The San Gemini and Narni Historic Archives Project

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Field Project -The City of San Gemini Historic Archives & Dioceses of Narni Historic Archives Document Restoration

Part of the work done by students in the paper restoration workshop involves material from the historic archives of the city of San Gemini and from the historic archives of the Diocese of the city of Narni. Besides educating students on the methods of paper restoration, part of the goal of the course is to help restore and preserve historic documents in these two archives.

Most of the material we work on from these archives is manuscripts in single sheets, or small pamphlets. Work of this type matches the time-frame and scope of work that can be done in our month long workshop. This work is very useful to the archives because it often is difficult to fund and organize intervention on small quantities of loose-leaf documents. All restoration work is done  by the students and faculty of the program and is authorized and supervised by the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archivistici del Umbria.

The material from the San Gemini Historic Archives consisted of single-sheet manuscripts, correspondence accounting and miscellaneous city records, from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. The material from the Narni Diocese Historic Archive are manuscript report from various parishes and church institutions, including pastoral visits done by the bishop to parishes, inventories of church properties, accounting  records and miscellaneous inspections reports. The documents are usually librettos of several sheets stitched together. They often have serious damage from water, insects, mice and acidic inks. In our program, the material was disassembled (taking great care not to lose any additional material), cleaned and treated.
Treatment usually involves various forms of cleaning (usually dry), de-acidification, lining weak papers with tissue to consolidate them, patching missing portions of paper and reassembly with new string and making acid free folders to hold each document. In letters, the tears caused by the breaking of the seals are not repaired because the damage was the result of the intended use of the document.

Sponsors and Collaborations

San Gemini Preservation Studies
Valorizzazione del Patrimonio Storico San Gemini
Comune di San Gemini
Diocesi di Terni, Narni e Amelia
Bilioteca ed Archivio Storico Comunale di San Gemini
Sovrintendenza Archivistica dell’Umbria

Instructors / supervisors:

Prof. Konstantinos Choulis
TA Viviana Nicoletti
TA Andreas Fatouros

San Gemini Historic Archives Restoration Workshop

Part of the SGPS philosophy is to combine, as much as possible, pedagogic activities and useful field work. In the paper restoration workshop we have been restoring for the last few years documents from the San Gemini Historic Archives. Usually single sheet manuscripts, records and letters, from the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries. The work involves the dry cleaning, consolidation and patching of the paper material. In the letters, the tears caused by the breaking of the seals were not repaired because the damage was the result of the intended use of the document.

Historic Archives of Narni Restoration Workshop


Digitization of the San Gemini Historic Archives

Part of the effort to restore the San Gemini Historic Archives includes the digitization of the documents in order to publish them on line and make them more accessible. San Gemini’s historic archives go back to the end of the 14th Century and they offer an interesting view from a small town’s perspective into the history of the period. Unfortunately access the archives are practically inaccessible to the public. This project aims to give  theses documents easily accessible globally.

Access the digital Archives