1. THE IDEA
The „European Research Centre for Book and Paper Conservation-Restoration“ is an international interdisciplinary bottom-up initiative for research into the particular areas requiring accumulation of deeper knowledge about methods of appropriate and timely preservation of written and graphic heritage and bringing them from labs to users in an optimal way.
In view of the above, the key aims of the Centre are
- to execute, initiate and support research in the field of book and paper conservation-restoration
- to communicate and disseminate research results to those who can apply them to the heritage.
2. THE BEGINNINGS (2010-2017)
In 2011, the Centre’s own first international conference with more than 150 participants and speakers from 50 European countries, USA, Japan, India and Australia defined the most demanding research topics of the Centre. The three big problems, which destroy 80% of Europe’s written heritage:
- Wood-pulp paper decay
- Mould attack
- Ink corrosion
- Further development of the conservation theory and conservation value system and a number of smaller topics, like collagen material decay and
- intangible aspects of tangible heritage, were also recognized as important areas of research.
Disaster protection and first response in case of disaster was perceived as an important subordinate activity of the Centre right from the beginning
Dissemination of research results was also performed right from the beginning in a way that was found suitable by the community (one-week courses delivered by experts in very special areas, with the first such course delivered for one week after the initial conference).
Thus, the above areas comprehensively cover (1) research, (2) dissemination of research results.
- Wood pulp paper decay: DEACIMIC FFG Lead (patent) and NanoKult aws prototype
- Mould attack: Men and Books initiator (EUproject), Stop Fungi
- Ink corrosion: Armenian paper, Armenian inks (with ERASMUS students)
- Conservation theory/ intangible aspects in tangible heritage: Affandi II
- Other topics, like historical book binding techniques, etc.: Sinai III
By now the dissemination of materials is based on the results of the Centre’s own research in the following forms:
- ERASMUS Students and Staff exchange (outgoing teaching in other universities)
- A series of publications
- The Centre´s periodical “Conservation Update”, a double blind peer reviewed journal with ISBN and DOI. https://conservationupdate.com/
- Publications in others papers/books
- Invitations to conferences as invited speaker
- Performance of own conferences
- MuLiBiNe is a search engine providing continuously increasing numbers of relevant publications and searchable in 20 languages performed by a team of conservators and scientists working on a voluntary basis.
- Since 2021 the Centre established an award sytem which includes presentations by the awardees. These presentations are available as video lectures.
- Since 2022 a chapter Questions and Answers is started. There experts answer questions on conservation. Also these anwers are available for free.
The “excellent quality for low cost” policy of the Centre is only possible due to the professional work of over 50 conservators, historians, scientists, and other related to heritage preservation experts on a voluntary basis.
The Centre’s day-to-day operations are run by
- an interdisciplinary international board working on voluntary basis
- representatives of the Centre of over 30 European countries and beyond working on voluntary basis
- the team of the journal “Conservation Update" (chief editors, peers, proof readers and layouter) working on voluntary basis
- the webmaster working on voluntary basis
- An increasing number of conservators using the offers of the Centre
- Widening ongoing research activity