particular concern are: 1)when these conditions might be favored as opposed to higher relative humidities around 50%; 2)what problems might be encountered with parchment in varied states of age and deterioration; and 3)what problems might be encountered with the composite nature of documents and illuminated manuscripts, particularly in regard to inks and colorants. Burns (1993) summarized a discussion held at the “Conservation of Parchment” course and workshop (held at the Conservation Analytical Laboratory, Smithsonian Institution, February 1–5, 1992), which helps clarify these issues.

Burns and Bignell (1993) stressed that the recommendations for lower relative humidities were not a blanket recommendation, but an attempt to define “the lowest amount of atmospheric moisture (above 25% RH) that will allow for mechanical requirements ... other composite elements, and aesthetic requirements” (Hanens, et al., 1993). In the discussion, it was recognized that “rather than implementing changes based upon them, archivists might use the findings to reflect upon a situation that is not as straightforward as they perhaps had thought ... Those charged with the care of collections may have other aims, such as handling and aesthetic considerations. Conservators must evaluate the specific context of individual collections - the type of parchment, historical and geographic origins, processing and finishing variables, subsequent use, storage history, present needs, media – and assess the feasibility and practicality of the recommendations of Hansen and his co-workers.”

It can be seen that much subsequent research and work needs to be done to determine adequate relative humidity conditions for the full range of types of parchment materials in archival collections. For example, Schilling and Ginell (1993) investigated the dimensional changes in Dead Sea Scroll samples and laboratory degraded parchment (partial conversion to gelatin), and confirmed the large changes associated with levels below 25% RH for historic samples. A suggested immediate concern for future research would be investigations of the effect of different relative humidities on the stability of inks on documents or paint in illuminated manuscripts.

Sealed Transport and/or Display Packages

  • Framed Objects
This system is applicable for string mats or any framed/glazed parchment housing. If the mounted parchment will travel or will be subjected to flucuations in RH, it can be placed in a sealed package to reduce those flucuations. A material like Art-sorb can be placed within the package to provide additional protection. A sealed package consists of glazing (glass or Plexiglas) on the front, the mounted/matted object and any supporting materials (Fome-core, mat or corrugated board, etc.), then polyester film on the back. The edges are sealed by wrapping a strip of pressure sensitive tape (J-Lar - a polypropylene tape with an acrylic adhesive that has good aging properties) from the edge of the glazing (just overlapping the front) and around the edge to the polyester film sheet on the back. The edges of the mount, etc. can be protected from the tape by covering them wiwth strips of 10 pt. folder stock as the tape is wrapped around the edge. Sealed packages of this design have been placed in humidity chambers of 80–90% RH for a week and have maintained an internal humidity of 50% RH. (LP)
Another alternative backing and packaging material in use today is Marvel Seal 360. This foil barrier sheet is made by the Ludlow Corporation and sold through University Products. Note: the manufacturer's name is printed on the foil in a red ink that is soluble, for conservation use Marvel Seal 360 should be ordered without the red printing. (HP)
For more information on the success of these systems and materials see the poster session by Hugh Phibbs of the National Gallery of Art presented at the annual AIC Meeting in Nashville, Tennesee, June 1994.
Anecdotal information from Portland, OR picture framers who used gray conservation corrugated on my recommendation. On large framed pieces, the cardboard would bow out, pushing the art work away from the wall. (JT)
  • Plexiglas Sandwich
A “Plexiglas sandwich” is a housing for a matted object. It is made by sandwiching the matted object between two sheets of acrylic that are then taped together, around all four edges, with polypropylene tape (J-Lar). This sealed package system provides both a rigid structure and a relatively constant microenvironment. Parchment or paper artifacts are often placed in Plexiglas sandwiches particularly during transport and exhibition. However, in many cases, especially for moisture sensitive parchment, these temporary housings are often retained for permanent storage.
To construct a Plexiglas sandwich place the matted object between two sheets of 1/8–1/4 inch acrylic, which are cut to the same outer dimensions as the mat. Place the assembly face up on a clean table allowing one edge to extend beyond the table top in order to tape the sides of the sandwich unit together. It is helpful to place a weight on top to keep the stack properly aligned.
Using 1-inch wide clear polypropylene tape, start at the corner (allowing some overlap around the corner) align the tape along the edge so that there will be a 1/8 inch of tape over-lapping the top acrylic sheet. The remainder of the tape wraps around the side edges overlapping onto the bottom acrylic sheet. Rotate the unit until all edges are sealed. Repeat this step for the added protection of a second layer of tape. Finish by burnishing the tape to obtain the most effective adhesion possible.
When weight, cost or additional protection from moisture is a concern corrugated polypropylene (Coroplast) has proven an effective substitute for the acrylic back panel. The polypropylene material is lighter in weight and costs less than acrylic sheeting. Furthermore, a simple experiment at the Library of Congress revealed that the corrugated polypropylene panel was actually a more effective moisture barrier.
To gain a better understanding of the moisture barring qualities, as well as, to compare the effectiveness of various sandwich materials the following experiment was conducted in the Paper Section of the LC Conservation Lab. Three 11" × 12" sandwich units were assembled according to the instructions above the only variation being the back panel material. Each unit had a different back panel of either 1/8 inch thick acrylic; five mil polyester film (Mylar), or five an corrugated polypropylene. A humidity indicator strip, mounted in place of an artifact in each window mat was used to monitor the internal humidity which was approximately 35% RH. All three of the units were placed in a 100% humidity chamber for 19 days. Within four days the Mylar backed unit registered a 5% RH increase and ultimately registered 50–55% RH.
After 15 days, all of the acrylic sheets became warped from their one sided exposure to the humidity. The two acrylic sheets in the one unit bowed away from each other causing the tape seal to break and allowing humidity to enter the package. The Mylar and Coroplast backed units remained intact as they moved with the warping acrylic.
After 19 days the corrugated polypropylene unit registered an internal RH of 40–45% and a small area of the tape had begun to loosen. In summary, of the three backing materials the Mylar allowed the most moisture to pass through. The corrugated polypropylene panel provided an equally effective moisture barrier as the acrylic sheet backing and in contrast was also able to accomodate the warp of the acrylic top sheet preserving the tape seal. (HW)


