Using Erasers to Reveal

Conservator for Library Collections, Eliza Gilligan, has been collaborating with a team of experts from the humanities and natural sciences in a project designed by UVA medieval scholar Bruce Holsinger to study the origins of “uterine vellum,” a material used in the 13th century to produce the first miniature Bibles in Europe. Gilligan obtained samples to analyze for protein content using special erasers for cleaning documents. According to Gilligan, the ability of current technology to analyze “miniscule pieces of parchment picked up by the act of rubbing it with an eraser … will have a great impact on scholarship.”

Read more about Holsinger’s project in UVA Today.

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