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A rare manuscript on display at the Qasr Al Watan, the Palace of the Nation in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Dozens of precious manuscripts – some as old as 120 years – are on display at the Qasr Al Watan, the Palace of the Nation in Abu Dhabi.

The preservation of these valuable manuscripts involves a careful process by trained professionals, an important part of which is the periodic rotation of texts in order to contain the atmospheric impact on them.

In a statement and accompanying video, Qasr Al Watan detailed the delicate procedure undertaken for the rotations by the Collection Department.

“Under the close supervision of the Collection Department at Qasr Al Watan, every ancient text undergoes a fragile preservation process to protect rare and valuable documents, from cover to cover With manuscripts as old as 120 years, this [periodic rotation] process ensures that valuable documents housed in the library can continue to be enjoyed for generations to come,” the statement said.

The rotation of each text is carried out every three months, and is based on scientific studies that study the impact of the light in a controlled setting and the atmospheric element surrounding it.

“Whilst appearing to be relatively simple, the process is extremely delicate in execution. It is undertaken by a group of highly trained professionals in collection care, wherein a member of the Collection Department wears gloves before assuming the position of book handler,” the statement explained.

“The book handler slowly removes the book from its display before using a fine steel tool to slowly turn each individual page, careful not to leave any marks on the texts. This allows the remaining pages to ‘breathe’ so as not to expose the same two pages to the open air for too long,” it added.

Since its opening in March 2019, Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi has given visitors a glimpse of rare manuscripts and literature, which are housed at its House of Knowledge exhibit and its Library.

“By exhibiting these rare manuscripts, Qasr Al Watan has transported visitors to past eras through the timeless teachings of countless philosophers and thinkers that have shaped history. Visitors looking to delve into the deepest depths of world history, observe intricate calligraphy or connect with the inked commentaries of philosophers don’t need to look further than the manuscripts housed here,” the Qasr Al Watan statement said.