URL / PDF
URL / PDF
Preparation procedures as well as ordinary use apparently cause changes in the appearance of Inuit skin clothing. These changes may alter the inherent properties of skin, such as fatty acid composition and shrinkage temperature. The present paper describes studies of fatty acid distribution and shrinkage temperature in a series of items of Inuit origin collected during the Fifth Thule Expedition (1921-24). The skins used for the clothing originate from ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and caribou (Rangifer tarandus). For comparison, fresh prepared skins were studied, as were samples of sealskins found in the mummy burial ground in Qilakitsoq, Greenland. It appeared that ordinary use changed the fatty acid distribution to some extent, as well as the shrinkage temperature, indicating slow deterioration. However, more significant deterioration was observed for samples exposed for longer periods to daylight as, for example, when placed on exhibition. The effect of light was verified by studying samples deliberately exposed to full daylight for ca. 6 months. In contrast to these samples, the 500-year-old skins appeared, on the basis of fatty acid distribution and shrinkage temperature, to be in good condition, possibly because of the lack of ordinary use in combination with low storage temperatures.
Les méthodes de préparation ainsi que l'utilisation normale provoquent, semble-t-il, des changements dans l'aspect des vêtements de peau inuit. Ces changements peuvent modifier les propriétés inhérentes de la peau, telles que la répartition des acides gras et la contractilité thermique. Cet article décrit les études portant sur la répartition des acides gras et la contractilité thermique dans une série d'objets d'origine inuit recueillis au cours de la cinquième expédition de Thulé (1921-24). Les peaux servant à l'habillement viennent du phoque annelé (Phoca hispida) et du caribou (Rangifer tarandus). À des fins de comparaison, on a étudié des peaux récemment préparées, ainsi que des échantillons de peaux de phoque trouvées dans le cimetière de momies de Qilakitsoq, au Groenland. Il semble que l'utilisation normale ait changé, dans une certaine mesure, la répartition des acides gras ainsi que la contractilité thermique, indiquant une détérioration lente. On a toutefois observé une détérioration plus importante pour des échantillons exposés durant de plus longues périodes à la lumière naturelle comme, par exemple, lorsqu'ils sont mis en exposition. On a vérifié l'effet de la lumière en étudiant des échantillons délibérément exposés au grand jour pendant environ six mois. Par contraste avec ces échantillons, les peaux de 500 ans semblaient, si l'on se fiait à la répartition des acides gras et à la contractilité thermique, en bon état, et ce, en raison peut-être du manque d'utilisation courante combiné à un entreposage à basse température.
Certaines données ethno-archéologiques peuvent contribuer à une meilleure compréhension du processus du travail des peaux, par exemple la morphologie du manche de l’outil, la position et l’angle de travail de l’outil, l’épaisseur de la peau, la position de la peau / l’artisan, la précision du geste, etc. En se fondant exclusivement sur des données expérimentales certaines de ces données sont difficilement accessibles. Cependant, les auteurs suggèrent qu’en s’appuyant sur une analyse détaillée des traces produites dans des conditions ethno-archéologiques les interprétations archéologiques peuvent être beaucoup plus précise. Cette recherche démontre l'importance de l'ethno-archéologie comme outil de recherche dans des études fonctionnelles.
In the Amur region of southern Siberia, the production of clothing and the beliefs associated with its making and wearing reveal an extreme fluidity of boundaries between the human and animal world. This publication discusses the clothing cultures of two groups – the Nivkhi and Orochi. It explores the making of clothing, the motif patterns peculiar to this region, sewing as a woman’s preserve, and the changes in Amur clothing from the pre-Soviet to the post-Soviet period.
Principles of Amur clothing
Until the early decades of the twentieth century, the Nivkhi and Orochi used mainly fish skin and animal furs for their clothing. The use of fish skin or animal pelts for clothing speaks of the centrality of fishing and hunting in these cultures.
The making of fish clothing (skin of salmon and carp is particularly suitable) characterizes the Nivkhi to the extent that early Chinese records of the people referred to them as 'fish skin tribes'. Their fish skin clothing distinguished them from other neighbouring groups and became a crucial marker of their identity.