Aceto et al 2020, 1271: "All the folios of the Codex Sinopensis are stored between glass plates and framed, except for those containing miniatures, which are housed in mattes. This was beneficial for the non-invasive analysis of the miniatures, which nevertheless was carried out in the shortest time possible in order not to cause distortions in the extremely thin parchment when exposed to air."

Environmental Guidelines

The establishment of temperature and humidity guidelines for the storage and display of parchment must take into consideration many factors including the age and condition of the artifact, its previous storage environment, the format of its present housing, and the way in which it is expected to be used by curators, scholars and others.

Humidity standards for the storage and display of parchment have traditionally been set at around 55% RH, with an allowable variation of 5%. These environmental standards widely cited for parchment have generally been based on the high RH typical of Great Britain and Ireland (eg. 55–60% RH) (see Cains, Stolow and Thompson). However, more recent research by Eric Hansen and other scientists at the Getty Conservation Institute has determined that parchment is more susceptible to gelatin and biological attack at relative humidities of 40% and above. Therefore it has been recommended by these particular authors that if preservation of collagen is the primary consideration then parchment should be stored and displayed in an environment of 30% RH +/- 5%. In their published paper, however, the authors include the following caveats:

The lower RH of 30% may be harmful to composite parchment documents which have illuminations or poorly bound ink due to the different reactions to changes in RH of the various materials.

Parchment may buckle or curl at the lower humidities.

An additional area of concern is if the parchment is brittle at lower humidities, such as medieval and modern vellum (from Hansen's studies), damage may occur if the parchment is subject to manipulation (such as items stored in mylar or unframed mats, or the leaves of a book).(JM)

Careful consideration should be given to the application of rigid standards to old collections stored for centuries in the same environment which, although not perfect, seem to be working well for the artifacts. Therefore, before making storage recommendations first examine the existing storage conditions, if possible, determine how long the parchments were stored in those conditions, assess any problems and establish if, in fact, the environment caused the problems. (HS)

Relative Humidity Levels for the Display and Storage of Parchment: A Consideration of Levels Below 50%

(Eric Hansen)

The most often encountered recommendations for the optimum relative humidity (RH) for the storage of parchment are usually around 50%. Investigations were carried out at the Getty Conservation Institute from 1988 to 1992 to determine the basis for this recommendation; and, what further information needed to be gathered to confirm or augment this recommendation (Hansen et al 1992). The effect of relative humidity on the biodeterioration of parchment was also studied (Valentin et al 1990). A further investigation was conducted specifically for the effect of relative humidity on the Dead Sea Scrolls (Schilling and Ginell 1993).

