~ Study day ~

Fire survivors

Contribution of imaging techniques to the study of Chartres manuscripts



The prestigious manuscript collection in the Municipal Library at Chartres was the historical witness of an entire region and especially of the celebrated cathedral school, one of the greatest European intellectual centres of the 11th and 12th centuries. On 26 May 1944 the library was bombed and fire destroyed many of the manuscripts. Of the 518 medieval manuscripts catalogued in 1890, around 220 survive; some are almost intact, others are charred blocks, many are shrivelled fragments. Extremely fragile and often difficult to identify, the books and leaves have remained inaccessible to scholars for more than seventy years.


Town Hall of Chartres after the bombing in 26 May 1944



The project REMAC - A la REcherche des MAnuscrits de Chartres, funded by the Fondation des Sciences du Patrimoine (LabEx PATRIMA), has started in 2017 in France. This french collaborative research gathers historians and scientists from the Research Center for Conservation in Paris [Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation - CRC], the Institute for Research and Text History [Institut de recherche et d'histoire des textes - IRHT], the University of Saint Quentin en Yvelines [laboratoire Dynamiques Patrimoniales et Culturelles - DYPAC], and the Chartres media Library [médiathèque de Chartres] in France. The team is currently working on the use of different imaging techniques to retrieve the written content in the damaged manuscript, focusing on simple methods in order to include these highly damaged manuscripts to the online database (http://www.manuscrits-de-chartres.fr/). In parallel, research is being developed with the Laboratory of Optics and Biosciences [Laboratoire d'Optique et Biosciences - LOB] to set up new imaging and microscopy techniques to assess the degradation state of parchments.


A study day is organised to present, to a broad audience, different aspects of the research project, from the perspective of historians, imaging scientists, conservators...and will also include presentations from other research teams in Europe concerned with improving the reading and the conservation of damaged manuscripts.


With the exception of the invited lecture (in English), all presentations will be given in French.

This One-day conference will take place at the Médiathèque l'Apostrophe in Chartres on 17th November 2017.


Registration is free but mandatory (subject to availability).


Acceuiln3.jpg  Fragment from a manuscript of Chartres : photography under normal light and UV light

Online user: 1