Conservation of the Draft 39 Articles

The conservation and rebinding of CCC MS 121, Synodalia, is now partially completed.  This manuscript, comprising sixteenth century material relating to convocations and visitations, also contains two drafts of the 39 Articles of Faith, the founding document of the Church of England,  both dated 1562 and  countersigned by the  bishops.

The conservation of the manuscript, by the Cambridge Colleges’  Conservation Consortium, has involved the complete disbinding of the manuscript. It was decided to remove the two drafts of the 39 Articles, one  of which is in Latin, the other in English and bind them separately.  This will enable them to be displayed side by side in exhibitions.  The rest of the manuscript is still undergoing conservation, and will be put into separate fascicules.

Here are the two drafts, in their new bindings:

Extract from the conservation report, written by Melvin Jefferson, Conservation Officer:

The drafts were sewn with linen thread, incorporating endleaves of Roger Powell handmade paper with concealed aero-linen joints, to make two separate pamphlet-style books.  (The final draft was sewn with a pamphlet stitch as it is only one section, but the first draft was sewn on linen tapes.)  Split boards, made from archival millboard lined with Archive Text paper, were then attached to the pamphlets, with recesses cut into the surface to make the blind lines around the edges of the boards and to accommodate Parker’s crest, blocked in gold on vellum, on the front board.  The books were then covered with alum-tawed calfskin, which was tooled with small gold stars at the corners of the boards to reflect the star on the crest.  Recesses were cut in the insides of the front boards to take another vellum crest before the boardsheets were put down.

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