Conclusions based upon a survey of the previous conservation literature were: 1) 50 % RH was necessary to maintain a pliable or manipulable state of parchment; and 2) that a relative humidity below 70 % was necessary to inhibit noticeable fungal or microbial growth. One noticeable exception was the preservation conditions suggested by the National Bureau of Standards for the Charters of Freedom of the United States (the Constitution and Declaration of Independence), which are maintained in a helium atmosphere humidified to 25% RH (NBS 1951).

An extensive review of the biochemical literature was conducted to determine the degradation rates and physical properties of collagen, which constitutes 95% of defatted, dehaired skin. It had been shown since the early 1940's that collagen requires a certain amount of water to maintain its molecular stability, which is present at relative humidities above 25% (Kozlov and Budygnia 1982). Thus a lower limit of relative humidity for the preservation conditions of objects containing intact collagen is 25%. This was the reasoning that was used by the NBS to set the conditions for the Charters of Freedom of the United States. Further data from the leather industry (Bowes and Raistrick 1964, 1967) indicated that relative humidities above 40% increased the rate of the conversion of collagen to gelatin (the course of denaturation for the protein collagen).

Further testing (Hansen et al 1992) was done to determine the effects of maintaining different relative humidities on the mechanical properties of modern, intact parchment at different relative humidities. Standard samples of calfskin parchment were subjected to (1) tensile fracture, and (2) measurement of the force that developed when restrained samples were subjected to step decreases in relative humidity in the region between 60% and 11%. The results indicate that, although no particular level of relative humidity can be excluded in general from consideration as a storage or display condition on the basis of tensile fracture testing data alone, at 11% RH there is a decrease in both the ability to elongate and in the tensile strength. It was further demonstrated that below 25% RH large stresses could develop in restrained samples.

Valentin and her co-workers (1990) demonstrated that biodeterioration, for both aerobic and anerobic micro-organisms common to parchment deterioration, resulting from the growth of micro-organisms occurred beginning at 40% RH and increased with higher levels of relative humidity. Hansen and co-workers (1992), on consideration of the physical chemistry and chemical reactivity of collagen, the effect of RH on physical properties, and the results of the biodeterioration study, suggested that a relative humidity below 40% and above 25% should be optimum for storage or display if preservation of the collagen was the primary consideration. 30% was suggested as an optimum level, permitting a cyclic variation of ± 5% with minimal effects of swelling and shrinkage.

These considerations have been the subject of some debate and concern among librarians and archivists. Of particular concern are: 1)when these conditions might be favored as opposed to higher relative humidities around 50%; 2)what problems might be encountered with parchment in varied states of age and deterioration; and 3)what problems might be encountered with the composite nature of documents and illuminated manuscripts, particularly in regard to inks and colorants. Burns (1993) summarized a discussion held at the “Conservation of Parchment” course and workshop (held at the Conservation Analytical Laboratory, Smithsonian Institution, February 1–5, 1992), which helps clarify these issues.

Burns and Bignell (1993) stressed that the recommendations for lower relative humidities were not a blanket recommendation, but an attempt to define “the lowest amount of atmospheric moisture (above 25% RH) that will allow for mechanical requirements ... other composite elements, and aesthetic requirements” (Hanens, et al., 1993). In the discussion, it was recognized that “rather than implementing changes based upon them, archivists might use the findings to reflect upon a situation that is not as straightforward as they perhaps had thought ... Those charged with the care of collections may have other aims, such as handling and aesthetic considerations. Conservators must evaluate the specific context of individual collections - the type of parchment, historical and geographic origins, processing and finishing variables, subsequent use, storage history, present needs, media – and assess the feasibility and practicality of the recommendations of Hansen and his co-workers.”

