The fifth seminar on the care and conservation of manuscripts, 19-20 April 1999

Medieval book-production was the principal theme for the fifth international seminar.

The rapid growth in interest in medieval book production has resulted in a number of large-scale projects in Italy, France and Britain, the aims of which are to produce inventories of medieval book bindings, which, when they are completed and their findings are published, will contribute greatly to our understanding of the history of the book in Europe. There have been comparable studies in the materials and processes of medieval book production – parchment and paper, ink, pigments, goldleaf etc. – which are necessary to improved methods of conservation.

The seminar was attended by 60 people, with speakers coming from England, France, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic and Denmark.

The following papers were presented: Peter Springborg, Copenhagen: Types of bindings in the Arnamagnæan Collection. — Susanne Vogt, Copenhagen: Some new accessions at the Arnamagnæan Institute. — Marie Vest, Copenhagen: The production and use of alum-tawed leather in the Middle Ages and later. — Dirk Schönbohm, Stuttgart: A technique for treating earlier conservation work on ink-damaged documents. — Robert Fuchs, Köln: Pigments, metals, dyes and restorations in medieval book illumination. — René Larsen, Copenhagen: A preliminary report on the EU-project on micromethods for the analysis of parchment. — Marita Akhøj Nielsen, Copenhagen: The conservators work and literary history: the example of a 17th-century Danish autobiography. — Stéphane Ipert, Arles: MANUMED, a cooperation project for Mediterranean manuscript preservation. — Jenny Sheppard, Cambridge: The British Census of Medieval Binding Structures: recording the evidence. — Paola F. Munafò, Rome: The Census of Medieval Bookbindings kept in Italian Libraries: a report on our experiences. — Ji í Vnou ek, Prague: Problems of preservation and conservation of parchment manuscripts. — Niels Borring, Copenhagen: Safe storage versus scholarly use. — Doris Oltrogge, Köln: Parchment, painting, script and binding: Texts on the techniques of manuscript production from the 15th century in Germany. — Pamela Porter, London: Bindings from the Baltic? A curatorial case for preservation (on the library of Duke Albrecht of Prussia (1490-1568) in Königsberg).

The proceedings are published in Care and conservation of manuscripts 5, ed. Gillian Fellows-Jensen and Peter Springborg (Copenhagen: The Royal Library, 2000).