The Biological Laboratory is the first gate through which manuscript restoration passes

The Manuscript Restoration Center of the Library and House of Manuscripts of the al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine includes a number of departments that work together to preserve the manuscript heritage, restore it and maintain it by modern scientific methods, and preserve it from decay and damage resulting from the aging, weather conditions and human interference.

The Biological Laboratory is the first gate through which the manuscript restoration works pass, and the main pillar in preserving the heritage.

The director of the aforementioned center, Mr. Laith Lutfi, told Al-Kafeel Network: “The biological laboratory is one of the most important departments in the center, in which the initial and important stages are conducted, and the focal point for the rest of the stages that the manuscript restoration is going through."

He added: "The laboratory contains advanced devices and equipment in harmony with a specialized staff, and it gives data and information about the status of the manuscript, its extent of influence, nature and degree of influence, according to precise scientific standards and measures."

Lotfi explained: "The laboratory performs a number of works, the most important of which are:

  • Detecting and investigating the presence of microorganisms, limiting their growth, and methods of treating them.
  • Identifying and detecting insect infestations and determining the type of insect, as well as detecting exposal of the manuscript to rodents.
  • Preparing for the detection of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi).
  • Sterilization and treatment of infected manuscripts in microorganisms, using special sterilization devices according to the extent of damage of each manuscript.
  • Determining the type and nature of the old paper fibers used in manuscripts.
  • Examination of the strength and durability of old skins using a microscope, as well as some chemical reagents to determine the suitability of the skin for restoration and treatment.
  • Sterilization of tools and equipment used in the work."

He pointed out that: "The laboratory staff has a periodic inspection of all the contents of the manuscript and document treasury, monitoring the storage conditions and treating any damage, as well as following up and inspecting the storage conditions according to each manuscript."
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