Also available in Nederlands:Rajagopalan, S.; Lagen van Betekenis: Kleding aan de Amoer, Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden (2003)
A. Bernath, L. Miu, M. Guttmann
"Identifications, microanalysis, evaluations and diagnosis of an ethnographical leather object"
The aim of this study is the examination, documentation, analysis and diagnosis of a headgear with bit and reins, made of leather and metal, from Abyssinia (the old name of Ethiopia), belonging to Karl F. Jikeli collection of “Franz Binder” Museum, from “ASTRA” National Museum Complex, for the purpose of drawing up the object conservation strategy. Due to the scarce information regarding the artifact, we started our work by trying to confirm the object origins, and carried out all the available investigations for a good documentation. After accurate visual and microscopic comparative examinations that revealed the different leather natures and their surface states, we used micro-chemical analysis for identifying various tanning procedures, the presence of fats and copper, etc. Furthermore, in collaboration with INCDTP – Division Leather & Footwear Research Institute, we have been doing a series of specific and advanced analyses, as the employment of the micro hot table (MHT) technique to obtain relevant results, and measurements/ evaluations on the grain of various leathers. All investigations not only revealed some interesting and detailed but also necessary information for a proper diagnosis and planning of the various stages of the conservation activity.
"Inside the parchment"
Even though parchment has been applied as library and archive substrate for centuries, this material’s structure and degradation patterns are less explored than paper’s ones. In this preliminary work vibrational studies highlighting distinction between parchment components are presented. Advances in conservation methods can in fact be achieved by an improved knowledge of the microscopic and spectroscopic features of the parchment components.
Studies of the chemical interactions with the products used in manufacturing and writing will be presented. Standard glycine, proline and hydroxyproline FTIR spectra were compared to different kind of parchment and other collagen-based materials. Some samples were inked with different kind of inks (carbon black, iron-gall, carbon black mixed with iron II sulfate or iron-gall) other subjected to invasive treatments so as to simulate damages induced by catastrophes or by a recently developed restoring treatment. Spectral variations due to artificially induced modification of parchment were monitored and analyzed.
M. Geba, A. Vlad, A. Ioniuc, D. Manea, N. Vornicu, C. Bibire
"Two early medieval parchment manuscripts- study of component materials"
Within the Restoration-Conservation Centre for Cultural Heritage of Iasi two early medieval manuscripts on parchment (Tetra Evangel and The Greek Evangel) were investigated. The restoring of these manuscripts gave the opportunity of a thorough research on the writing materials, pigments used in the ornamentation and the base material. The study of the base material, carried out by IR spectrophotometry (Transmission and ATR), lead to the identification of a natural polypeptide (parchment) (specific bands at 1630 cm-1- amide I and at 1530 cm-1 - amide II), and also of calcium carbonate (chalk), used as surface covering material. Concerning the writing materials we identified ferro - gallic ink (The Greek Evangel), a mixture of ferro-gallic and carbon ink (Tetra Evangel – the first part), carbon ink (Tetra Evangel – the second part) and a cinnabar red ink (Tetra Evangel. The decoration of both manuscripts (frontispieces, lateral bands, frames, miniatures) are of a large chromatic varieties. The pigments were identified by optical microscopy, micro chemical tests and XRF. The pigments determined are: gold (Au), iron oxides (Fe), cinnabar, malachite, transparent copper green, madder lake, lead carbonate (Pb).The phosphorus (S) identified may come from a protein (yolk), used as glue or protection layer. The similarity of decoration materials points to the manufacture of both manuscripts in the same area of the Byzantine culture. One manuscript (Tetra Evangel) was subjected to restoration, in order to stop and remove the physical, chemical and biological deteriorations (undulations, brittleness, chromatic alterations, pigments flaking). The restoration operations consisted in cleaning, dressing, flattening, voids infilling and pigments consolidation.
