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 | 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 | June 23, 2017

Thoughts of saving the historical evidence, during conservation and restoration process; is the main objective that all professional conservators are keen of. Moreover, before taking any conservation or restoration decision or action; conservators carefully should study hard the object history and condition.Curators work closely with conservators to identify the object's history, identity, originality, and all other codicological and curatorial pieces of information.

marble paper tills a lot about the book
Therefore, marble paper considered as one of the books sights that carry a lot of historical evidence, for instance, it carries information about the object binding history, technique, and whether it is the first (original) binding or a later on binding or restoration.

The idea of carrying a handy and easy to use yet mobile application, which carries out all the information and history about marble papers, was one of my dreams in creating a knowledge sharing culture since I have many dreams regarding this sharing conservation culture.

Marble paper pattern and methods guide mobile application for conservators, bookbinders, curators, and researchers, helps to identify most of the vintage marble paper patterns from the 15th century to 19th century, giving you an idea about how to marbling and how was each pattern made.

Work offline
No need for internet access or spending more money on your mobile data plan. After downloading and installing marble paper guide, the majority of its functions are working offline.

Easy and simple menus

Easy to find and identify a marble paper pattern
Find by pattern:
After installing this FREE Android application, you will immediately discover that it is easier now for conservators in just a click to find more information about the marble paper that he is working on (for conservation-restoration or even binding), just by comparing its pattern with many patterns on this application and start navigating more historical information and similar patterns.

Searching by name:
Easy off-line search is available, just type the pattern name or any other keywords, and the built-in search engine will guide you to find more possibility results untell you find the required information or pattern.

Grouped by century:
If you are searching for a marble paper in a period of time or specific century, for example, in case of using a marble paper to meet the requirement of a historical period binding technique, this grouping option is the assistant, which classify all the marble paper patterns according to its creation century and its common usage.

More options are there in this marble paper guide FREE application, and here is a video that describes and demonstrates this Android application;

A FREE download for this application is available on Google Play Store for Android mobile, unfortunately, it is not available yet on IOS. If you are interested in MORE of other conservation and restoration Android mobile applications, which have been developed by me; please visit my Google Play page. Furthermore, your rating and review definitely are a huge support to me, which encourages me for developing more mobile applications for conservators. As well as your feedback is highly appreciated and will help me to improve my applications.
Download Marble Paper Guide App

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

By: Sherif Afifi | June 04, 2017

As the main goal, never ever replace rare book's original handmade headband with a new one, it is one of the most important historical evidence which carries a lot of codicology information. However, conserving this headband - if necessary - is the optimum choice. 

Deteriorated Headband

What does Headband (Endband) mean?
Headbands are one of the bookbinding characteristics, especially most often found with hardcovers. The headband (or in sometimes called Endband) made up of a small cord or strip acting as a support of material affixed near the spine to provide structural reinforcement and sometimes decorative effect.

Headband deterioration
Wrong method of pulling a book out

The most common physical deteriorating effect is readers common to pull a book out by hooking their finger over the top edge of the book spine, which create a physical force to the headband resulting after hundreds of this action a severe damage. Rather than other chemical deterioration factors representing headband material acidity.

Here is a video demonstrate unusual way to conserve and restore headband;

Note: in the few next weeks I may write a description of this method.

Conservator Sherif Afifi

Creating a Knowledge Sharing Culture
Sherif Afifi

By: Sherif Afifi | May 06, 2017

A conservation and preservation process for  Imperial Germany banknote 1000 Marks dated to 20th century (1910 )

Creating a Knowledge Sharing Culture
Sherif Afifi