Seventeenth century parochial manuscripts from Almada: study and conservation

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This paper discusses the historical context, material study, conservation condition and treatment of two parochial manuscripts of Almada from the seventeenth century: the Commitment book of the Virgem de Nossa Senhora da Piedade from the Brotherhood of Nossa Senhora da Piedade, dating from 1606; and the Indulgences and Spiritual Graces book, from the Brotherhood of Santíssimo Sacramento, dating from 1616.
The study of these two manuscripts was developed using different analytical techniques: μ-EDXRF (micro-Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence spectroscopy), FORS (Fibre Optics Reflectance spectroscopy), μ-Raman (Micro-Raman spectroscopy), μ-FTIR (micro-Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy), microspectrofluorimetry and SERS (Surface-Enhanced Raman spectroscopy). These were applied to characterise the material support and writing inks from both books and the painting materials of the illumination of the Commitment book. This multi-analytical approach was also used to identify previous conservation interventions, which turned out to be essential for the conservation treatment decision for both manuscripts.
In the conservation decision it was taken into account the manuscripts writing supports differences. Based on the IDAP system (Improved Damage Assessment of Parchment,, it was evaluated the conservation condition of the Indulgences book – made of parchment. This diagnostic system was also adapted – to assess the Commitment book – made of paper – taking into account the main characteristics of this cellulosic material and its alterations. The diagnosis and conservation for both manuscripts are shortly described, considering the support materials of the text block, previous interventions and state of conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCare and Conservation of Manuscripts 16: Proceedings of the Sixteenth International Seminar Held at the University of Copenhagen 13th-15th April 2016
EditorsM. J. Driscoll
Place of PublicationCopenhagen, Denmark
PublisherMuseum Tusculanum Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-635-4620-1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventSixteenth International Seminar: Care and Conservation of Manuscripts 16 - University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 13 Apr 201615 Apr 2016


SeminarSixteenth International Seminar


  • Commitment book
  • Indulgences book
  • multi-analytical approach
  • IDAP
  • Conservation
  • intervention


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