The restoration activity

The restoration activity began in March 2020 and it was carried out until the opening of the exhibition. The project partner, the National Union Museum in Alba-Iulia, has fully assumed responsibility for the restoration activity. It has the necessary experienced personnel and resources in its role of National Centre of Old Book Restoration and Preservation. 

Selected manuscripts were given priority for restoration and that endeavor marked the first stage of the project. The main selection criteria were both the loss of integrity, as well as the importance of the manuscript. The restoration operation is conducted by two Experts in Old Book Preservation-Restoration, together with an Expert in Old Book Binding Restoration. They are employees of the National Union Museum in Alba-Iulia. The Experts suggest restoration techniques for the work in progress. Each manuscript received specific restoration techniques. Depending on individual findings, the restored manuscripts were subjected, as needed, to: physical and chemical analysis (solubility test, pigment analysis, pH level), mechanical cleaning (removal of impurities with soft brushes), reattaching colours and soluble pigments, wet cleaning with hydroalcoholic substances (rehydration), crack consolidation, substrate regeneration, volume restoration, text insertion/other gaps, making of board covers and their attachment to the book itself, tailoring leather/parchment wrappages for the covers, manufacturing special protecting boxes with neutral pH. The Assistant Expert in Old Book Preservation-Restoration, an employee of National Union Museum in Alba-Iulia, participated in each stage, as well as in the operation of digitizing the manuscripts.

Up to this time, both independent manuscripts and certain parchments have been restored. The latter require laborious restoration works, such as: removal of the parchment from the book with or without seam detaching, rebinding the book with prior checking of pagination, as well as, making board covers and their application by extension of the ribs, tailoring leather/parchment wrappages for the covers (highlighting the ribs and protecting the existing decorative elements). 

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