Adotta un documento – Save a document project


Friday 20 May 2022



Archives and libraries preserve their historical heritage and grant access to those who need to consult them. The continuous use and the effects of the passing of time provoke wear and tear. Thereby, it is necessary to face the problem of its conservation by making sure that researchers and enthusiasts can get the chance to explore it.

The restorer as a leading expert comes into play. Over the years, professionals in the fields have dealt with books and documents damaged by humans and woodworms or humidity. They repaired papers and ligatures and gave new life to those faded inks by copying missing parts of a text. All that work makes them readable again. They worked on commission and under the close supervision of archivists and librarians.


– Why save a document?
– How does the project work?
– How much does it cost to restore any document?
– How can I contribute to this project?

Why save a document?

The Parish Archive of the Mother Church of Padula preserves the story of our ancestors and the life of our small town. Over the centuries, it lost some pieces, but there are still many documents to save. The books underwent the damages caused by the time need urgent restoration. That pushed the Parish of San Michele Arcangelo and the Museo del Cognome – Family History Museum – to invite everyone to contribute to the “Adotta un documento” – Save a document project.

How does the project work?

Save an old book, a scroll, a manuscript, or any archival papers that need urgent restoration. Your name will be listed along with the restored item.

The new project is a fund-raising whose goal is to restore several archival units dating from the sixteenth century onward. The most damaged items have priority. They will be analyzed by a professional expert. The number of pieces that will be restored depends on the number of donations we can put up.

A list of items that need to be saved will be available on this website and at the Mother Church of San Michele Arcangelo in Padula.

Once the restoration is complete, the documents will be kept in the parish archive. They will be available to historians, scholars, researchers, or enthusiasts: a piece of our town’s History will be safe. The Museum will provide the donators with a letter reporting the results of the restoration work. The name of the contributors will be listed on the folder of the item finally restored.

How much does it cost to restore any document?

The cost for restoration depends on the damage and conditions of the item, not on its historical value.

From a previous analysis by professional restorers, the collection displays a severe deterioration, particularly the sheets. They detected worm-eaten papers, acid inks, water, mold stains, and damaged covers. It is necessary for an urgent and specific restoration work listed below:

  • Controlled atmosphere disinfestation;
  • Analysis of the numbering and ordering, dry cleaning with soft brushes;
  • Ink lab tests and study on pH papers;
  • Detachment and unstitching of papers;
  • Cleansing, deacidification, and gluing treatment;
  • Repair of holes and tears;
  • Original rebinding;
  • Restoration of the original leather and parchment ligatures and a durable cardboard box for preservation.

It will be necessary to use materials and tools with specific characteristics to preserve the documents. Each of them will include a technical file and will be tested by the Competent Bodies in conserving works of art.

Find an estimate of costs of restoration – upon evaluation of every single case – from the type of damage to the size of the support – below:

  • Restoration of a single sheet 5-10 euros
    Estimated items: 50 volumes, 18 box files of single sheets for a rough number of 20.000 sheets
  • Restoration of a scroll: 100-300 euros
    Estimated scrolls: 124

How can I donate?

You can offer your help by paying a sum, or a token price will be appreciated. 

Choose the following method of payment as follows: 

  • PayPal account: – Description: “Adotta un documento”

  • Transfer money to the PostePay card no. 5333171163819358 – payable to Giuseppe Radesca – Description: “Adotta un documento”

  • Bank transfer : IBAN: IT49M3608105138276450376451 – BIC/SWIFT: PPAYITR1XXX – Description: “Adotta un documento”

If you have already donated, please fill out the form below. You will get the donation certificates and updates on the project’s process.

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