Parchment analysis

Individual parchments and parchment collections change over time. Part of the remit of archives and institutions that house parchment collections is to manage change so that documents and artefacts remain fit for purpose and accessible to the public.

In regulating the environmental conditions within the repository, it is necessary to understand how temperature and relative humidity affect the structure and macroscopic properties of parchment.

About the project

A three-year post-doctoral Fellowship, funded by the Science and Heritage Programme and undertaken in collaboration with Cardiff University, was set up in June 2010 to investigate preservation environments for parchment documents.

Project aims

The project has two aims:

  • to investigate the relationship between structural change in the collagen content of a parchment artefact and visual damage to the artefact
  • to determine the level of relative humidity needed to prevent irreversible structural change

Read more about the appropriate environmental conditions for parchment in the document below.

Appropriate environmental conditions for parchment (PDF, 0.46MB)

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