Collaboration and Connections: Postprints of the AICCM Paper, Books and Photographic Materials Special Interest Group Symposium, Sydney 1-3 April 2004, pp. 131-139
The University of Melbourne’s Middle Eastern Manuscript Collection contains approximately 200 manuscripts that date from the 15th-19th Centuries. Muslim devotion was expressed in fine binding, calligraphy and illumination and the collection is of worldwide significance for its many fine examples of these crafts. This study focuses on the establishment of procedures and protocols for the conservation and use of the collection. Islamic bindings have different structures and areas of vulnerability to Western bindings, and often require a different treatment approach. Contact has been made with a number of European conservators specializing in treatment of collections of this kind, and with their guidance, procedures are being established for treatment of the collection. In addition to the treatment aspect, protocols that address cultural sensitivities are being defined. This component of research is being undertaken with the assistance of representatives from the Muslim community, Arabic and Persian language scholars, curators, conservators, manuscript librarians and cataloguers.