Directorate of Intellectual and Cultural Affairs. This is how we deal with documents and manuscripts

The Department of Intellectual and Cultural Affairs at the Al-Abbas's (p) holy shrine is concerned with the safety of documents and manuscripts after examination through the Biological Laboratory.

"The task of the laboratory is to examine documents and manuscripts biologically, to ensure their safety and preserve the safety of those working on them from fungal, bacterial and insect infections," said Ali Mohammed Jassim, assistant director of the al-Fadl Center for heritage maintenance and preservation.

He added that "any modern document or manuscript entering the Library and the House of Manuscripts of the Al-Abbas's (p) holy shrine is examined to find out the type of paper or leather used in the packaging, and sterilized before entering the fortified room".

Regarding the stages of inspection and sterilization, Jassim explained, "the first stage is to detect problems that are either microscopic and caused by fungi and bacteria, or visible caused by rodents and insects, after which the process of examining the strength and durability of the papers and determining their quality and the nature of their fibers is carried out.

"The third stage is to take swabs from all the papers, and these swabs are placed in the incubator for 48 hours to find out the quality of the infection, and if the manuscript is infected, it is placed in a sterilization device containing ethanol alcohol, butane and distilled water for 72 hours," he added.

Jassim attributed the reason for the infection of documents and manuscripts to the fact that "papers and inks are made of natural materials, so they are highly susceptible to infection by fungi, bacteria and insects," pointing out that "infection of documents occur due to temperature changes or incorrect storage, while leather is infected in case of poor storage or exposure to high humidity and heat.
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