This Omer calendar scroll is hand-painted and calligraphied on a continuous strip of goatskin vellum, rolled on a pair of wooden spools. Over time the vellum became heavily buckled and fragile, making it impossible to unroll more than twelve inches at a time. The challenge was to provide an archival mount which would preserve and protect the fragile manuscript, and also allow the owner to scroll through it at will.
(Above) Omer scroll upon arrival to The Center
I started with a strong substrate of a wooden frame, acid-free foam board and 100% rag museum board, and covered it in black linen. The middle section of the scroll was then supported by a linen-covered raised platform made from acid-free foam board and 4-ply museum board, facilitating an even and flat layout of the calendar.
The spools were then secured to the backing board with two pairs of loops made from framing linen and 2-ply museum board. I threaded these through the backing board and secured them to the underside with Velcro closures making it easy to repeatedly move through the calendar without compromising the security of the mount.
Above Left: Front of the mount showing Velcro closures; Right: Detail of adjustable loops
The calendar is further protected from atmospheric and mechanical harms by a vitrine made with UV-filtering Plexiglas. This material not only blocks 97% of damaging UV light, but also offers clear views of the scroll from all sides. The enclosure of the mounted calendar in the vitrine successfully concluded the conservation process, and fulfilled the client’s expectations of complete protection, permanent display and full mobility for this precious artifact.
(Above) Omer encased in custom mount and vitrine.