Il restauro del manoscritto autografo Diario spirituale di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola
The manuscript Diario spirituale (1544-45), held in the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu (ARSI) in Rome, is the only surviving autograph by Ignatius of Loyola. Not intended for readers, the manuscript was soon given the veneration due to a sacred object. Affected by a severe degradation induced by iron gall inks, often resulting in burn-through, in the first half of 20th century it was repaired and the leaves lined recto/verso with silk in order to reduce the risk of paper fragmentation. As nothing was done to chemically counteract the acidity, damages have resulted. In 2017 the Diario spirituale underwent a new conservation treatment aimed at inhibiting the degradation and improving its general chemical, physical and aesthetic condition. As this paper will present, a range of activities and professional skills have to be drawn on in order to fully understand the historical value of the manuscript, to examine its material features, to assess its condition, to plan and to ensure the success of the conservation intervention.