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Subject: Ink


From: Walter Henry <whenry>
Date: Sunday, June 28, 1992
The following exchange took place on MEDTEXTL and is reproduced here
without the knowledge or consent of the authors.

  Date:         Fri, 5 Jun 1992 08:05:41 CST
  Sender: "Medieval Text - Philology, Codicology,
                and Technology etc." <MEDTEXTL [at] UIUCVMD__bitnet>
  From: James Marchand <marchand [at] UX1__CSO__UIUC__EDU>
  Subject:      ink

  The subject of tintology is an interesting one, full of all kinds of
  pitfalls.  We are in a great position most of the time, since we have
  so many recipes for ink from the Middle Ages and earlier.  Two
  excellent guides to the subject are David Nunes Carvalho, Forty
  Centuries of Ink (1971), and Monique Zerdoun Bat-Yehouda, Les encres
  noires au moyen age. Editions du CNRS (Paris, 1983; ISBN
  2-222-02972-4).  The latter book has a good bib, which unfortunately
  does not include Carvalho.  We can now study the composition of the
  inks without invasion, though the amount of ink needed for a burn to
  do spectroscopy is quite small.  Paper chromatography and such
  techniques put us in the position of doing good ink work; it's just
  tedious and requires, as Robert points out, a lot of equipment.  I
  once made a proposal to the NEH for a grant to do all the OHG
  manuscripts, but I guess the logistics got them.

  Jim Marchand

  Date:         Sat, 6 Jun 1992 01:36:00 CDT
  Sender: "Medieval Text - Philology, Codicology,
                and Technology etc." <MEDTEXTL [at] UIUCVMD__bitnet>
  From: Gary Shank <P30GDS1 [at] NIU__bitnet>
  Subject:      more about ink...

  In regards to ink, here is a fact that few people know-- there are
  specific proportions of tracers put in batches of ink to help law
  enforcement people pinpoint the actual dating of a document.  A fraud
  case in southern Indiana was settled by showing that the defendant
  signed a 1988 document using 1990 ink!

  Think about how much easier your logistics would be if the good
  fathers of the middle ages had had the foresight of the FBI, jim
  gary shank, niu

      **** Moderator's comments:   I wrote to Mr. Shank and asked him
      for more info.  He said he used to work as a trial consultant and
      handled the above-mentioned fraud case, in which ink dating was
      involved. Although he wasn't in court for the lab technician's
      report, he remembers being told that "ink companies put a
      pre-determined percentage of marker into ink, and they change the
      percentage and formula every year."  Our redoubtable ex-intern Erich
      Jacobs knows an ink chemist who was kind enough to do a database
      search on the forensic analysis of inks and when we have followed
      up on it, the information will be reported here.

                   Conservation DistList Instance 6:6
                   Distributed: Sunday, June 28, 1992
                        Message Id: cdl-6-6-007
Received on Sunday, 28 June, 1992

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