Creating a Knowledge Sharing Culture

By: Sherif Afifi | November 13, 2017

Parchment is the skin of an animal which has been processed with a lime solution and stretched under tension. Parchment has unique structural qualities which differentiate it from paper, and it is usually positively identified with the assistance of a hand lens or microscope.In some cases, analytical testing should be considered due to the fact of some certain types of highly calendered papers misidentified with parchment during the visual examination process.

Parchment which is most commonly used as a writing surface and as a binding material in some cases; has a cultural and historical significance that makes it precious material that needs to be conserved and protected against future deterioration by specialized conservators.

Using magnetic as a parchment conservation tool 
Profissional conservators usually take the responsibility of developing innovative treatment methods. Parchment flattening magnetic table is one of the innovations that conservators developed and work with. In the next few lines, I will explain how this flattening magnetic table works and it's mechanism.

Disclaimer: Parchment is a very sensitive material, never ever try to deal with historical parchment materials unless you are well trained to do so, or under a supervision of a professional conservator.

Flattening magnetic table parts:

  1. Wooden frame table.
  2. Metal flat surface.
  3. Magnetic presses.

- Note that the Parchment or vellum is humidified in either one of the common safe humidification methods before applying flattening.

Wooden frame
 The metal (stainless steel) flat surface is mounted on a wooden frame table and the stainless steel surface is with holes or pens to allow a good ventilation to the parchment during the flattening process. Remember using Reemay® acid-free archival polyester tissue under the parchment (between the parchment and the stainless steel) during flattening process.

This picture (Fig 3) shows what is inside the magnetic press and its mechanism. the screw handle controls the magnetic pad level through the metal coil compression string. Hence, this is how conservator controls the strength of magnetic pressure on the parchment, and to eas the process of removing and adding those magnetic presses on the metal table.
Figure 3 - Inside the magnetic press

Wach this video which explains more how this magnetic flattening technique works

------------------------------------------------------------------------- Creating a Knowledge Sharing Culture
Sherif Afifi
Sorry English is not my first language but sharing experience is a global language

By: Sherif Afifi | November 06, 2017

Chevron pattern endband or what known as Islamic endband is one of the most beautiful historical endband styles. however, some of emerging conservator-restorer and bookbinders finding it not that easy to sewing the Islamic chevron endband; thinking it is more complicated endband technique than most of other western endbands.
The good news is after this video tutorial the Islamic endband will not be complicated anymore, and the bad news is... Likely there is no bad news today ;) you will master the chevron pattern endband finally :)

Now you need to prepare your Islamic binding text-block model, a 3 to 5 mm piece of leather as a core, linen thread No.150 for the loom as tie-downs, and 2 contrasted thread color (preferr...

By: Sherif Afifi | September 02, 2017

Antique Photographs Process Identification Android App

Whether you are an archivist at a large museum, a volunteer at a local historical society, or the family historian, it’s important to know the vintage and type of photographs in your collection. 

Numerous types of photographs appeared and then went out of favor throughout the 1800s. So, the first step in narrowing the possible date for your old photograph is to be able to identify 19th-century photographs to determine what type you have. The information provided in this handy and light application can turn you into a proficient photo detective.

Process Types

Through this FREE android application (Antique Photograph Process Identification), you will find various information about most known antique photographs types. whether it is a direct positive like Daguerreotype, Ambrotype, and Tintype, or from a negative for instance, Salted paper print, gelatine prints, and albumen prints.etc.
Ther information in this application covers the main features of the identified type and its layers and support materials, in addition, some information about its deterioration features.
Mostly it will include a YouTube video about how this type is made and other examples on Google Cultural Institute 
Some other useful links are added to the application for the most well-known photograph institution as well as some Youtube videos about photographs conservation techniques which have been applied in most cases for some research purpose by me.

NEW Interface and options are coming soon
At the time being, I am working hard to update this application with new features and options for naive users, which will make antique photographs identification easier for those who are not professionals or not fully familiar with photo types to help them at least to get a basic idea of their family and private photograph collection. 
FREE Download of this Application from Google Play Store:

This application gives you basic information about antique photographs types, but if you would like to take action to those photographs you should consult an expert before taking any action.

Here is a video show you how this Android application works:

Download it for FREE
Antique Photograph Process Identification 

Sherif Afifi

Creating a Knowledge Sharing Culture

By: Sherif Afifi | August 29, 2017

Albumen prints are composite objects with complex chemical and physical structures. Different materials lead to very complicated structures, which react and respond differently to external and internal influences. These structures make them more prone to damage as compared to other objects during some conservation treatment processes; a water treatment sometimes is the only alternative available, especially in conserving rare books which are illustrated with albumen prints, and this alternative can affect not only the paper substrate but also the albumen print.

In this study, a diagnostic of 19th-century Carte de Visite (CDV) albumen prints, has been performed before and after water treatment in order to evaluate the possibility of removing ...

By: Sherif Afifi | July 26, 2017

During last few months I was searching and collecting Endbands (Headbands) images. trying to classifying those images according to the headband period and technique, or according to its name. But recently there is a lot of debates about the Endbands codicological terms and names, some conservators say that the number of different endbands and different variations of endbands is so great that another system of classification and naming needs to be devised.

According to some researchers and books, there is some sort of classification for Endbands (Headbands) which researchers use, for example, the book Headbands, How to Work Them, by Jane Greenfield published in Jun 2001 this book includes step...

Category: Uncategorized 

Tags: Endband, Headband