M. Simileanu, R. Radvan, L. Miu, M. Giurginca
"Study of the effect of laser cleaning on collagenous structures"
Cleaning procedures applied on organic substrates of artifacts can be challenging due to their high sensitivity to all exterior factors, their fragile nature demanding a high precision and accurate monitoring of the cleaning process. This paper contains researches about the effect that the laser restoration procedures (laser cleaning, mainly) induce on organic substrates such as leather and parchment. Laser cleaning of leather & parchment is a novel technique that has the potential to provide contactless, chemical-free cleaning of historically important documents, overall providing a high accuracy successful cleaning. However, the effect of laser cleaning on the collagenous structure of parchment is still poorly understood, as is the effect of the wavelength or the energy density (fluence level). This study comprises aspects of the ageing of the materials and also specific issues concerning conservation of their photomechanical properties, correlating information obtained using specific scientific methods of analysis such as colorimetry, optical microscopy, shrinkage temperature of the organic fibers and NIR Spectroscopy. Surface monitoring based on chromatic modulation has been carried out for the laser cleaning of different types of leather and parchment samples, working with the spectral signature of reflected light from the surface. Results show that the spectral parameters derived from the chromatic detection provide not only clear indication of the surface cleanliness and the substrate damage but also useful chromatic information on the surface. The outcome of these experiments consists in an on-line control of laser induced material removal from artworks under restoration, phenomena encountered in photo-induced ablation.
O. Hahn, I. Rabin, T. Wolff, B. Kanngießer, W. Malzer, I. Mantouvalou, U. Schade, A. Masic, G. Weinberg
"Non-Destructive Investigation of the Dead Sea Scrolls"
The Dead Sea Scrolls belong to the most important cultural assets of mankind. Their long term preservation and study is a challenge that demands an interdisciplinary approach. As early as the 1950s natural scientists assisted the scholars in studying the scrolls. It was at this time that the first extensive study of the scroll material took place. It was found that most fragments were written not on leather but on parchment. In addition, a method for determining the age of the parchment was developed which is still of value today. In the 1990s the AMS-C14 method confirmed the palaeographic determination of the age of the manuscripts. The use of carbon ink throughout the scrolls is also consistent with the known scribal practices of that time. There are, however, manuscripts, and among them the famous Genesis Apocryphon Scroll, which exhibit ink corrosion, normally associated with iron-gall inks. Today, 60 years after their discovery, a community of scientists from the Jewish National and University Library (JNUL), the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin), the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) and Fritz-Haber-Institute of the MPG (FHI) set out to scientifically investigate the finds of Qumran using the most modern methods. The results of the study will be used to determine the provenance of the texts as well as to contribute to their long-term preservation. A considerable part of the non-destructive investigation is taking place in the Berlin State Library and at the Berliner Elektronenspeicherring-Gesellschaft für Synchrotronstrahlung , BESSY II. Preliminary investigations, performed at the BAM on some fragments, were used to evaluate the extent to which X-ray analytical methods can provide information regarding the geographical origin of the fragments and match the individual pieces. The interpretation of the measurement results is made more difficult by age and storage of the objects. It is believed that ageing processes as well as conservation methods have altered the samples in addition to the changes caused by environmental influences. In collaboration with the TU Berlin, the samples from the parchments found in the caves near Qumran were tested by means of three-dimensional synchrotron based X-ray fluorescence analysis (3D-SyXRF). The aim of this non-destructive investigation was the identification of the inorganic material used in the manufacture of the parchments.
The XRF experiments are supported by the non-destructive analysis by means of synchrotron based infrared spectroscopy (SyFTIR) in collaboration with BESSY II as well as optical and electron microscopy in collaboration with Fritz-Haber-Institute (FHI).
From the introduction:
The decay of leather used for bookbindings has for long been a subject which has attracted a great deal of attention and interest amongst librarians and book collectors. The first attempt to investigate the conditions leading to such decay appears to have been made by Faraday, whose historic researches into the condition of the library of the Athenaeum Club in 1842 still remain the only serious attempt made to investigate this subject. Of late years the matter has received still more earnest attention, owing to a growing belief among librarians that the quality of the leathers now made for bookbinding purposes is inferior to that made previous to, say, the middle of the last century. The matter has been discussed on several occasions at meetings of the Library Association, and in the year 1899 a meeting of persons specially interested in the question was held at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in Regent Street, under the chairmanship of Mr. Cobden-Sanderson. This meeting formed itself into a Committee to encourage the production of sound and durable leather for bookbinding. The Committee held several meetings, and some of its members carried out a good deal of investigation and experiment, but it appears to have come to the conclusion that the matter was too large a one to be dealt with by a separate and informal body of the sort, and it was decided to request the Council of the Society of Arts to undertake a thorough investigation of the whole question, and, after having done so, to issue a Report upon it.
