Parchment conservation

The use of parchment is as old as western civilization. It is first mentioned by Herodotus (c. 484–425 BC) in his book 'Terpsichore'. During King Eumenes II' reign (197–159 BC) of Pergamon prepared animal skin was perfected as an alternative a writing material to papyrus. The 'chartam pergamenam', that we know now as parchment, became the material of choice for important manuscripts and documents.

Parchment (or vellum) is a strong and resilient material that, when kept in stable climate conditions, will stand the time. Though it is flat and looks like paper, it is made of animal skin and has never lost its beastly character and requires a different approach to conservation than paper does.

Our conservation treatments include:

  • humidification, relaxation reshaping of warped and cockled parchment documents
  • tear in infill repairs of lacunae with suitable skin materials and refined animal glues
  • paper and wax seal consolidations
  • special mounting and framing solutions of parchment deeds.