While visiting Konya we saw in the map “ancient manuscripts library”, and we decided that it could be one of the things worth to visit, together with the Mevlana museum and the Shams I Trabizi mausoleum.
Well, it was not exactly what we thought it would be, but it turned out to be extremely interesting, after some confusing moments.
After getting a bit lost we got to the library, and as we entered the security people, after not understanding what we wanted, sent us to a really fancy office. I guess that in other circumstances we would have gone away, knowing that there was some kind of misunderstanding. But as by now we always welcome the unexpected, we stayed.
I think they thought that we had some manuscript we wanted to sell, but we explained we just wanted to see the library and the restoration center. They were so surprised that they called someone to show us around.
It turns out you can’t see the manuscripts, but they have them in CDs, and if you are unable to go see them there, you can ask them and they will send them to you electronically. If you are interested you can take a look here.
Then they took us to the restoration room and it was the most interesting part of the visit. One of the women there was fixing some manuscripts that got eaten by worms. They were adding paste, really slowly, of the same color of the paper.
There were lots of manuscripts that were damaged because they got too wet, and now they were drying.
They were also fixing the cover of several volumes, and they told us that the hardest thing is to get the leather thin enough to be able to use. They even asked Javi if he could help.
So at the end we didn’t only see manuscripts but also saw how the keep and fix them. So in your next visit to Konya remember, pretend you want to sell some ancient manuscripts and the will show you around!