Representative samples of the new parchment were prepared to be in an advanced state of degradation by application of artificial heat ageing. The degraded aged samples are submitted to experiments concerning applied consolidation materials (polymers) on parchment. The purpose of this study is to establish if an increase in the properties of parchment can be attained with none or as less as possible interference with the appearance of the object. A comparison is made between six polymers by impregnation method. Investigation of some mechanical properties, change of color and the humidity sorption were used to evaluate the studied polymers. The results revealed that the polymers, which dissolved in organic solvents, were better than that dissolved in water.
La artesanía de la piel y el cuero e industrias derivadas gozó de gran tradición en los Estados de la antigua Corona de Aragón, artesanía, por otra parte, necesaria y universalmente ejercida. El propósito de las pácinas que siguen es presentar una panorámica de esta industria, especialmente en la Baja Edad Media, en diferentes localidades del reino de Aragón así como en las ciudades de Barcelona, Mallorca y Valencia, estableciendo analogías y diferencias entre unos y otros reinos, e incluso la nomenclatura exacta de cada actividad en los distintos lugares.
English: Shoemaker, cordwainers.
Italiano: Calzolaio, ciabattino.
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Wood, J. T.; Puering, bating and drenching of skins, Spon, London (1912)
URL (Internet Archive)
Table of contents:
1. Description of the puering and bating process
2. The chemistry of puering
3. The physics of bating
4. The bacteriology of the bate
5. Action of enzymes
6. Original papers on bating
7. Artificial bates
From the Preface:
The Making of a Medieval Book video, available from the museum website, explores the materials and techniques used to create the lavishly illuminated manuscripts produced in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The images in these handwritten texts are called illuminations because of the radiant glow created by the gold, silver, and other colors. The video examines the four stages involved in the making of a medieval book: parchment making, writing, illumination, and binding.
Most medieval manuscripts were written on specially treated animal skins, called parchment or vellum (paper did not become common in Europe until around 1450). The pelts were first soaked in a lime solution to loosen the fur, which was then removed. While wet on a stretcher, the skin was scraped using a knife with a curved blade. As the skin dried, the parchment maker adjusted the tension so that the skin remained taut. This cycle of scraping and stretching was repeated over several days until the desired thinness had been achieved. Here, the skin of a stillborn goat, prized for its smoothness, is stretched on a modern frame to illustrate the parchment making process.
After the surface had been prepared, the parchment was ruled, usually with leadpoint or colored ink. In this prayer book, you can see the ruling in red ink. Ruling lines helped the scribe to write evenly and were part of the design of the page. The scribe wrote with a quill pen made from the feather of a goose or swan. The end of the feather was cut to form the writing nib. A slit cut into the middle of the nib allowed the ink to flow smoothly to the tip of the pen. The appearance of the script—whether rounded or angular, dense or open—was partly dependent upon the shape and the angle of the nib.
Illumination, from the Latin illuminare, "to light up or illuminate," describes the glow created by the colors, especially gold and silver, used to embellish manuscripts. In making an illumination, the artist first made an outline drawing with leadpoint or quill and ink. Next, he or she painted the areas to receive gold leaf with a sticky substance such as bole (a refined red clay) or gum ammoniac (sap). The gold leaf was then laid down and burnished, or rubbed, to create a shiny surface, which sparkles as the pages are turned. Finally, the illuminator applied paints that were made from a wide variety of coloring agents: ground minerals, organic dyes extracted from plants, and chemically produced colorants. These pigments were usually mixed with egg white to form a kind of paint called tempera. The deep blue of this illumination was probably made from crushed stone, while the background is a solid mass of shining gold leaf.
