Med lova i hand – with parchment in hand. On the making, analysis and preservation of parchment

En mann med skjegg og briller tar på dyreskinn som skal bli pergament
Jiří Vnouček . Foto: Gorm K. Gaare, Nasjonalbiblioteket
Tirsdag 7. mai 2024, at 11:30 – 15:45
Nasjonalbiblioteket – Store Auditorium
Med lova i hand – with parchment in hand
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This year we are celebrating the writing of Magnus Lagabøte’s Law in the year 1275. As so much of the cultural heritage from the Middle Ages, it is passed on to us written on parchment made from beasts.

The parchment started to be used for texts in antiquity and became the main carrier until paper took over with the advent of movable types for printing. But from what animals was it made? How was it produced? How can we study it with modern scientific methods such as DNA-analysis and multispectral imaging? How can we threat and preserve it? How can we understand beasts in medieval manuscripts?

To deepen the insight into this important element in our document heritage we have invited international experts to join us.

Jiří Vnouček is conservator at the Royal Danish Library. He is also experimenting with production of parchment and will give us hands on demonstration of this.

Matthew Collins is professor at the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge with expertise in material culture and biomolecular archaeology.


11.30 Welcome, National Library of Norway

11.45-13.15. Jiří Vnouček, Royal Danish Library:

The craft of parchment making

  • 11.45. – 12.30 Part I: Historical methods of parchment production and visual analyses of the parchment used at the B2C project.
  • 12.30-13.15 Part II: Parchment of manuscripts at the exhibition Med lova i hand.  «Hands on experimentally produced parchment». 

13.15 – 13.45 Coffee break

13.45-14.30 Matthew Collins, University of Cambridge:

What is Biocodicology and what can we learn?

  • An introduction to Biocodicology
  • What is the potential in manuscript studies?

14.30-15.00 Chiara Palandri, National Library of Norway

  • Conserving parchment

15.00-15.45 Guided tour to the exhibition Med lova i hand