It can be seen that much subsequent research and work needs to be done to determine adequate relative humidity conditions for the full range of types of parchment materials in archival collections. For example, Schilling and Ginell (1993) investigated the dimensional changes in Dead Sea Scroll samples and laboratory degraded parchment (partial conversion to gelatin), and confirmed the large changes associated with levels below 25% RH for historic samples. A suggested immediate concern for future research would be investigations of the effect of different relative humidities on the stability of inks on documents or paint in illuminated manuscripts.

Sealed Transport and/or Display Packages[edit | edit source]

Framed Objects

This system is applicable for string mats or any framed/glazed parchment housing. If the mounted parchment will travel or will be subjected to flucuations in RH, it can be placed in a sealed package to reduce those flucuations. A material like Art-sorb can be placed within the package to provide additional protection. A sealed package consists of glazing (glass or Plexiglas) on the front, the mounted/matted object and any supporting materials (Fome-core, mat or corrugated board, etc.), then polyester film on the back. The edges are sealed by wrapping a strip of pressure sensitive tape (J-Lar - a polypropylene tape with an acrylic adhesive that has good aging properties) from the edge of the glazing (just overlapping the front) and around the edge to the polyester film sheet on the back. The edges of the mount, etc. can be protected from the tape by covering them wiwth strips of 10 pt. folder stock as the tape is wrapped around the edge. Sealed packages of this design have been placed in humidity chambers of 80–90% RH for a week and have maintained an internal humidity of 50% RH. (LP)

Another alternative backing and packaging material in use today is Marvel Seal 360. This foil barrier sheet is made by the Ludlow Corporation and sold through University Products. Note: the manufacturer's name is printed on the foil in a red ink that is soluble, for conservation use Marvel Seal 360 should be ordered without the red printing. (HP)

For more information on the success of these systems and materials see the poster session by Hugh Phibbs of the National Gallery of Art presented at the annual AIC Meeting in Nashville, Tennesee, June 1994.

Anecdotal information from Portland, OR picture framers who used gray conservation corrugated on my recommendation. On large framed pieces, the cardboard would bow out, pushing the art work away from the wall. (JT)

Plexiglas Sandwich

A “Plexiglas sandwich” is a housing for a matted object. It is made by sandwiching the matted object between two sheets of acrylic that are then taped together, around all four edges, with polypropylene tape (J-Lar). This sealed package system provides both a rigid structure and a relatively constant microenvironment. Parchment or paper artifacts are often placed in Plexiglas sandwiches particularly during transport and exhibition. However, in many cases, especially for moisture sensitive parchment, these temporary housings are often retained for permanent storage.

To construct a Plexiglas sandwich place the matted object between two sheets of 1/8–1/4 inch acrylic, which are cut to the same outer dimensions as the mat. Place the assembly face up on a clean table allowing one edge to extend beyond the table top in order to tape the sides of the sandwich unit together. It is helpful to place a weight on top to keep the stack properly aligned.

Using 1-inch wide clear polypropylene tape, start at the corner (allowing some overlap around the corner) align the tape along the edge so that there will be a 1/8 inch of tape over-lapping the top acrylic sheet. The remainder of the tape wraps around the side edges overlapping onto the bottom acrylic sheet. Rotate the unit until all edges are sealed. Repeat this step for the added protection of a second layer of tape. Finish by burnishing the tape to obtain the most effective adhesion possible.

When weight, cost or additional protection from moisture is a concern corrugated polypropylene (Coroplast) has proven an effective substitute for the acrylic back panel. The polypropylene material is lighter in weight and costs less than acrylic sheeting. Furthermore, a simple experiment at the Library of Congress revealed that the corrugated polypropylene panel was actually a more effective moisture barrier.

To gain a better understanding of the moisture barring qualities, as well as, to compare the effectiveness of various sandwich materials the following experiment was conducted in the Paper Section of the LC Conservation Lab. Three 11" × 12" sandwich units were assembled according to the instructions above the only variation being the back panel material. Each unit had a different back panel of either 1/8 inch thick acrylic; five mil polyester film (Mylar), or five an corrugated polypropylene. A humidity indicator strip, mounted in place of an artifact in each window mat was used to monitor the internal humidity which was approximately 35% RH. All three of the units were placed in a 100% humidity chamber for 19 days. Within four days the Mylar backed unit registered a 5% RH increase and ultimately registered 50–55% RH.