Once the writing and illuminating had been completed, the parchment sheets were folded and nested into groups called gatherings. The gatherings were ordered in their proper sequence and sewn together onto cords or leather thongs that served as supports. Once the sewing was finished, the ends of the supports were laced through channels carved into the wooden boards that formed the front and back covers of the book. The binding was usually then covered in leather or a decorative fabric. This binding's most stunning ornamentations are the metal corner pieces and raised medallions that would protect the binding as it rested on a surface. The dyed parchment pieces inset into the central medallion were once brightly colored yellow, green, and blue, creating a stained-glass-window effect on the covers of the manuscript.
PARCHEMINIER, s. m. (Commerce.) ouvrier & marchand qui achete des Mégissiers le parchemin en croûte, & le prépare ensuite pour le mettre en état de recevoir l’écriture, en en ratissant la superficie sur le sommier avec un fer tranchant.
Deutsch: Pergamenter, Pergamentmacher.
English: Parchment maker, parchmenter.
Español: Fabricante de pergaminos.
Italiano: Lavoratore di pergamena.
Português: Pergaminheiro, fabricante de pergaminhos.
Hasluck, P. N.; Harness making, Cassel, London (1904)
Table of contents:
1. Harness-maker's tools
2. Harness-maker's materials
3. Strap making and stitching
5. Cart harness
6. Cart collars
7. Cart saddles, reins
8. Fore gear and leader harness
9. Plough harness
10. Bits, spurs, stirrups and harness furniture
11. Van and cab harness
The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls:
Este tema está descrito em maior detalhe num artigo dos mesmos autores e que já foi anteriormente divulgado neste blogue (post publicado em 08/02/2008). Aqui fica novamente a referência:
Marte, F.; Péquignot, A.; Von Endt, D.; “Arsenic in taxidermy collections: history, detection and management”, Collection Forum 21 (1–2) (2006) 143–150
TANNEUR, s. m. c’est un marchand ou artisan qui travaille à la tannerie, & qui prépare les cuirs avec la chaux & le tan.
Les garnitures des marteaux déterminent en très grande mesure la sonorité d'un piano-forte. Une bonne peau, bien utilisée, peut révéler toute la beauté et la subtilité sonores d'un instrument ; une mauvaise peut réduire ce même instrument à une caricature de lui-même. Une peau idéale doit avoir une texture d'une extrême douceur, mais posséder en même temps un "corps" -une solidité- et surtout une grande élasticité qui résiste longtemps au martèlement des cordes. Les facteurs de piano-forte ont employé pour leurs marteaux soit des peaux chamoisées (de daim, de chamois ou de mouton) soit des peaux aux tannages végétaux spécialement adaptés, ou encore des peaux au tannage mixte. Identifier les espèces animales et les méthodes employées pour élaborer ces peaux demande des moyens d'analyse sophistiqués. Aujourd'hui, parmi les peaux disponibles dans le commerce, seules les peaux chamoisées, préparées par des artisans respectant la tradition, sont en partie en mesure de donner des résultats probants. En effet, les méthodes traditionnelles de chamoisage, où les peaux, en petit paquets, étaient battues pour y faire entrer peu à peu de l'huile, ne sont plus pratiquées, pour des raisons économiques. Le marché est dominé par des peaux de mauvaise qualité en provenance d’Italie et de République tchèque. Le nombre de petites tanneries polyvalentes en Europe a chuté dramatiquement dans les quarante dernières années, face à des regroupements économiques et règlements environnementaux toujours plus astreignants. Beaucoup de métiers d'art utilisant des cuirs et des peaux de qualité pour réaliser leur travail, la situation est plus qu'alarmante.
Dans la même publication et aussi disponibles en ligne:
From the Preface:
This volume will, we hope, fill this void in so far as the use of oils and greases is concerned. The matter has already boon printed in serial form in the Shoe and Leather Reporter, but we have had many requests for the articles bound in permanent form so that they can be instantly available in every laboratory and tannery library.
