Donnerstags-Vortrag #64 Nanocomposites for the preservation of fire-damaged written material

The lecture presents an innovative project in which charred paper areas were strengthened by applying nanomaterials.

23.11.2023, 5pm–6pm – online

The impact of fires on written cultural heritage has always been disastrous and the preservation of the charred papers in libraries and archives is still an open issue. The application of traditional conservation materials and techniques has so far been unsatisfactory. As a consequence, a large number of books and documents harmed by fire have been left untouched since the devastations, excluded from access and even from simple handling due to their extreme fragility and to the tendency to fragmentation.

This contribution presents the results of a research project aimed at developing an innovative green chemistry conservation treatment for the strengthening of burnt paper, with a specific focus on handmade rag paper, which was the support for writing and printing from the 13th to the 19th century in the western Latin world.

The research work involved the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes – IRHT, CNRS (Paris), the Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation – MNHN, CNRS (Paris) and the Italian University of Padua. It advanced through progressive steps through the study and characterization of historic papers damaged by fire, to the production of burnt samples to be used in the experimental part, to the development of an innovative treatment for the reinforcing of the charred paper areas and the performance of some test applications in loco carried out in library.

The talk will be held in English.

Dr. Melania Zanetti, Universität Ca' Foscari, Venedig (Italien)

Carmen Effner

Institut Materialität in Kunst und Kultur (IMIKUK)