After 15 days, all of the acrylic sheets became warped from their one sided exposure to the humidity. The two acrylic sheets in the one unit bowed away from each other causing the tape seal to break and allowing humidity to enter the package. The Mylar and Coroplast backed units remained intact as they moved with the warping acrylic.

After 19 days the corrugated polypropylene unit registered an internal RH of 40–45% and a small area of the tape had begun to loosen. In summary, of the three backing materials the Mylar allowed the most moisture to pass through. The corrugated polypropylene panel provided an equally effective moisture barrier as the acrylic sheet backing and in contrast was also able to accommodate the warp of the acrylic top sheet preserving the tape seal. (HW)

Display of Parchment Documents[edit | edit source]

Supports for Parchment Codices[edit | edit source]

Matting and Framing Parchment Folios and Fragments[edit | edit source]

See: Arias and Arcá (2018); Bloodworth and Parkinson (1988); Duqueyroix et al (2015); Hansen et al. (1992); Pickwoad (1992); Pickwoad (2016); Puglia and Mayer (2017).

Long Term Storage Containers[edit | edit source]

Environmental Requirements for Display and Storage[edit | edit source]

Humidity[edit | edit source]

Temperature[edit | edit source]

Light[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Display of Parchment Documents

Aceto, Maurizio, Elisa Calà, Angelo Agostino, Gaia Fenoglio, Maria Labate, Christian Förstel, Charlotte Denoël, and Abigail Quandt. 2020. "Non-Invasive Study on the Sinope Gospels." Heritage 3 (4): 1269–78.

Arias, Teresa Espejo, and Luis Crespo Arcá. 2018. "The Experience of Matting and Hingeing Single Parchment Documents for Their Exhibition: The Case of the Capitulaciones de Almería (Spain)." Care and Conservation of Manuscripts 16: 171–84.

Bloodworth, J. G., and M. J. Parkinson. 1988. "The Display of Parchment and Vellum." Journal of the Society of Archivists 9 (2): 65–68.

Duqueyroix, Nadège, Laurianne Robinet, and Coralie Barbe. 2015. "Expandable Polyester Hinges for Parchment Mounting Performance in Fluctuating Environmental Conditions." Journal of Paper Conservation 16 (1): 18–28.

Pickwoad, Nicholas. 1992. "Alternative Methods of Mounting Parchment for Framing and Exhibition." The Paper Conservator 16 (1): 78–85.

Pickwoad, Nicholas. 2016. "The Lanhydrock Pedigree: Mounting and Framing an Oversize Parchment Document." Care and Conservation of Manuscripts 15: 233–48.

Puglia, Alan, and Debora D. Mayer. 2017. "The Challenge of Scale Revisited: Lessons Learned from Treatment and Mounting an Exhibition of 160 Illuminated Manuscripts." Book and Paper Group Annual 36: 59–68.

Long-Term Storage Systems

Aceto, Maurizio, Elisa Calà, Angelo Agostino, Gaia Fenoglio, Maria Labate, Christian Förstel, Charlotte Denoël, and Abigail Quandt. 2020. "Non-Invasive Study on the Sinope Gospels." Heritage 3 (4): 1269–78.

Environmental Requirements for Storage and Display

Hansen, Eric F., Steve N. Lee, and Harry Sobel. 1992. "The Effects of Relative Humidity on Some Physical Properties of Modern Vellum: Implications for the Optimum Relative Humidity for the Display and Storage of Parchment." Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 31 (3): 325–42.

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

[Copied from original]

Storage and Display

Armstrong, Jim. 1977. "How Do You Mount an Old Wrinkled Sheepskin?" Framing, Fine Art and Wall Decor: 55-59.

Bloodworth, J.G., and M.J. Parkinson. 1988. "The Display of Parchment and Vellum." Journal of the Society of Archivists 9 (2): 65-58.

Ciccarini, Letizia Montalbano. 1992. "Il Sistema Giapponese dei ‘Falsi Margini.’ Applicazioni Tradizionali e Nuove Proposte di Intervento." Kermes 5 (14): 18-26.