- Origin of the application of oils to leather
- Oil tannage
- Japanned leather
Als Alternative zu den bekannten chemischen Schädlingsbekämpfungsmethoden warden seit den 1970er Jahren im musealen Bereich auch tiefe Temperaturen angewandt. Dabei herrscht eine verwirrende Vielzahl unterschiedlichster Gefrierverfahren. Für die vorliegende Diplomarbeit wurden daraus zwei ausgewählt an deren Beispiel im experimentellen Teil der Arbeit untersucht wurde, inwiefern durch eine Gefrierbehandlung die physikalischen Materialeigenschaften von Schafsleder in unterschiedlichen Gerbungen beeinflusst werden. Zudem wurde geprüft ob die beiden Verfahren das Material unterschiedlich beeinflussen und ob eine wiederholte Gefrierbehandlung bei Objekten aus Leder ratsam ist.
Low temperatures are chosen as an alternative to chemical insect eradication in museums since the 1970ies. Nowadays a great variety of freeze treatments is in use. Therefore two of them were chosen in this thesis to be tested for affecting physical properties of sheep leather with different tannings. The next step was to control whether they do affect physical properties of sheep leather differently from one another. Finally the use of multiple freeze treatment of items made of leather is discussed.
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The field of conservation has recently adapted newer techniques for the coating of leather bindings as a measure of protection and aesthetic appearance. The much used, and older, method of treating leather with lanolin and neatsfoot oil is now avoided, as it does significant damage to the text when applied too heavily, migrating through the leather and causing staining and deterioration of the paper. Most commercially produced neatsfoot oil is made of lard, whose excess fatty acids can cause spew on the surface of the leather, while lanolin steals the skin’s natural moisture (
The original report dated from 2004 is also available online at:
It was originally planned to be a translation of two French-language encyclopaedias, Dictionnaire raisonné universel d'histoire naturelle (1764) and Encyclopédie Oeconomique ou Système général d'Oeconomie rustique, domestique et politique (1771–72), but developed into a separate work that much surpassed the originals. Significant parts were also based on the Grosses vollständiges Universal-Lexicon by Johann Heinrich Zedler.
Richter, M.; Dettloff, D.; “Experiments in hide brain tanning with a comparative analysis of stone and bone tools”, UW-
Abstract: White-tailed deer were a primary resource for native populations of the
A gaita-de-fole é um instrumento musical tradicional em muitos países europeus. Trata-se de um aerofone não soprado directamente pela boca munido de um fole (reservatório flexível de ar). Em Portugal, os foles são tradicionalmente em pele de cabra ou de bezerro.
The Bagpipe in
O adufe é um instrumento de percussão, geralmente, quadrangular de membrana dupla (bimembranofone). Duas peles de cabra cosidas à volta de um aro em madeira formam o instrumento. Para enriquecer a sonoridade são colocadas sementes no seu interior. É geralmente tocado por mulheres. Na região de Trás-os-Montes, o adufe é designado de pandeiro.
Examples of Portuguese traditional membranophones are adufes or pandeiros, bombos and caixas.
Construção de um adufe por José Rego Relvas, de Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal (Janeiro de 2007)
Making an adufe by José Rego Relvas, from Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal (January 2007)
URL (Internet Archive)
Introduction: The Decoration of Leather in the Past
I: Tools and Leather
II: Methods of Working in Leather
III: Leather Mosaic
IV: Dyes, Patines and Gilding
V: The Choice of Design and Colour
APPENDIX: Leather Hangings and Furniture
Tello, H.; Jelen, E.; Unger, A.; “Decontamination of ethnological collections using supercritical carbon dioxide”, Collection Forum 19 (1-2) (2005) 45-48
Examinations of objects in the
A series of tests was carried out using high-pressure extraction with carbon dioxide. This method utilizes the good solvent properties of CO2 in its supercritical state (above
The experiments have shown that ethnological objects, with the exception of fur, can be decontaminated without substantial damage to the materials through the use of supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) at
Table of contents:
1. Having hides tanned
2. Buying leather by the side
3. Home tanning
4. Tanning hides and skins for leather
4.1. Preliminary operations
4.2. Bark-tanned sole and harness leather
4.3. Chrome-tanned leather
4.4. Alum-tanned leather
5. Tanning fur skins
Among many objects, this website provides information about arctic clothing made from skin (leather and furs).
"Through the Sharing Knowledge project, members of Indigenous communities from across Alaska and northeast Siberia are working with the Smithsonian Institution and the Anchorage Museum to interpret the materials, techniques, cultural meanings, history, and artistry represented by objects in the western arctic and subarctic collections of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C. The Arctic Studies Center, which organized and implemented the project, is a special research program within the Department of Anthropology, NMNH, with offices in Washington and at the Anchorage Museum in Alaska.
