the BNF restoration workshop next to the bed of old books



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V. Gaget, JM. Lequertier, S. Lacombe – France 3

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Every day, experts keep an eye on the precious collections of old books housed in the French National Library.

From Saint-Die-des-Vosges (Vosges)a book dating from 1505 entered the restoration workshops of the Library Francois Mitterrandin Paris. It weighs 53 kilos and requires a car for its transfer. Before restoring it, specialists from the French National Library (BNF) will evaluate it with the research laboratory of the museums of France. It is a gradual book of Gregorian chants. This document is great because it was installed upright in churches so that the singers could stand in a semicircle around it and see the score and sing the concerto for mass.explains Christopher Ternanthead of the BNF restoration workshop.

We will repair your tears, we will flatten the pages that are wrinkled. The intervention will be mainly outside since the binding is still very deteriorated”specifies Christophe Ternant. Approximately 100 hours of work will be required to restore the binding of this rare book. Sixteen art technicians work in the workshop. Every year 1,200 documents pass through its hands. Some require light treatments, such as dusting and scrubbing, while others require more technical gestures, such as grafting.

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