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Subject: Removing ink from bone

Removing ink from bone

From: Irene F. Karsten <ikarsten<-a>
Date: Friday, June 3, 2005
Has anyone successfully removed ink accession numbers that were
written directly on bone? We are dealing with the removal of
accession numbers from human remains that are to be repatriated. The
numbers were written directly onto the bone in the 1960s in what was
probably India ink. Many of the bones are very small and delicate.
Initial attempts to remove the numbers using solvents in a manner
that successfully removed numbers written over nailpolish resulted
in slight lightening only.  Review of literature and Cons DistList
archives on ink removal suggests that full removal without damage to
the surface of the bone might be impossible.  We are currently in
discussion as to what is the greatest priority: removal of numbers
or preservation of the bone surface.  We would greatly appreciate
ideas on safe removal of such numbers from anyone who has done so

Irene F. Karsten
Museum Conservator
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:56
                  Distributed: Saturday, June 4, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-18-56-043
Received on Friday, 3 June, 2005

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