Clarkson, Christopher. 1987. "Preservation and Display of Single Parchment Leaves and Fragments." In Conservation of Library and Archive Materials and the Graphic Arts, edited by Guy Petherbridge. London: Butterworths, 201-209.

Glaser, Mary Todd, Steven Weintraub and Ellen Marlatt. 1993. "The Bill of Rights Goes to Spain." Book and Paper Annual 12: 20-23.

Peterson, Dag-Ernst. 1987. "Notes on the Binding and Storage of Vellum-Leaved Books." In Conservation of Library and Archive Materials and the Graphic Arts, edited by Guy Petherbridge. London: Butterworths, 211-217.

Rekrut, A. 1993. "Parchment Mounting Methods Experiment: A Self-Study Project." Unpublished thesis. Kingston: Master of Art Conservation Program, Queen's University.

Terrell, Christopher. 1984. "A System for the Storage and Display of Manuscript Charts on Vellum." In Ligue des bibliotheques europeennes de recherche (LIBER) Bulletin.

Valentin, N., M. Lindstrom and F. Preusser. 1990. "Microbial Control by Low Oxygen and Low Relative Humidity Environment." Studies in Conservation 35: 222-230.

Woods, Maria. 1986. "The Case for Casing." Library Conservation News 1, 6.

Environment

Androes, G.M., H.R. Gloria, and R.F. Reinisch. 1972. "Concerning the Production of Free Radicals in Proteins by Ultraviolet Light." Photochemistry and Photobiology 15: 375-393.

Anonymous. “Fungi Not Fire Damaged Aleppo Codex,”Nature 355 (1988): 203.

Armstrong, Jim. 1977. "How Do You Mount an Old Wrinkled Sheepskin?" Framing, Fine Art and Wall Decor, Amersham (April/May 1977): 55-59.

Bloodworth, J. G. and M. J. Parkinson. 1988. "The Display of Parchment and Vellum." Journal of the Society of Archivists 9 (2): 58-65.

Bowes, J.H., and A.S. Raistrick. 1964. "The Action of Heat and Moisture on Leather. Part V. Chemical Changes in Collagen and Tanned Collagen." Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association 59: 201-215.

Bowes, J.H., and A.S. Raistrick. 1967. "The Action of Heat and Moisture on Leather. Part VI. Degradation of the Collagen." Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association 62: 240-257.

Chahine, Claire, and Martine Leroy. "Effet de la Pollution Atmospherique sur le Cuir et le Parchemin." ICOM Preprints of the 6th Triennial Meeting. Ottawa, 21-25 September (1981) (81/14/6): 1-12.

Chieffo. C. T. 1983. "Miniatures on Ivory: Their Care and Storage." Art and Antiques 6 (I): 42-3.

Ciccarini, Letizia Montalbano. 1992. "II sistema giapponese dei 'falsi margini': applicazioni tradizionali e nuove proposte di intervento." Kermes 5 (14): 18-26.

Clarke, Bryan. 1996. "A Study of Traditional and Contemporary Techniques for Mounting and Assembling Prints at the Fitzwilliam Museum." Historic Framing and Presentation of Watercolors. Institute of Paper Conservation: 33-42.

Clarkson, Christopher. 1987. "Preservation and Display of Single Parchment Leaves and Fragments." In Conservation of Library and Archive Materials and the Graphic Arts, edited by Guy Petherbridge. London: Butterworths, 201-9.

Derrick, Michele, Eric Hansen, and George Rogers. 1988. "Research Proposal for the Effects of Moisture, Light and Heat on Proteinaceous Materials: Part I. Recommendation for the Display and Storage Conditions of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Part II. Factors Affecting the Degradation Kinetics of Proteinaceous Materials." Getty Conservation Institute: 1-16.

Erhardt, David and Marion F. Mecklenburg. 1994. "Relative Humidity Re-examined." In Preventive Conservation: Practice, Theory and Research, Preprints of the llC Congress, Ottawa, edited by A. Roy and P. Smith. 32-7.

Florian, Mary-Lou E. 1993. "Conidial Fungi (Mould) Activity on Artifact Materials - A New Look at Prevention, Control and Eradication." ICOM Committee for Conservation, Preprints of the 10th Triennial Meeting, Washington, D.C. 22-27 August 1993: 868-874.

