Friday, October 02, 2009

Travellers Conservation Copy Stand

The Friends of CSNTM newsletter reports that the the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscript (CSNTM) has received a donation that allows them to purchase their own The Traveller’s Conservation Copy Stand. The stand is the best availabe tool to protect the manuscripts as they are photographed. With the copy stand the CSNTM will apparently be able to cut costs for the average manuscript photography with one third (appr. $1000). The newsletter also reports that photography expeditions to the Bavarian State Library in Munich, Germany and to the Byzantine Museum in Athens, Greece are on the schedule.

I understand that the CSNTM staff already has some experience working with the The Traveller’s Conservation Copy Stand. In this report from June by Daniel Wallace you can see the copy stand in action in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library; a.k.a. the BSB) where the CSNTM staff took up the challenge to photograph the oversized majuscule Gregory-Aland 0142. They had then been able to borrow the tool from the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung.

The Traveller’s Conservation Copy Stand was first developed by a team of the Conservation Department of the University Library Graz (read more here). From 2006 the department is linked to a cross-department research center, VESTIGIA, at the University of Graz. For more information see the webpage of VESTIGIA Manuscript Research Centre of the Graz University.


  1. I hope that they will photograph X/033 then and put the images online!

    Btw. how expensive is this copystand? I mean, almost every university has a machine shop or so, that can build such a thing, basically for free. At least our uni could do this.

  2. Wieland, the copy stand, as I understand, costs over $12000!

  3. X/033 is in the University Library in Munich not in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, where CSNTM has worked in June and is going to work some time next year.

    The copystand as described is a tool that has been designed to combine two antagonistic objectives: (1) highest standards from the conservation point of view,
    (2) maximum speed for processing the objects.

    It is under constant development and refinement, and when you order one you can negotiate new features, hence have the tool customized within the confines of its basic design.

    I think, it is a big statement that CSNTM are going to add this tool to their equipment. After all, CSNTM is highly professional, very experienced and they have developed effective working routines on their own. Hence, they must be convinced that it adds value to their work flow.

    Of course, european universities have work shops. But I doubt that they build anything for free. They all spend public money. It is just not billed (yet), but that is going to change.

  4. I think it would be wise to do X/033 while they are in Munich, not? Or is the library uncooperative?

    They all spend public money. It is just not billed
    Right, or course.