In May 2012 the EU-Culture Project “Men and Books – for a risk-free use of the European written cultural heritage” officially started with a kick-off meeting of all project partners in Horn/AT. On Wednesday, May 9th the meeting commenced with an introduction of the hosts and guided tour through the historical building of the “Kunsthaus Horn“, housing the European Research Centre for Book- and Paper Conservation-Restoration (project partner) among other institutions.
The next day, May 10th, was reserved for the introduction of the project partners and their roles in the project, discussion of the project activities, planning of the next steps, etc. finished off with some general information on administrative and financial issues.
After this succesful meeting the group enjoyed a well earned lunch at a local restaurant and afterwards had the chance to visit the church archive of Horn.
A big thanks to our hosts in Horn and all participating partners for this succesful and interesting first meeting!!
(from left to right:) Dr. Patricia Engel, European Research Centre for Book- and Paper Conservation-Restoration; Shirin Jacoby, Horner Werkstätten; DI Isabel Peißl, Umweltbundesamt; Prof. Dr. Piotr Oszczanowski, University Wrocław; Sonja Stankowski, Swidnica (translator); Prof. Dr. Zdenek R. Nespor, Charles-University Prague; Bozena Pytel, Swidnica; Dr. Stephan Aderhold, Swidnica/Berlin; Prof. Dr. Katja Sterflinger-Gleixner, BOKU Wien (Coordinator); Dr. Anna Ziemlewska, Polish Academy of Sciences, Vienna; Pastor Waldemar Pytel, Swidnica; Dr. Rene Eckhart, TU Graz; Caroline Maximoff, ICARUS; Dr. Elisabeth Fassold, Umweltbundesamt Wien.
… for a risk-free use of the European written cultural heritage
Culture Programme 2007-2013
1st May 2012 – 30th April 2014
Book and paper conservators and archivists all over Europe have a big common, unsolved problem: mould. Mould destroys our cultural heritage. Especially books and charters in archives, being unique by nature and thus extremely valuable for our understanding of Europe’s past are very much at risk to be lost due to microorganisms: firstly because there are fungi that particularly attack and destroy paper and parchment; secondly because archival material is stored en masse and is comparatively rarely moved – therefore infestation often stays undiscovered for a long time until it is so vast that it cannot be overseen any longer. Mouldy material is a serious health hazard for men, both archivists and readers, as most of the spores cause dangerous illnesses. Today many charters and books are still disinfected via toxic measures.
The project wants to find a solution to exterminate mould with a substance and method harmless to men and books. This is beneficial for all European users of archival material.
The Archives of the Protestant Parish of the Holy Trinity in Świdnica (PL) houses about 12.000 manuscripts, prints, bound books and loose archival material. This archival material is complete without any losses from 1652 until today. These highly valuable sources for the history of Protestantism were chosen as a representative material. The material is certainly of interest for all European citizens which are interested in their history.
From the material point, the various writing materials, leathers, parchment and paper in this archive are found in almost any historic collection in Europe, promising significant results useful for any other institution in Europe and around the world.
In total, this project cannot be realized without a substantial interdisciplinary, international dialogue. By combining art and culture, history and science and health topics, the project clearly is more than its parts.
- Meetings and Workshops
- Scientific and humanistic studies
- Recommendations for disinfection treatments
- Presentation and dissemination of the research results
- University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences- Coordinator/AT
- Protestant Parish of the Holy Trinity in Świdnica/PL
- European Research Center for Book & Paper Conservation-Restoration/AT
- Charles-University Prague/CZ
- Technical University Graz/AT
Associated partners (and subcontractors):
- Austrian National Library/AT
- Polish Academy of Sciences/PL-AT
- Camberwell College/GB
- Horner Werkstätten/AT
- University of Wroclaw/PL
- Ossolineum Wroclaw/PL
- Central Institute for Conservation of Archival and Library Heritage/IT
A great example on how our work and technical knowledge about document digitization helps to reverse the fragmentation of archives that has been result of historic events:
The State Archive Ludwigsburg (DE) has, in cooperation with ICARUS and within the project “Virtuelles deutsches Urkundennetzwerk” (Virtual German Charters Network), started to digitize the charters of the Teutonic Order.
Good to know: Corresponding documents stored in the Central Archive of the Teutonic Order in Vienna (AT) as well as in the State Archive Marburg (DE) have also already been digitized by ICARUS — The documents will be online on Monasterium.net in the course of this year!
Have a look at these great articles (in German) about the project: