The second seminar on the care and conservation of manuscripts, 16th-17th October 1995

In the second seminar the emphasis was placed on conservation work being carried out in the more important Russian institutions, viz. the National Library of Russia and the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St Petersburg, and the State Research Institute for Restoration and the Russian State Library in Moscow.

Alongside the practical job of conservation these institutions engage in research and development of new methods, necessitated in part by the very large amount of material in need of conservation. This presents an interesting contrast to the problems encountered in smaller collections such as the Parker Library or the Arnamagnæan Institute, whose limited financial resources do not allow for technical development.

Some 40 delegates participated in the seminar, with speakers coming from Russia, Britain, The Netherlands and Denmark. The tight schedule did not permit lengthy excursions, but as with the previous seminar, visits were arranged to the Royal Library and the Institute's conservation workshop.

The following papers were presented: Peter Springborg, Copenhagen: The care taken by Árni Magnússon of the manuscripts in his collection: A study of the records. — Mette Jakobsen, Copenhagen: Birgitte Dall's workshop. — John Havermans, Delft: An overview of research at the TNO Centre for Paper and Board Research related to paper ageing and conservation. — Inna P. Mokretsova, Moscow: The problems of conservation of illuminated manuscripts on parchment. — Larissa G. Levashova, St Petersburg: Research in, and conservation of, manuscripts on parchment. — Svetlana A. Dobrusina, St Petersburg: Preservation of 16th-17th-century foreign atlases in the National Library of Russia. — Olga V. Vasilieva, St Petersburg: Codicological analysis of manuscripts by means of modern optico-electronic methods and the problems of restoration. — Svetlana A. Dobrusina, St Petersburg: Mechanized methods in manuscript conservation in the conservation department of the National Library of Russia. — Svetlana V. Uspenskaya, St Petersburg: Plasmochemical methods of conservation of miniatures in manuscripts. — Yuri Anhimiuk, Moscow: The measures taken for the safety and conservation of manuscripts in the Russian State Library. — Alexander R. Rumble, Manchester: Conservation and the user: The medieval manuscripts in the John Rylands University Library, Manchester.

The proceedings of the seminar are published in Care and conservation of manuscripts 2, ed. Gillian Fellows-Jensen and Peter Springborg (Copenhagen: The Royal Library, 1996).