Conservation for Digitisation: Surveying the Arabic Manuscript Collection at the Wellcome Library

TitleConservation for Digitisation: Surveying the Arabic Manuscript Collection at the Wellcome Library
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsBoal, G., Velios A., Di Bella M., and Zammit-Lupi T.
Conference NameThe 5th Islamic Manuscript Conference
Conference Start Date24/07/2009
Conference LocationChrist's College, University of Cambridge
Abstract

The Wellcome Library houses approximately one thousand Arabic manuscripts, mainly on medical and scientific subjects, collected over the last hundred years. This collection of documents spanning eight hundred years, from the 12th and 20th centuries, is of major importance for the history of medicine and science in general, and for the history of Islamic medicine and science in particular.
To allow scholars around the world the widest access to this important patrimony, a large scale digitisation programme has been designed. Prior to starting actual image capture, however, it was necessary to perform an accurate survey in order that the manuscripts could be assessed for safe handling during the process of digitisation. A customized tool was developed specifically for this purpose by the Ligatus Research Unit2 at the University of the Arts, London.
The presentation will address the compilation of the survey tool, the survey and the handling and in house conservation issues related to this project.

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