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Subject: Iron gall ink

Iron gall ink

From: Michael Maggen <maggen>
Date: Thursday, February 28, 2002
Richard Aitken <richard [at] wyasbrad__demon__co__uk> writes

>I have read an article recently on ways to remove acid from iron
>gall inks. On of the methods described was the use of an envelope
>made of "Hollytex" and supporting the document in the envelope and
>immersing in boiling water. The article does not mention the length
>of time.

This practice of removing acidity from ferro gall writings was first
introduced by Frank Morey in the last IPC conference in London.  As
many participants were curious at the time to learn more about this
technique, there were many questions concerning the effects of high
temperature with the treated object mainly the paper and its
components (sizing, texture, fragile fibers, etc.). The duration of
the process, as I recall, was only a few seconds after the water
reached boiling point.  My personal impressions were that this
practice still needed more research and data concerning the effect
of high temperature of ink properties.  Mainly the ink physical
structure and its chemistry during such high temperature.  It is
true that the results showed that the ink was neutralized however,
we still need to learn more data in order to understand the process
and its long term effects.

Michael Maggen
Head of paper conservation
The Israel Museum Jerusalem
POB 71117, Jerusalem 91071
+972 2 6708808
Fax: +972 2  65331833

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:60
                  Distributed: Tuesday, March 5, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-60-003
Received on Thursday, 28 February, 2002

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