Date completed : 31 May 2018 Duration : 12 Weeks
Elizabeth Fagg-Shuttlewood ACR


  • The mould constituted a health and safety risk.
  • A reader wished to access the text but could not as many pages were stuck together.
  • Handling put the document at risk from tearing pages due to severe insect damage


  • Mould removal was carried out.
  • Adhered pages were separated.
  • The decision as to what kind or repair technique to use, was influenced by the importance of avoiding the use of animal based adhesives in Hindi manuscripts. Also the issue of the inks water solubility and the history of mould, were all factors in the adhesive choice. A re-moistenable tissue made with tapioca starch was chosen for the method of repair, as it fitted all the required criteria.
  • The decision was taken not to infill missing areas with a heavier repair tissue, in areas that has had large losses. Based on the minimal intervention approach that we have at the archive where the object is stored, plus time constraint. The first page, which was the most severely damaged, was enclosed in a three-side welded Melenex folder.
  • The item was digitised to allow online access, to minimise handling.
  • A custom- made archival box was created for the item. Including a four -flap inner folder inside an archival box. The box had a label warning that the item had been treated for mould and the date of treatment. As a precautionary warning for people with mould sensitivity.


The treatment allowed the book to be viewed safely by the client. All the text could now be viewed as the stuck pages had been released. The book could be handled safely as the pages had been repaired. The mouldĀ  was removed, and a warning that mould had been present placed on the box, to alert mould sensitive readers. A digital copy of the book is now available to allow the client to view it online remotely.

Before conservation
Hindi manuscript with mould, insect damage and adhered pages.
Hindi manuscript with mould, insect damage and adhered pages.
Hindi manuscript with mould, insect damage and adhered pages.

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