Senior Capstone: Meeting Marjan and the Poetry Book


Hey all! So, I was completely brain dead yesterday after coming home from the gym, so to make up for not posting yesterday, I’ll most likely post two posts today. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet  Marjan Anvari, a conservator specializing in Medieval Middle Eastern manuscripts. She was really cool to talk to. I didn’t get an extensive interview with her just yet, but she made it clear that she would like to meet again to discuss possible future treatments. She also made it very clear that for an older manuscript, a conservator should try to avoid using chemical treatments on the gold leaf as much as possible. She stated that her method of conservation was very science heavy. She would receive a manuscript, and it would undergo analysis of a chemist before any treatments could take place by a conservator. One time, she received a manuscript that went over a year of analysis.

Detail shot of damage

For those of you who are taking the capstone with me. My senior project partly revolves around this Persian Poetry book, which was believed to be a much older book that had a rebinding in the 1811 AD and 1226 AH. Unfortunately, the actual text itself had the Arabic inscription “1226 AH” meaning, this book was most likely created well after the Medieval Period. Even so, gold leaf manuscripts have been around well into the Medieval period and if anything, this is a good opportunity to research what kind of Medieval inspiration this little book may have.


The content of the book itself is a frequently told Middle Eastern epic, of which I forgot to ask what the story was. Honestly, I was too distracted by the beautiful illustrations here. It’s suffered some damage, particularly near the binding.



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