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[BKARTS] Flattening rolled vellum pages



I've been presented with a preservation project that is somewhat out of my ken and I'm hoping I can ask for advice from the collective wisdom here..

My task is to house seven manuscripts dating from the 1400s -- three sheets of music, three illuminated pages taken from separate volumes, and a document that may be a property deed or some kind of legal agreement. All are written on what I think is vellum of varying thicknesses. The illuminated pages are decorated with gold initials in very good condition -- everything is in very good repair, in fact, except the more informal deed or letter, which has some tears at the edges and is pretty dirty and faded.

The immediate problem I'm facing, though, is that all of these items have been stored rolled-up, and they've curled up tight, possibly permanently. My initial ideas for storing them involved laying them flat, but is there any way to get them flat again? Right now I am trying to open them gently under weight but I'm not sure it's having any effect. Would anyone here have any idea how best to flatten these vellum pages, or do you think it's best to leave them rolled?

If anyone has advice for storage of these, as well, I'd appreciate your input too!

Thanks so much!
Carolee Harrison

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