composite mss by composit man, Fridtjof Nansen – University of Copenhagen

CC18 > Programme > Friday morning 15 April - Session B > composite mss by compo...

Anne Melgård & Chiara Palandri: A composite manuscript created by a composite man: Fridtjof Nansen, presentation of the conservation of eight manuscripts in a folder.

This presentation describes the twofold challenge of preserving Fridtjof Nansen's own stitching and binding in its original form, while applying a variety of techniques to achieve adequate conservation of each of the eight manuscripts collected in a leather folder, which Nansen called "Sundry 1881 - 1894".

Parts of the folder as well as individual sheets were damaged by fungi, had several tears and were badly worn because the folder is of a smaller format than some of the sheets.
Adding to the difficulty of choosing appropriate conservation methods, Nansen has used a range of writing media on paper of different quality.

The presentation is in two parts. Book- and paper conservator Chiara Palandri at the conservation unit of the National Library of Norway (NB) will speak about the process of conservation for this composite manuscript, the options discussed as well as methods chosen - and show the final result.

Anne Melgård, research librarian at the Manuscripts Collection of NB, will give a brief presentation of Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930). In his own lifetime, Nansen was well known in many fields - as scientist, polar explorer, politician, diplomat, Nobel laureate for his humanitarian aid work, author, artist, husband and father - and a man with an eye to women.
Nansen left a great archive, approximately 30 shelf meters, now in store at the National Library in Oslo.

This archive contains documents covering all of Nansen's activities, and does bear witness to different aspects of this composite man - both as a cosmopolitan and a man who frequently was drawn to nature for the beauty, solitude and quiet to be found there.