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Subject: Presentation on iron gall ink manuscripts

Presentation on iron gall ink manuscripts

From: Gary Saretzky <gsaretzk>
Date: Thursday, February 8, 2007
Princeton Preservation Group Meeting
Monmouth County Library, Meeting Room 4/5
125 Symmes Drive
Manalapan, NJ 07726
February 20, 2007

    "Innovative Paper Conservation at the Conservation Center for
        Art and Historic Artifacts: Treatment of Iron Gall Ink
    Soyeon Choi and Glen Ruzicka
    Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, Philadelphia

Documents created with iron gall ink are a challenge for archivists,
librarians, and conservators.  According to the Ink Corrosion
Website, <URL:>, "Over time,
depending on the recipe used in manufacture, and the storage
conditions of the object, iron gall ink can cause the degradation of
paper or other supports. This process is called 'iron gall ink
corrosion.' Chemical processes cause the slow deterioration of the
ink. Turning from blue-black to dark brown, it can actively 'eat'
its way through to the back of the paper. This can eventually lead
to the total loss of the paper wherever the ink was applied."  At
the PPG meeting, Soyeon Choi and Glen Ruzicka will describe the
calcium  phytate and calcium bicarbonate treatment used at CCAHA to
stabilize iron gall ink, as well as other measures to preserve such

Soyeon Choi, Senior Conservator, CCAHA

    Ms. Choi has been on the staff of the Conservation Center for
    Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) in Philadelphia since 2002.
    She received her B.S. in chemistry at the Pohang University of
    Science and Technology in Korea in 1992. She completed her
    masters course work in oriental art history at the Ewha Womans
    University in Korea in 1996 while working as a pre-program
    intern at the conservation labs at the Ho-Am Art Museum.  She
    was a recipient of a three-year full scholarship for studying
    abroad in the field of art from the Samsung Foundation of
    Culture.  She received her M.A. and Certificate of Advanced
    Study in Conservation in 2000 at the Art Conservation Department
    at the State University of New York, College at Buffalo,
    completing her studies with a third-year internship at the
    Conservation Division at the Library of Congress in Washington,
    D.C.  Ms. Choi completed her two-year post-graduate fellowships
    at CCAHA, funded by the J. Paul Getty and the Andrew Mellon

    She has researched and implemented the phytate treatment for
    iron gall inks and the washing techniques of water-soluble media
    using ionic fixative and cyclododecane, which are now routinely
    practiced for treatment at CCAHA.  She presented a paper on the
    application of phytate treatment at the 2nd Iron Gall Ink
    Meeting, at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle in 2006.
    Other research topics, currently pending publication, include
    foxing on paper, treatment of historic parchment, and a
    technical investigation and treatment of silkscreen prints by
    Andy Warhol.

Glen Ruzicka, Director of Conservation,  CCAHA

    Mr. Ruzicka trained in rare book conservation at the Library of
    Congress where he worked for over ten years.  As Senior Book
    Conservator at the Library of Congress, Ruzicka served as
    liaison to the Music and Manuscript Divisions as well as the
    liaison responsible for the Care of Top Treasures.  From 1986
    until 1988, he served as Head of the Preservation Department of
    the Milton S. Eisenhower Library, Johns Hopkins University,
    Baltimore, Maryland. Ruzicka was named Chief Conservator of
    CCAHA in 1988.

    While at CCAHA he has acted as consultant for preservation
    planning for Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania,
    the Academy of Natural Sciences (Philadelphia), and the
    Historical Society of Pennsylvania.  He has supervised
    conservation treatment for eighteen projects funded by the Save
    America's Treasures program.  Since 1999 he has coordinated the
    full range conservation and collection care services working
    with over 40 subcontractors for the Pennsylvania Historical and
    Museum Commission. He is a professional associate member of the
    American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and former chair of
    AIC's Book and Paper Group.


    Shelagh Reilly
    sreilly [at] co__monmouth__nj__us

Travel directions:


Gary D. Saretzky
Archivist, County of Monmouth

                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:39
               Distributed: Wednesday, February 14, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-20-39-013
Received on Thursday, 8 February, 2007

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