A crown and a skull

As usual when we are making protective boxes for the books in the collection , we cannot help but be surprised by some of the tooling on the cover!

Here is an example of what was found yesterday: A crown and a skull!

CI. e2

Imago Regis Caroli By Charles I (King of England) was printed in 1649 in Hague (Nederdlands). Our copy in the Derry and Raphoe collection is from Typis SB Impensis J Williams & F Eglesfield Londinensium however I have found a link to a digitised copy online from Ex officina samuelis broun, 1649, which is rather similar.

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ESOF 2012 Dublin

The Euroscience Open Forum 2012 (ESOF) is taking place in Dublin Convention Centre from the 11th to the 15th of July 2012. It’s aim is to promote the latest in science and technology of all sorts through seminars, workshops and debates.

I have found a few talks on the 14th of July that should tempt anyone interested in what Science has to offer when it comes to our cultural heritage:

  • 10.45am-12.15pm –   Culture lab: The application of Science to Art and Artefacts.
  • 12.45pm-1.15pm – What does Art bring to Science?
  • 1.15pm-2.45pm – Science and the protection of Cultural heritage.

For further information please refer to ESOF website.

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More on Spitfire Crash Paper Fragments

In addition to Kristi’s post of August 4, 2011 on the conservation of paper fragments found at a Spitfire Crash site in Donegal (https://derryandraphoe.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/spitfire-crash-paper-fragments/), I would like to advise any curious plane lovers and paper conservators to watch this great BBC programme about the dig of that particular Spitfire and how the paper fragments where excavated from the plane!



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The Great Parchment Book

In partnership with the Derry City Councils Heritage and Museum Service and the London Metropolitan Archives, the Great Parchment Book is going to undergo some conservation work at the London Metropolitan Archives. The book should be on display in Derry in 2013 to celebrate the Derry’s 400th anniversary of the building of the City walls in 1613. The book is widely interesting for understanding the City of London’s role in the administration of Ulster.

In 1786, a major fire destroyed most of the Irish Society records in the Guildhall of London, luckily the 165 separated parchment pages of the Great Parchment Book survived the fire but suffered tragic damages.

To follow the evolution of the conservation project, please refer to their blog: http://greatparchmentbook.wordpress.com/ 

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Work experience at Chester Beatty Library

As part of our work as conservators for the Derry and Raphoe Collection, we undertake regular training to keep us up to date with new conservation developments but also to get a better understanding of conservation work required on different type of collections.

I have joined the team late last May and therefore have not had a chance to go on a training course yet. In December 2011, my line manager and myself have organised for me to go on work experience at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin

Chester Beatty Library

to familiarise myself with Indian and Persian Miniatures (the technique and conservation needs):

Baysunghur's Shahnameh, 1430 (Persian Miniature)

I will be working in the CBL Conservation studio for 2 weeks in direct supervision of Jessica Baldwin, Head of the Conservation Department from Monday the 16th of January.
I am very much looking forward to learn about Eastern materials from a renown Art Institution and I realise how privileged I am to be given the chance to undertake such work. A big thank you to Jessica Baldwin, Jennifer Murray and Joe McLaughlin!!
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Happy new year!

All of us from the Derry and Raphoe Project are wishing you a very Happy New Year 2012!

After we have got our contracts extended in December, we are back working on the collection for another 5 weeks (until further notice), focusing on conservation and therefore I am sad to say that Mary Delargy, our learning and outreach officer, is no longer with the team.

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Flood at the archives…

For the past two days, Alessandro and myself have been at the Coleraine campus, helping out after a hot water pipe burst in the archives, affecting many cardboard boxes full of student files, thesis, exam papers and also some of the Vice-chancellor’s files.

The flooded area

When we arrived on wednesday, the first thing we did was to prioritise what had to be salvaged and what was a priority to work on. It turned out that each student files had to be kept indefinitely by the University and therefore we set to work on those immediately. Depending on their location at the time of the flood, they were affected differently. Some were compacted, with pages rather difficult to separate, ink running throughout the files while others were only slightly wet and had no major information lost.

We were given a study room in the main Library to work through the files (7 boxes) . We had brought blotting paper with us and had plenty of blank newsprint A4 sheets. Fiona (the assistant archivist) had found two air fans that we installed at the end of each table to help in the drying process. And so Alessandro, Fiona and myself started to work through each file, opening a folder on blotting paper, and interleaving each page with newsprint as required, and changing those regularly.

A file opened on blotting paper and interleaved with newsprint

It rapidly turned out to be a very time-consuming business and it became clear we would not have enough time to dry each file before the weekend. Mould growth would follow if nothing was done rapidly so we advised Fiona on getting most of the files dry frozen in individual bags at a temperature of -10 to -20 degrees celsius. That way she would have more time to work through each files 1 at a time. The micro-biological department at the University has said they would be able to find some space in their freezers.

Fiona and Alessandro working away!

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