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Subject: Removing ball-point pen ink

Removing ball-point pen ink

From: Per Cullhed <per.cullhed>
Date: Wednesday, December 16, 1998
Gregor Trinkaus-Randall asks for a method to remove ball-point pen
ink from the endsheet of a book. We recently had the delicate task
to do something similar. The Nobel prize laureate in literature,
Jose Saramago had signed in the library's guest-book and suddenly a
young guest did the same, immediately below the celebrated author.
We were asked to remove this addition.

Dry cleaning of ball-point ink is complicated as the ink smears, and
removing the ink with strong solvents, such as dimethylformamide, is
risky as the ink may dissolve and migrate in the paper. Our solution
to the problem was to use a mini sandblaster (Mikromat 100) and blow
the powder almost parallel to the paper surface. This removed the
signature. The paper surface always suffer from such a treatment, as
paper fibres also are removed, but now our young guest is evident
more as a blind impression in the paper, than as a signature.

Per Cullhed
Head of Conservation
Uppsala University Library,Sweden

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:52
               Distributed: Wednesday, December 16, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-52-001
Received on Wednesday, 16 December, 1998

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