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Date completed : 14 May 2015 Duration : 2 Months
Richard Aitken

The document had been stored in a damp environment, which caused serious damage down one of the folds and almost split the document in two. In August 1899 the document was repaired and then framed by Andrew Carnegie Esquire of Skibo. The document was adhered to the mount which caused further tearing and cockling due to stresses caused by not allowing the parchment to move independently from the mount through environmental fluctuations in storage.


The Tain Papal Bull was removed dry from the original mounts. Any adhesive residue left on the document was removed using a 3% methyl cellulose poultice.

A new piece of parchment was shaped to support any weaknesses and fill in the missing areas. The parchment was then pared lightly so it was translucent to support the weaknesses but left unpared for the in-fills.

A 5% gelatine adhesive was prepared, cooled and sieved through terylene and applied cold to adhere the new parchment to the document.

To enable this the document and parchment patch were humidified gently through. A polythene cover is placed over top so the document can still be viewed and hygrometer is put inside so the relative humidity can be read. Once the document is positioned & adhered in place the repair was left to dry between blotters and bondina. Once dry the repairs were trimmed.

The document was then humidified again, once humidified the document and repair were dried under tension using elastic bands and bull dog clips; with blotting paper used to protect the document from the clips. The document is left to dry this way which allows the parchment to keep its character.


A mount has been made which has enabled the parchment to be kept tensioned using Gampi paper twisted with the tips pasted and adhered on the mount and document.

Plastizote foam has been cut to support the seal and the document and a custom made folder has been made to house the Tain Papal Bull.

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