October 29, 2019

Tracing the circuit of paper in medieval times

Anne Regourd looking for watermarks on old manuscripts at the IMRS
I met Anne Regourd for the first time at the IMRS (Institute Mauritanien de recherche scientifique) I had phoned her and asked if I could come around and sketch her while she worked and surprising she said yes.

I discovered she was looking for watermarks and others marks on manuscripts to be able to identify the origin from the paper and which paths it took to arrive around the world in this case Africa.
Its like an approach to global history through the paper trade.

I learned that the most important areas of paper manufacturing in Medieval times were Spain and Italy. But that was  hundreds of years later. China invented paper as we know it in AD 105 learn about the story of paper  here.
I also discovered the beautiful collection of manuscripts and one of its research professor Taleb Ahmed from Ouadane.

Manuscripts du IMRS, Nouakchott

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