Glaser. Mary Todd, Steven Weintraub and Ellen Marlatt. 1993. "The Bill of Rights Goes to Spain." Book and Paper Annual 12: 20-3.

Grattan, David W. 1980. "The Oxidative Degradation of Organic Materials and Its Importance in Deterioration of Artifacts." Journal of the International Institute for Conservation - Canadian Group 4 (1): 17-26.

Haberditzi, Anna Therese, Bauer, Friedrich, Stachelberger, Herbert, Banik Gerhard, Mairinger, Franz. 1986. "Characterization of Storage-Dependent Structural Damage in Parchment Samples by Means of SDS-PAGE." Electrophorsis '86, 5th Meeting of the International Electrophoresis Society, London, 1986, 3S.

Hansen, Eric F., Steve N. Lee and Harry Sobel. 1992. "The Effects of Relative Humidity on some Physical Properties of Modern Vellum: Implications for the Optimum Relative Humidity for the Display and Storage of Parchment." Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 31 (3): 325-342.

Henderson, Cathy. 1996. "Environmental Standards for Exhibiting Library and Archival Materials: The Work of NISO Committee MM." International Conference on Conservation and Restoration of Archive and Library Materials, Erice, 22-29 April (1996): 107-11.

Huxtable, Merryl, Victoria Button, Danny Norman, and David Ford. 1996. "Improving and Monitoring the Condition of a Collection of Illuminated Parchment Manuscript Fragments - at Home and in Transit." ICOM Committee for Conservation, Preprints of the 11th Triennial Meeting, Edinburgh, 1-6 September (1996): 523-32.

Kowalik, Romauld. 1980. "Decomposition of Parchment by Microorganisms." Restaurator 4 (3-4): 200-208.

Kowalik, Romauld. 1977. "Paper and Parchment Deteriorating Fungi Pathogenic to Man." In Das alte Buch als Aufgabe fur Naturwisenschaft und Forschung, edited by Dag-Ernst Petersen. Bremen-Wolfenbuttel (Wolfenbutteler Forschungen 1), 85-90.

Lee, Sandra L. 1983. "Optimal Conditions for Long Term Storage of Native Collagens." Collagen Rel. Research. 3: 305-315.

Norman, Daniel. 1993. "The Mounting of Single Leaf Parchment and Vellum Objects for Display and Storage." Conservation Journal of the Victoria & Albert Museum 9: 10-13.

Padfield, Tim. 1985. "A Cooled Display Case." Museum 146: 102-3.

Petersen, Dag-Ernst. 1987. "Notes on the Binding and Storage of Vellum Leaved Books." In Conservation of Library and Archive Materials and the Graphic Arts, edited by Guy Petherbridge. London: Butterworths, 211-17.

Pickwoad, Nicholas. 1992. "Alternative Methods of Mounting Parchment for Framing and Exhibition." The Paper Conservator 16: 78-85.

Rekrut, A. 1993. "Parchment Mounting Methods Experiment: A Self-Study Project." Unpublished thesis. Kingston: Master of Art Conservation Program, Queen's University.

Sadurska, Irena, Romuald Kowalik, Dawid Lipson, and Elzbieta Czerwinska. “Mikrobiologiczny Rozklad Materialow Uzywanych w Konserwacji. 1969. In Annali della Scuola Speciale per Archivisti e Bibliotecari (SSAB) dell'-Universita di Roma 9, 1969: 51-60 with Fig. 1-14.

Schilling, Michael R. and William S. Ginell. 1993. "The Effects of Relative Humidity Changes on Dead Sea Scrolls Parchment Samples." ICOM Committee for Conservation, Preprints of the 10th Triennial Meeting, Washington, D.C. 22-27 August, 1993: 50-56.

Steemers, T. 1993. "Het hoe en waarin opbergen van charters en zegels." Depot-inrichting en archief-conservering: passieve conservering. Amsterdam: 55-6.

Thompson, Gary. 1978. The Museum Environment. London: Butterworths.

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History of This Page[edit | edit source]

This page was created in April 2022 when the Parchment page was updated.

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