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An analytical study on the relationship between the fungal degradation and multi-component nature of paper manuscripts

Maisa Mohamed Ali Mansour (Conservation Department, Faculty of Archeology, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt)
Rushdya Rabee Ali Hassan (Conservation Department, Faculty of Archeology, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt)
Salwa Moustafa Amer Mahmoud (Conservation Department, Faculty of Archeology, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt)
Youssif Mohamed Akl (Ministry of Antiquities, Cairo, Egypt)

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 6 January 2021

Issue publication date: 12 July 2021

276

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify the most common fungal species that grow on paper manuscripts and cause bio-deterioration. It also detects the impact of additive materials on fungal degrading and builds a wide database. Thus, it helps conservators understand this phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 15 samples were collected from different paper manuscripts suffering from fungi. The achievement of the study objectives depends on using a variety of analyzes, such as a microbiological study, which indicated that three main fungi grew on the paper samples. Then, a digital microscope and an environmental scanning electron microscope were used to detect the effect of fungi on paper fibers. Fourier transform infrared microscopy was used to identify the binding medium and the X-ray diffraction method was used to measure the crystallinity index of cellulose of the paper samples.

Findings

Arabic gum was used as a binder medium with the samples. Aspergillus Niger, Aspergillus Fumigatus and Aspergillus Clavatus were the most common fungal species that grew on the Qur’an papers under investigation. They also caused much common damage to the paper samples. The results of the analyzes also showed that the highest crystallinity index of cellulose was in the samples that contained the lowest rate of fungal growth.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the relationship between fungal degradation and the multi-component nature of paper manuscripts. It builds a wide database that correlates the composition and the degradation of the Qur’an papers.

Keywords

Citation

Mansour, M.M.A., Ali Hassan, R.R., Moustafa Amer Mahmoud, S. and Akl, Y.M. (2021), "An analytical study on the relationship between the fungal degradation and multi-component nature of paper manuscripts", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 50 No. 4, pp. 309-318. https://doi.org/10.1108/PRT-07-2020-0074

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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