The fourth seminar on the care and conservation of manuscripts, 13-14 October 1997

Requirements with regard to the conservation and storage of manuscripts are today so stringent that the measures which need be taken in order to prevent damage to manuscripts in the future are almost certain to conflict with the interests of the users, both scholars and those working in libraries, archives or museums wanting to put such artifacts on display.

This relationship between ‘the ideal and the practical’ was chosen as the principal theme for the fourth international seminar, which was attended by some 50 people, with speakers coming from England, Russia, The Netherlands, The Vatican, Iceland and Denmark.

The following papers were presented: M. J. Driscoll, Copenhagen, and Sigurgeir Steingrímsson, Reykjavík: Digitisation of manuscripts. — Niels Borring, Copenhagen: The ideal and the practical in an African project. — Christine E. Fell, Nottingham: Pedagogy and the manuscript. — Svetlana Uspenskaya, St. Petersburg: Training in the care and conservation of manuscripts: the need and the reality. — Jesper Düring Jørgensen, Copenhagen: Conservation versus exhibition — the dilemma. — Inna P. Mokretsova, Moscow: Temporary and permanent exhibition of manuscripts — an unresolved problem for curators and restorers. — Sjöfn Kristjánsdóttir, Reykjavík: How to reach an acceptable compromise between the user and the conservator. — Pamela Porter, London: Raising the dust: reassessing conservation priorities for the move to the new British Library. — Andrew Prescott, London: The Electronic Beowulf and digital restoration. — John Havermans and Pieter Marres, Delft: The development of a Universal Procedure for Archive Assessment. — Dmitri Erastov, St. Petersburg: Storage, use, conservation and restoration of manuscripts — a united philosophy. — Robert Fuchs, Köln: Problems with the stabilisation of flaking illuminations in manuscripts. — Olga V. Vasilieva, St. Petersburg: Care and conservation of Hebrew manuscripts in the National Library of Russia: history, problems and questions. — Svetlana A. Dobrussina, St. Petersburg: Library holdings: preservation and access. — Hubert Seelow, Erlangen: Problemfall Völsunga saga. — Eva Nylander, The Vatican: Bindings of the Popes — conservation and use of the Codices Reginenses Latini at the Vatican Library. — R. I. Page, Cambridge: The ideal and the practical.

The proceedings are published in Care and conservation of manuscripts 4, ed. Gillian Fellows-Jensen and Peter Springborg (Copenhagen: The Royal Library, 1999).