Research into Parchment Manuscript Restoration

About the Workshop

The Department first appeared at the Grabar Art Conservation Centre in the mid-1990s. The main area of its work is the restoration of medieval illuminated manuscripts produced in Kievan Rus, Byzantine and Western Europe. The Department carries out restoration and conservation works, as well as paint and ink work, on variously damaged pieces of parchment and bindings. It also restores large-format documents (official documents, letters, etc.) with mechanical, organic and biological damage, as well as other imperfections (pendant seals, custodies, cloth curtains, etc.). The practical restoration of each manuscript is preceded by a period of experimental and research work, the task of which is to identify the best methods for ensuring its preservation. The team works according to the comprehensive method of restoring manuscript books that has been proved over the course of many years.

Approximately 60 manuscripts are restored annually

Every year, the workshop restores dozens of works of art. Among them are exhibits from Russia's leading museums in various spheres, including the State Historical Museum, rare editions of Russian libraries at the Russian State Library, and documents from the archives of the Russian State Archive of Ancient Documents.

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The Centre has been restoring manuscripts for over 25 years

The Manuscript Restoration Department is one of the youngest at the Grabar Art Conservation Centre, having been created a little over 25 years ago. It was later split into two separate divisions: one for the research and restoration of parchment manuscripts and the other for the restoration of manuscript books and paper documents.

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The Restorers

The Department is run by lead researcher Elina Dobrynina. A total of three art restorers and one researcher are employed by the Department. The Department's staff are specialists in ancient Russian history, Byzantine culture and Slavonic and Greek palaeography.

Scientific Research

Коллектив работает по методу комплексной реставрации рукописных книг, прошедшего многолетнюю апробацию и удостоенного Государственной премии РФ 1994 г. Практической реставрации каждого рукописного памятника предшествует период экспериментальной и исследовательской работы, в задачу которого входит определение оптимальных мер по обеспечению его сохранности. В отделе действует расширенный реставрационный и ученый совет, постоянными членами которого являются ведущие научные сотрудники и хранители крупнейших рукописных собраний Москвы и профильных научных учреждений.

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Another aspect of the workshop's activities is the ongoing and meticulous training of interns and apprentices, many of whom are students in faculties of restoration at Russian universities or employees at the restoration workshops of the Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, the State Hermitage Museum and other museums.

04 June 2015

Десять веков Мариинского Евангелия». Выставка с таким названием, приуроченная к Дням славянской письменности и культуры, состоялась в читальном зале Отдела рукописей Российской Государственной библиотеки. 

23 December 2014

23 декабря 2014 года в Доме Пашкова состоялась презентация новой работы отдела научных исследований и реставрации пергаменных рукописей ВХНРЦ им. акад. И.Э. Грабаря

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It is here that the most difficult and destroyed works of art – those that were seemingly doomed to be lost forever – were sent for restoration. And they continue to be sent here to this day

17 June 2019

Заведующая отделом научных исследований и реставрации пергаменных рукописей Э.Н. Добрынина приняла участие в IX Международном семинаре «Лики памяти. Новейшие технологии сохранения и восстановления рукописного и печатного наследия» с докладом «Об имитации древнейших рукописных книг восточно-христианской традиции: по материалам экспертизы ВХНРЦ им. академика И.Э. Грабаря». 

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