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DMA and solid state 13C NMR techniques were used to measure historical parchment samples within the framework of the project (MAP) Micro Analysis of Parchment (EC contract No. SMT4-96-2101) in collaboration with the School of Conservation in Copenhagen. DMA was used in both thermal scan and creep modes. Thermal scans provided information on the transitions associated with the collagen polymer. Microthermal analysis was also used to obtain information on the topography and thermal conductivity of sample areas of 100 μm. Localised heating enabled measurements of softening transitions in the sample. This behaviour is influenced by the chemical composition of parchment. 13C NMR provided information on the carbon atoms associated with the polypeptide chains of the collagen in parchment. The behaviour of samples immersed in water and measured in DMA creep mode was used to measure the shrinkage behaviour of the parchment samples. The different but complementary techniques provided a means for characterising the physicochemical state of parchment samples.

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