In preparation for display in the Library’s current exhibition Revealing the Rothschild Prayer Book c. 1505–1510 from the Kerry Stokes Collection, Preservation Services was very excited to receive into its care a fourteenth-century English Psalter MS 1172. The Latin text is dated to 1330–1350 AD and features annotations and drawings by a sixteenth-century Welsh school boy. The manuscript remains in what appears to be its original monastic binding.
It’s not often that Australian conservators get the chance to work with fragments from the Medieval era. However, this year the whole conservation team at the National Library had the privilege of working with 108 fragments of medieval manuscripts collected by Rex Nan Kivell. The fragments, all in much need of some conservation attention and time, was the focus of this year’s Tax Time Appeal project. The parchment fragments arrived in the Preservation Services laboratory in varying states of disrepair due to their use and re-use as paste- in’s for books produced in later eras.
Since our last blog post, digitisation of the Library’s medieval manuscripts has been advancing apace, with more than 65 per cent of the collection now captured and stored in our digital object storage system.
Among the National Library’s treasures are some 228 rare and significant medieval manuscripts. These little known items were acquired as part of our earliest and foundation collections, including the Clifford, Nan Kivell and Petherick Collections.
These training materials were created by the National Library of Australia to assist preservation microfilming.
The National Library of Australia, in collaboration with the State Library of South Australia and under the auspices of IFLA PAC, has produced a set of preservation microfilming training material consisting of 10 modules, 6 wall charts, a logbook, a learning guide, a glossary/index and a small kit of practical training aids. The training material, Training in Preservation Microfilming, is the result of an IFLA PAC survey on microfilming training needs in the South East Asia and Pacific region conducted in 2001.
The Kenneth Binns Travelling Fellowship is an internal Library grant awarded to a staff member in the first seven years of their career. I was lucky enough to win the scholarship to further my training as a bookbinder and visit conservation laboratories in the United Kingdom. As recently as three months ago I travelled to the London Rare Books Summer School at the University of London.
Recently, the Pictures staff here at the National Library delivered 36 nature prints to Preservation Services for treatment. These beautiful examples of nature prints are from the renowned Bradbury and Evans printing house from London. Nature printing has been a popular printing method since the Middle Ages and has long been appreciated as a scientific tool for documenting plant and fish specimens. Plant and fish specimens are used to print from directly, capturing as much botanical and scientific detail as possible.
How many tomato sauce recipes can you have? I discover the Sydney County Council's Tomato recipes typed on a single sheet of loose paper, tucked away in the CWA's Coronation Cookery Book. Did you know they (the Council?) had 4 recipes for tomato sauce? Amazing! So many recipes. Discoveries like these are what I really enjoy about working in Preservation.
A portrait of Gordon George McCrae is the latest addition to be welcomed in to the national collection at the Library. The Preservation Services unit collaborated with their colleagues in the Pictures and Manuscripts team in their assessment of this new acquisition by renowned Australian artist, Tom Roberts.