Books, Tea and Baklava: Conserving Turkish Manuscripts in Ireland and Istanbul

06.09.2018, Vortrag, OI Istanbul

The Turkish Collection at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland, consists of around 200 manuscripts, mainly produced in Turkey and written in Ottoman Turkish. Many of these manuscripts are illustrated poetry and history texts, and a large portion are beautifully illuminated (though not illustrated) religious texts, such as prayer books. The Turkish Collection includes several of the greatest manuscripts in existence produced in the 16th century, when patronage of the arts by the Ottoman sultans was at its peak.  These manuscripts are of great international importance and are a valuable resource for scholars, students and interested members of the general public.

Conservation treatment priorities in the collection were decided based on the level of damage and deterioration of the manuscripts, whilst taking into account the curator’s specific criteria. All treatments undertaken were carried out in light of current standards of best-practice in manuscript conservation, notably reversibility, and minimal intervention.

This talk will discuss the conservation of Turkish manuscript collections at the Chester Beatty, as well as the opportunities this work has presented to share experiences with colleagues at the conservation department of the Turkish Ministry of Culture’s Public Authority for Manuscripts (Türkiye Yazma Eserler Kurumu Başkanlığı).

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