Thursday, December 6, 2012

A day with Mamta at IGNCA

Last month I visited Delhi to meet one of my  closest blogger friend Glenda from Hawaii. She along with her husband David was on a week trip to India. We finally met and it was a dream come true. Read more on our dinner-meeting here - India: A friendship that transcends all boundaries. 
Though meeting Glenda and David was the highlight of my  Delhi visit, I also had and opportunity to visit various interesting places. IGNCA is one of them  where my younger sister Mamta works as a senior research fellow at conservation unit.
 As a centre for research, academic pursuit and dissemination in the field of arts IGNCA ( Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts) was established in 1987 as an autonomous institution under the Ministry Of Culture India.The Arts' encompassa wide range of subjects - from archaeology and
anthropology to the visual and performing arts, enveloping them in a complementary and non-demarcated vision. (info courtesy- IGNCA).
As we entered the building she showed me this interseting piece  of Australian Aboriginal rock art. Aboriginal rock art has been around for a long period of time.Traditionaly it is composed of organic colours and materials, but modern artists often use synthetic paints when creating aboriginal styles.
 Mamta took me to her lab where she and other senior reaearchers perform various conservation and preservation activities. I was greeted by her very nice and friendly colleague Nuruddin. Later he explained and demonstrated different process involved in preserving rare, old, valuable books.
Village Poems written by Dr. Manmohan Singh
Nuruddin showed me few books on which he is working at present. The above book titled Village Poem was surprising to me, all because it is written by non other than our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. Had no idea that he writes poetry . This book is from personal collection of Kapila Vatsayayan a leading Indian scholar of classical Indian dance and Indian art and architecture. She  donated her collection to the centre library. Kapila  was the founder-director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (Indira Kalakendra) in Delhi.
 The books looks brittle and hence is in need of repair and restoration.
The thin transparent tissue sheet you see above is called Japanese tissue. It is used in the conservation of books and manuscripts. It is a thin, strong handmade  paper made from vegetable fibers. The tissue comes in varying thicknesses and colors, and is used for a variety of mending tasks, including repairing tears, mending book hinges, and reinforcing the folds of signatures. 
 A Mylar sheet ( a heat resistant plastic sheet) is placed on a glass top .
Japanese tissue in a color close to that of the paper to be repaired is chosen. A strip of tissue is torn away from the main sheet using a water tear. This is done by wetting the paper along the area to be torn and then pulling sideways so as to have feathered edges. The fibers in these feathered edges  allow the tissue to have a firmer hold on the mended paper and also to blend in with it once dried.
 This is how the page looks once dried.
 Heavy felt sheets are used to press the treated papers.
They showed me one book cover which is recently mended.
A closer look.
Now the binding process .
The binding frame.

Enjoyed watching the process of book binding.
Another interseting book in line.

Amrita Shergil's book .
An original hand painted movie poster . Later I visited their library which was awesome and her colleagues were so kind to show and explain me the process of scanning manuscripts, books and documents and also the way books are microfilmed . All that and more in my next post.

86 comments:

  1. Wow ! Never knew they did all this. Thanks for doing this post , Kavita !

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  2. Wow Kavita! I always wondered how conservation was done, and you showed it in a lovely step-by-step manner. And I am off to reading your meet with your dear blogger friend.

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    1. I would have loved a complete month there. Thanks a lot for liking the post Rachna.

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  3. Wow!! That's so wonderful. Didn't know about the process, thanks for sharing it here!! :)

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  4. Definitely a privileged experience. I was not aware it took so much of efforts to preserve things.

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  5. Wow...never knew so much effort went into it. Thanks for sharing this with us. I am looking forward to your next post. :)

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  6. Kavita Ba, Thank you so for sharing nice post.Great to read.Waiting for your post.

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  7. Thanks Kavita...for showing our work so nicely.Mamta,nurruddin,Anil dwedi and anil verma-Conservation Lab,
    IGNCA,New-Delhi

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    1. My heartefelt thanks to all of you. And I apolozise for delay in bringing up this post.

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  8. Dear Didi,

    A very nice, interesting and informative post, never knew that our prime minister wrote poetry!! :)

    A picture speaks a thousand words, thanks for sharing so many photos explaining how the restoration of valuable books is done :)

    Will look forward to your next post, have a nice day,

    Take care, Sai :)

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    1. I read one or two of his poetry and trust me he is good. Thanks Sai.

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  9. WOW.. now that is a lot of hard work put into to preserve all that.

    and I had no clue that our pm writes poetry , awesome I would love to have that book as it says village poetry so i am assuming its about punjab and the roots

    Thank you for sharing :)

    Bikram's

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    1. Yes, it is about village and the roots, hope you get to buy this book online. Thanks Bikram.

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  10. So much of information :)
    On every post some really good things.I didn't knew people use to make paper from vegetable fibers..

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  11. Thank you for sharing.
    Incidentally,Mylar is a brand name of Polyester film manufactured by ICI and it is not plastic.

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    1. I will recheck the name from conservation people. I saw a huge role of these sheets and was told that is very expensive. Thanks Chowlaji.

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    2. Please recheck..but,I have sold Polyester Film for over 20 yrs

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  12. Read Gigi's account of your meeting. It was a really nice meet which I missed unfortunately!! The Japanese tissue and the whole process of book binding is amazing especially since you have shown it with pictures.

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    1. And we could have met too. Wanted to write more on book binding but left the idea. I am glad that you liked reading . Thanks Arti.

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  13. Lovely and interesting post . Thanks for sharing

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  14. Kavita, thanks for the link to my blog! And thanks for visiting us in New Delhi!