Table of contents:
I. Skinning Birds
II. Stuffing and Mounting Birds
III. Skinning and Stuffing Mammals
IV. Animals' Horned Heads : Polishing and Mounting Horns
V. Skinning, Stuffing, and Casting Fish
VI. Preserving, Cleaning, and Dyeing Skins
VII. Preserving Insects and Birds' Eggs
VIII. Cases for Stuffed Specimens
Stories of Canadian footwear include important contributions from This exhibit shows approaches to footwear by both aboriginal and immigrant populations as hand-made products by skilled individuals, and it explores how they affected each other. It tells how fully hand-made methods of making footwear gradually changed to a mostly mechanized one by the time of the First World War for most of us in Canada although the indigenous groups, particularly the Inuit, still make footwear using traditional methods.
(excerpt text from the website)
This exhibit shows approaches to footwear by both aboriginal and immigrant populations as hand-made products by skilled individuals, and it explores how they affected each other. It tells how fully hand-made methods of making footwear gradually changed to a mostly mechanized one by the time of the First World War for most of us in Canada although the indigenous groups, particularly the Inuit, still make footwear using traditional methods.
For centuries, caribou skin lodges were the most common form of habitation for the Dogrib - aboriginal people from the Northwest Territories of Canada also known as Tlicho. At the beginning of the 20th century, hundreds of these lodges were in everyday use, but when canvas tents became a common trade item in the 1920s the caribou skin lodges quickly disappeared.
In 1998 a project between the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, the Dogrib Community Services Board and the Dogrib Treaty 11 Council joined forces to replicate two caribou skin lodges using traditional means. This project was documented on video and a few video clips are available online.
Making a lodge was a long and difficult task, involving several steps and requiring many caribou hides - caribou is a wild reindeer in North America (Rangifer tarandus sp). Many of the 75 caribou skins needed for the project were collected during the 1999 barrenlands caribou hunt, and seven Dogrib women from the community of Rae, on the North Arm of Great Slave Lake, were appointed to tan the hides and sew and decorate the lodges. Seams were sewn with caribou sinew, and the completed lodges were sealed and decorated with red ochre paint, made from red ochre collected from a site near Rae. Young people were involved throughout the construction process, as traditional skills were passed along to the next generation.
"The Dogrib Caribou Skin Lodge Project" Online Exhibition
"Reliability of x-ray fluorescence for the quantitative analysis of arsenic in contaminated leather" by Bond (2007)
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"The Vinland Map: a critical review of archaeometric research on its authenticity" by Harbottle (2008)
The authenticity of the ‘Vinland Map’ (Beinecke Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts at Yale University) has been challenged on both codicological and scientific grounds, the latter resulting from a microscopic study of the ink employed. McCrone Associates of Chicago examined, between 1972 and 1974, a total of 29 microparticles, including 16 of ink from the Vinland Map, and in 1974 reported to Yale that it contained a pigment, anatase, only available after 1920. In 1974, Yale announced that the map was ‘probably a modern forgery’. This review critically examines archaeometric research leading to, and testing, this conclusion.
This article has been reviewed by Towe et al in the same Journal:
Towe, K. M.; Clark, R. J. H.; Seaver, K. A.; "Analysing the Vinland Map: a critical review of a critical review", Archaeometry 50 (5) (2008) 887-893
doi:10.1111/j.1475-4754.2008.00428.x (restricted access)
In an attempt to validate the Vinland Map as a genuine 15th century work, Garman Harbottle (2008) claims to review critically, and thereby discredit, the archaeometric research undertaken on the Map's ink by Walter McCrone (1974–1999) and Brown and Clark (2002). In this paper we outline and discuss the numerous arguments that are presented by Harbottle, all of which we find to be misleading or at best highly questionable.
And Harbottle's reply:
The Vinland Map is a world map on 27.8 x 40 cm parchment folded in two leaves. Housed in Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the map shows Europe (including Scandinavia), Northern Africa, Asia and the Far East. In the northwest Atlantic Ocean, however, it also shows the “Island of Vinland,” which has been taken to represent an unknown part of present-day Labrador, Newfoundland, or Baffin Island. Remarkably, the map describes this region as having been visited in the 11th century.
