The Preservation Of Ottoman Manuscripts

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Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Kural, Nurçin;


Conservation and the Eastern Mediterranean: Contributions to the 2010 IIC Congress, Istanbul, p.40-44 (2010)


Many historic books and manuscripts in Turkish foundations and libraries have been preserved across the centuries because of the value attached to calligraphy by Ottoman society and because of the careful and welldocumented stewardship that was set out at the time many of these foundations were endowed. The tradition of care given to collections by those responsible for these libraries forms the basis for modern preventive conservation practices in Turkish manuscript and book collections, including the Sakip Sabanci Museum. The sources of paper used in the Islamic world are investigated, considering the merits of linen and cotton fibres and examining how their differing properties are reflected in the properties of their component polymers. The role of sizing in modifying the paper surface and protecting the paper from the damaging effect of corrosive inks and pigments is explored and it is concluded that the judicious selection and use of materials by Ottoman papermakers and calligraphers has also contributed to their generally good state of preservation.