Ancient manuscripts conservation and recovery laboratory in Dagestan

Ancient manuscripts conservation and recovery laboratory in Dagestan

In May 2017 in Makhachkala on the basis of the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Dagestan Scientific Center of RAS supported by the Peri Foundation a unique laboratory was established to conserve and recover the ancient monuments of the written culture. It is the first laboratory to restore books in the North Caucasus equipped with the up-to-date devices that allow restoring the monuments of the Arabic-script written heritage of the peoples of Russia according to the best global practices.

The Foundation’s partner for this project is Juma Al Majid Heritage and Culture Center (the United Arab Emirates), a non-profitable charitable organization whose main purpose is to gather and to preserve the cultural and human heritage.

The Institute staff taking part in the project underwent a special training – in spring 2017 Dagestan restoration artists completed qualification extension courses and trainings in the UAE. 

The restoration laboratory consists of a number of rooms equipped with hi-tech devices. The staff has the facilities to produce the paper required for the restoration work and to carry out the sanitation of the manuscripts. Apart from that, it is a patient and time consuming labor of the restoration artists.

The restored manuscripts are kept in special boxes made of acid-free cardboard at the specific temperature conditions.

The laboratory is planning to restore not only the History, Archeology and Ethnography Institute holdings, but also the most precious pieces kept in the Republic’s National Museum, the State Archive of Dagestan, in the mosques and madrassas and in private collections.