The map in question... Is it authentic?
Report on the assessment and survey condition and the technique of the Vinland Map by Larsen et al (2005)
Larsen, R., Poulsen, D. V., and Vest, M.; Report on the assessment and survey of the condition and technique of the Vinland Map and the bindings of the Tartar Relation and Speculum historiale, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Conservation, Copenhagen (2005)
This paper reports on the result of the assessment of the state of condition of the Vinland Map (VM). The damage assessment was based on visual and simple nondestructive methods observing characteristics at the macroscopic and microscopic level mainly relating to the surface of the parchment including the ink. Additional damage assessment was performed on selected parchment sheets bound in the Tartar Relation (TR) and the Speculum Historiale (SH). The bindings of the TR and the SH were subjected to a technical examination of the book structure and a simple nondestructive damage assessment of the leather. The condition of the parchment and ink of the VM, SH and TR as well as the book bindings are reported and recommendations and precautions for their future storage and treatment presented. Moreover, the authenticity of the VM, dating of the rebinding of the SH and TR as wll as the relations between the three objects are discussed on the basis of our observations and our recommendations for future studies are presented.
This report has been published on Zeitschrift für Kunsttechnologie und Konservierung:
Larsen, R.; Poulsen, D. V.; Vest, M.; “Assessment and survey of the Vinland Map and the Tartar Relation and Speculum Historiale”, Zeitschrift für Kunsttechnologie und Konservierung 20 (2) (2006) 249-260
Table of contents:
- Improved Damage Assessment of parchment
- The IDAP Website- Data collection and sharing of knowledge
- Introduction to damage and damage assessment of parchment
- Parchment during the process of manufacture
- Typology of the damage of the parchment in manuscripts of the codex form
- Characterisation of microbial parchment damage based on the assessment of microbiologically accelerated aged parchment
- The parchment damage assessment programme (PDAP)
- Visual damage assessment
- A model for an early warning system (EWS) based on parchment sensors
- Effects of two pollutants (SO2 and NO2) on parchment by analysis at the molecular level using mass spectrometry and other techniques
- Accelerated ageing: effect of heat and relative humidity
- Damage of parchment fibres on the microscopic level detected by micro hot table (MHT) method
- Thermoanalytical (macro to nano-scale) techniques and non-invasive spectroscopic analysis for damage assessment of parchment
- Structural and thermal stability of collagen within parchment: a mesoscopic and molecular approach
- Damage to parchment collagen measured by structural and biochemical analysis
- Structural damage of parchment at the molecular level assessed by raman spectroscopy
- Molecular damage of parchment studied by amino acid analysis
- Introduction to statistical analysis of IDAP data, using principal component analysis and discriminant analysis
The IDAP project was funded by the European Commission under the fifth framework programme. The main reason for establishing the project is the great need for protection of the large collections of parchment which are recognised as being among the most valuable objects of our cultural heritage. This report is devoted to a presentation of the project background, aims, goals and research strategy. It includes a description of the IDAP website, data collection and sharing of knowledge, the IDAP network for professional users in research and conservation of parchment, and the plans for activities and development in the future. The report also presents an introduction to damage assessment of parchment, parchment during the process of manufacture, typology of damage of the parchment in codex form, characterisation of microbial damage and a basic introduction to the IDAP damage assessment strategy, the damage assessment programme and the results of visual damage assessment as well as a discussion on the principles and problems of diagnosis, damage assessment and experiments specifically for parchment, and a description of a model early warning system. The results of accelerated ageing experiments as tools in the study of deterioration and deteriorative factors are presented. Moreover, the results of the work of the study of damage to parchment at the microscopic to the molecular levels, using various complementary advanced analytical microscopical, chemical, physical and thermochemical techniques, are presented with suggestions for statistical analysis of the data. All the mentioned results and systems developed in the project are available on the Internet, enabling the contributors to the IDAP network to improve communication and dissemination of expertise and knowledge within conservation in the European Community and worldwide.