Herat - National Museum, Conservation of collections and conservation training: Technical research and conservation of manuscripts Part II (Herat NM II)
The technical research and conservation of some of the Manuscripts of the National Museum of Herat begun in spring 2010 and could be continued in spring 2011 focusing mainly on the opening of the Museum foreseen this year.
During the first campaign it has been possible to reach familiarity with the collection’s problems and do train some museum stuff in basics of handling and keeping manuscripts. Documentation of the structures and materials of important manuscripts and of their condition was done; dissolving hardened glue layers along the spine hindering the opening of the books was necessary in many cases; methods of the decontamination of books formerly attacked by insects and of their effective cleaning were found. The conservation work concentrated on the finding and evaluating ethically, aesthetically and technically adequate methods for cleaning the paper as well as the cover and for consolidation and conservation of heavily deteriorated manuscripts.
The main concern during the second campaign this year has been the modification of the exhibition facilities for the needs of the manuscripts and the consolidation of functional aspects of important books, which includes the closing of tears and the stabilisation of historic bindings and covers. Regarding the famous tradition of Herat in miniature painting as well as in colouring fine paper there laid another focus on the cleaning and consolidation of miniatures and on strengthening the folds of layers and creases of papers to withstand further mechanical strain by handling and opening the books. The aim was to find solutions in correspondence to the high aesthetic qualities of the sophisticated historic papers and writings in these manuscripts.
- Prof. Ruth Keller (Projektleitung)
National Museum of Afghanistan
National Archives of Afghanistan