"Bioburden assessment and gamma radiation inactivation patterns in parchment documents" by Nunes et al (2013)

Nunes, I.; Mesquita, N.; Cabo Verde, S.; Carolino, M. M.; Portugal, A.; Botelho, M. L.; "Bioburden assessment and gamma radiation inactivation patterns in parchment documents", Radiation Physics and Chemistry 88 (2013) 82–89.

Parchment documents are part of our cultural heritage and, as historical artifacts that they are, should be preserved. The aim of this study was to validate an appropriate methodology to characterize the bioburden of parchment documents, and to assess the growth and gamma radiation inactivation patterns of the microbiota present in that material. Another goal was to estimate the minimum gamma radiation dose (Dmin) to be applied for the decontamination of parchment as an alternative treatment to the current toxic chemical and non-chemical decontamination methods. Two bioburden assessment methodologies were evaluated: the Swab Method (SM) and the Destructive Method (DM). The recovery efficiency of each method was estimated by artificial contamination, using a Cladosporium cladosporioides spore suspension. The parchment samples' microbiota was typified using morphological methods and the fungal isolates were identified by ITS-DNA sequencing. The inactivation pattern was assessed using the DM after exposure to different gamma radiation doses, and using C. cladosporioides as reference. Based on the applied methodology, parchment samples presented bioburden values lower than 5×103CFU/cm2 for total microbiota, and lower than 10 CFU/cm2 for fungal propagules. The results suggest no evident inactivation trend for the natural parchment microbiota, especially regarding the fungal community. A minimum gamma radiation dose (Dmin) of 5 kGy is proposed for the decontamination treatment of parchment. Determining the minimal decontamination dose in parchment is essential for a correct application of gamma radiation as an alternative decontamination treatment for this type of documents avoiding the toxicity and the degradation promoted by the traditional chemical and non-chemical treatments.


Guide manuel théorique et pratique de l’ouvrier ou praticien doreur sur cuir par Bosquet (1903)

Bosquet, Emile; Guide manuel théorique et pratique de l’ouvrier ou praticien doreur sur cuir,  Librairie polytechnique Ch. Béranger, Paris (1903)
URL (InternetArchive)


A history of the New York swamp by Norcross (1901)

Norcross, F. W.; A history of the New York swamp, Chiswick Press, New York (1901)
URL (InternetArchive)

 From the introduction:
"In the district known as the New York Swamp I met their fathers almost daily for many years. They were Kings in the Tanning Trade. There were the stalwart and manly Hoyt's; the aristocratic Thorncs; the cultured Healys; the broad minded Schultz; the gentlemanly Lees; the Hortons; merchants and manufacturers; the Laphams, "Friends" in faith and works; the moneyed Fayerweathers; the genial Palens; the cautious Bulkleys; the steadfast and solid Ladews; the successful Reeses; the honorable Ishams, and many more who formed a galaxy of merchants such as may never again be seen in the Hide and Leather business.
These men dominated the trade for nigh a hundred years. Their example is worthy of emulation. It is with the design of preserving a record of their deeds that these papers were written by their, and your, servant for half a century,