    As for the books, I used to work in a public library in Honolulu and was often given the task of repairing books. How I wish your sister had been there to assist me!

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  15. what important work so lovingly and carefully undertaken...

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  16. Thogh I have heard about the process of repairing old manuscripts and books, I haven't 'seen' them! Your photos and writing shows everything in detail. Very very interesting!

    Keep writing, Kavita!

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  17. Same here, although I was aware of conservation of old books etc., but your blog clearly helped me to understand how it is actually done. It is a painstaking art, and we are thankful to the people involved in it.

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  18. wow...this is really a wonderful post kavita ji....

    you have highlighted the whole process very nicely here, it does make us understand the entire process of how actually the consrvation of those valuable books being done....convey my sincere regards to all those envolved into it.....and thank you for sharing it here :)

    regards,
    irfan.

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    1. Good to see you back Irfanuddin. Thanks for reading and liking the post.

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  19. Interesting to read about the book restoration process. And why is our PM's name split as Man and Mohan? Good to know that he gave a shot at poetry too, must look it up online. Looking forward to your next post.

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    1. Great to see you back RGB. I asked the same question about his name split, got no answer. Thanks for reading :)

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  20. I remember you blogging about your sister before.

    Restoration of books made an interesting and insightful short post.
    Surely the institute could do a lot in restoring and salvaging the fresco and wall paintings that are being destroyed in many temples of South India.

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    1. I too remember you mentioning this before and last time too I had forwarded your message to conservation people. I will talk to them again and let you know.Anil, thanks a lot.

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  21. thanks for letting us know keeping us informed:)it very illustrative and informative ,,sometimes hard to know otherwise!
    nice to see you back.

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    1. Love learning new things, thought my friends might like this too,hence share. Thanks Harman.

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  22. These people doing great job by restoring art. I wish people also in general care for these treasures.

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    1. A very good point Rajesh. Thanks a lot.

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  23. wow, this is a great post....indeed it is such a painstaking job and these people seem to do a fab job of it!!

    hey I live in delhi too, would have loved to meet a fellow blogger from guwahati :)

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com/

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    1. We can always meet S,here or there:):) Thanks.

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  24. Kavitaji, being a bibliophile, I went through the post with great interest. I wish I could learn how to restore books. Do they teach such things there at the IGNCA? I remember reading about Mamta sometime ago. Kudos for her work!

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    1. You must visit their library Balan,Let me know whenever you want to go there to learn things about conservation. I will talk to Mamta,she will surely help you. Thank you Balan.

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  25. thats some professional and expert touch there...

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  26. This is so very interesting to see. Preservation is such a delicate art. I'm so glad you were able to see other things while you were in Delhi. It's fabulous that you were able to meet with Glenda and David, not to mention your brother and Ruprekha.

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    1. It was your letter that finally made me take that trip Kay. I cherish your friendship. Thanks for many things.

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  27. Very nice, Kavita! Village poems look interesting :-)

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    1. And Mr. PM looks cute on cover:) Thanks.

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  28. ✿✿°•.
    Restauração é arte!!!

    Bom domingo!
    Boa semana!
    Beijinhos.
    Brasil
    ¸.✿°°•.¸.¸•°♡⊱╮╮

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  29. very informative and interesting

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  30. This was very informative and I did not know that so much happens at this place, Kavita:)

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  31. Very informative; lovely post.

    www.anucreations.blogspot.in

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  32. Nice to read you once again ...
    Your sister has got a very unique job .

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    1. Everytime I see you here, I feel so happy Bhavya.

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  33. ★ ♫♫


    Bom domingo!Boa semana!
    Beijinhos.
    Brasil

    ❊..(
    ✿.(,)
    ❊|::::|.☆¸.¤ª“˜¨
    ✿|::::|)/¸.¤ª“˜¨˜“¨
    ❊|::¸.¤ª“˜¨¨˜“¨
    ✿%¤ª“˜¨¨☆☆☆☆
    ❊#ª“˜¨ ☆☆☆☆☆

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  34. Love and hugs to you Magia.
    ❊..(
    ✿.(,)
    ❊|::::|.☆¸.¤ª“˜¨
    ✿|::::|)/¸.¤ª“˜¨˜“¨
    ❊|::¸.¤ª“˜¨¨˜“¨
    ✿%¤ª“˜¨¨☆☆☆☆
    ❊#ª“˜¨ ☆☆☆☆☆

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  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  36. Hi Kavita jee

    I landed here from Mr. Chowla's blog. You have really shared a great knowledge resource for the process of restoration of books.

    Thanks for sharing a great resource.
    http://www.h4hitech.com

    Sapna

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    1. I am glad that you found the post useful. Thanks a lot.

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  37. Dr..great to be here...best wishes always

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    1. Thanks Ramesh. I am honored to have a friend like you.Regards and best wishes always.

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  38. That was good.
    Everything explained step by step. I think people who work here should have a passion and liking for it.

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    1. Hey, great to see you after so long Haddock. Thanks.

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  39. ✿¸.•♪
    º° ✿✿¸.•♪
    "O segredo do Natal está dentro da gente, reflita e viva-o intensamente."

    (⁀‵⁀,) ✫✫✫
    .`⋎´✫✫¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫
    ✫¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫✫
    .•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫✫✫ MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    Bom sábado!
    Bom fim de semana!
    Beijinhos.
    ¸.•°♡⊱╮╮

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  40. Definitely a privileged experience. I was not aware it took so much of efforts to preserve things. Travesti

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