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Subject: InkCor


From: Gillian Boal <gboal<-a>
Date: Friday, September 9, 2005
"Organic bath saves paper from decay
Scavenging copper from ancient inks stops archives falling
apart." by Jennifer Wild
News from
Published online: 6 September 2005


   "... Jana Kolar, head of the InkCor project based at the National
    and University Library of Slovenia in Ljubljana, and her
    colleagues sought to uncover the exact constituents of
    [Medieval] inks.  ...

   "Kolar and her team noticed that some ancient recipes specified
    that the ink should be a "heavenly blue" rather than coal black.
    So they suspected that the main ingredient could be copper, from
    blue copper sulphate, rather than iron.

   "...[T]he inks contained copper, as well as chromium and
    manganese, which together are more corrosive than iron alone.

   "They turned their focus to free radical scavengers and
    antioxidants, the same compounds that stop cellular damage in
    humans by tying up particularly reactive atoms. ...

   "The InkCor process combines antioxidants and halides, to stop
    the degradation, with alkalies to make the paper less acidic.
    The whole thing is in an organic solution of heptane and
    ethanol, both of which evaporate and so can be removed from
    paper easily.

Could anyone on the DistList speak to this and explain the process

    **** Moderator's comments: For background, See Jana Kolar's
    introduction to this project in Conservation DistList Instance:
    16:12 Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Gillian Boal

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:14
               Distributed: Saturday, September 10, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-19-14-014
Received on Friday, 9 September, 2005

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