This is quite exciting to a genealogy-geek. This morning I picked up the parchment manuscript from the conservator. She did a fine job of humidifying the two sheets so that they would lie, well almost flat. They are now enclosed in protective polyester to protect them from further deterioration.
The pages are a little too large to fit on my scanner but I got all the text. I think the yellowed edges and defects add character and authenticity. I hope to find a way to get the entire document scanned or photographed to show off its true beauty.
Considering its aged appearance,I thought that this was the original declaration of nobility from 1638. It isn’t. However, it was written in 1807 and references earlier occasions when various generations of the Édes clan officially reaffirmed their noble status.
Wikipedia has a good description of parchment “a thin material made from hide; often calfskin, sheepskin or goatskin, and often split. Its most common use was as a material for writing on . . . It is distinct from leather in that parchment is limed but not tanned; therefore, it is very reactive to changes in relative humidity and is not waterproof”. One of Béla’s papers referred to it a dogskin. According to my friends at Wikipedia.hu and Sensagent it was a colloquial expression but sometimes also a fact that dog skin was used. But I know my forebears were dog people so don’t worry about it.
The incorporation of the Hungarian crest in the ‘N’ on the first page in ‘Nos universitatis’ is perfect. I wonder if the original declaration of nobility incorporated colored illumination.
Later, I will work on transcribing and translating the document. But here it is to admire for now.