Middle East Falconry Archive
The International Fund for Houbara Conservation, Abu Dhabi, UAE is building a library of seminal manuscripts on the history of falconry. As the originals are dispersed in libraries around the world, creating exact facsimiles is the only way to ‘acquire’ this collection.
Facsimile Editions was commissioned to make museum-quality facsimiles of three manuscripts: Or 8187 in the British Library, London and Marsh 148 and Hunt 348 in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. These facsimiles now form part of the foundation of the Middle East Falconry Archive.
* All images on this page are taken from the published facsimiles.
Each of the three manuscripts is unique and required specialist materials for its reproduction. Two hundred facsimiles and 20 ‘museum quality’ facsimiles were produced of each manuscript.
Paper – The weight, opacity and texture of the paper used in each manuscript were matched in its facsimile.
Proofing – ‘Wet’ proofs were made on the same paper as that used for the facsimiles to enable accurate comparison with the original manuscripts. Corrections and new proofs where made as necessary.
Printing – While the manuscripts were not illuminated, they all required attention to the colours to give the finished facsimile the aura of the original. We are present at the press to compare our corrected proofs and ‘pass’ each sheet for printing.
Binding – Wherever holes, scuffing or damage appears in the manuscript, it was reproduced by hand in the facsimiles. The originals damage and repairs are reproduced using several types of skins and special processes.
The buckram cover of one binding was reproduced by coating linen with a special varnish and stamping the textured ‘feel’ onto the varnish.
Commentary – Specialist scholars were commisioned to write essays to accompany each facsimile.
Solander boxes and presentation – The facsimiles were individually protected in suede-lined boxes.
Accurate reproduction of ‘repairs’.
Hand-torn edges and bookworm.
The ravages of time: scuffing, wear and tear.
Ms. Marsh 148 – Bodleian Library, Oxford
Making the facsimiles, an interview with the International Fund for Houbara Conservation
Ms. Hunt 348 – Bodleian Library, Oxford
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