Parchment, known for its resilience and enduring nature, has significantly impacted history as one of the most extensively used writing materials in pre-paper Europe.
Three members of our HSLL research team, namely Dr. Hassan Ebeid, Dr. Hend Mahgoub, and Dr. Jasna Malešič, dedicated three days to the study of parchment chemistry and preparation methods during their participation in the ‘The Craft of Parchment’ workshop in Klosterneuburg, Austria. This workshop was made possible through the sponsorship of two European projects: ABC (Ancient Book Crafts)* and B2C (Beasts2Craft)**.
A group comprising conservators, librarians, historians, chemists, and scientists convened to acquire insights into the late antique and medieval parchment production techniques from contemporary parchment makers. Furthermore, a series of lectures on cutting-edge findings and analytical methodologies for the examination and study of parchment, as a crucial writing material, were presented. This workshop provided participants with the opportunity to engage in discussions regarding ideas and challenges related to parchment craftsmanship. They also explored the impact of variations in production procedures on the quality and degradation of Medieval manuscripts, reflecting the diverse backgrounds of the attendees across various disciplines.
As part of the workshop, Dr. Mahgoub presented a review of the use of Near-infrared techniques for dating organic heritage materials. This topic aligns with the objectives of the ABC project, in which HSLL is a partner.
You can find more information about the workshop and its program here.
* ABC is a European project that focuses on medieval manuscripts and incunabula, funded by the WEAVE program in collaboration between FWF (The Science Fund-Austria) and ARRS (Slovenian Research Agency). The main aim of the project is to explore, validate, and evaluate the robustness of dating based on infrared spectroscopy. For more information about the project’s objectives, outcomes and partnerships, please visit: https://hslab.fkkt.uni-lj.si/2022/04/11/abc-ancient-book-crafts/
** B2C is an ERC project that aims to document the biological and craft records found in parchment. Its goal is to uncover the intertwined histories of innovation and parchment production in Europe from 500 to 1900 AD. For more information, please visit: https://sites.google.com/palaeome.org/ercb2c/home/about-b2c