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Subject: Manuscript inks

Manuscript inks

From: Cathy Atwood <atwooc>
Date: Tuesday, May 1, 2001
I have been working with a 750 page manuscript that was executed
circa 1795-1806 in St. Louis, Missouri.  Half of each page is a plat
(done with water soluble black ink), and the other half is related
text (written with iron gall ink).  This document is a part of a
land survey collection which also shows this particular use of two

During cleaning I found tiny bits of feathers in the gutters, which
suggests the use of a quill pen for at least one of the inks.

Can you help with the following questions, or can you suggest a
source for information on this topic?

Why are two inks used?  If the black ink is carbon and gum arabic,
would it dry faster or be otherwise easier/better to use for
precision drawing than iron gall ink?  Can the finer lines of the
drawing (and its tiny notes) be better achieved with a metal nib
than a quill pen?  Might the manuscript have been created with a
combination of quill pens and metal nib pens?

Cathy Atwood
Missouri State Archives

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:58
                   Distributed: Tuesday, May 1, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-58-009
Received on Tuesday, 1 May, 2001

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