Author Topic: Ultraviolet or infrared for faded writing?  (Read 36033 times)

Offline PrueM

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Re: Ultraviolet or infrared for faded writing?
« Reply #9 on: Monday 13 February 06 01:47 GMT (UK) »
Hi HK,
I have a little hand-held blacklight which is like a miniature fluorescent lamp - it's very handy in my job (paper conservator) but I'm not sure what the wavelength is.  You will find that different wavelengths give you different results.

The UV light works because the ink (which is iron gall ink) absorbs the ultraviolet - so the writing goes darker against the paper background.  Results depend on the composition of the ink and paper, the amount of ink that's left (yours is very faded) etc etc....there is a very interesting research project going on at the Uni of Northumbria, according to my colleague who is a bit of an expert on iron gall ink.  There has just been a big conference over there, the culmination of many years of world-wide research into this ink and its deterioration and preservation. 

Northumbria has a school of conservation and they have started using False Colour Infra-Red (FCIR) imaging to enhance iron gall ink writing - e.g. it might make the writing appear red against the paper.  This means that even really faded inks will be easier to read.  You might like to contact them if your UV method doesn't work!  We're pretty sure that they'd love to practice on as many and varied objects as they can get their hands on.

Hope that helps
Cheers
Prue

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Offline Hogan Kit

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Re: Ultraviolet or infrared for faded writing?
« Reply #10 on: Monday 13 February 06 12:34 GMT (UK) »
I'll see if I can get in touch with them.  Plus get an ultraviolet lamp in case I start collecting stamps or conserving paper.  And I just love it that the infrared idea wasn't so far off either!
Hogan Kit

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Offline dennford

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Re: Ultraviolet or infrared for faded writing?
« Reply #11 on: Monday 13 February 06 22:47 GMT (UK) »
Hi There HK.
        I think you should definitely concentrate on your U.V. trials as suggested. Although you must realise that even in forensic photography who would be the main users of this type of photography there is much trial and error. as Prue says different wavelengths,the ambient lighting and different angles will vary the results
         As for I.R. firstly black and white infra red which is/was the only I.R. film available over the counter, won't be of any help whatsoever. Prue mentions false colour infra red and yes this is a possibility but only in specialist hands. Briefly false colour (so named because the green component of the film is replaced by blue) uses a special blue filter to alter the wavelength of infra red light, because the light also focuses on a different plane the user has to focus with mathematical tables rather than visually.

                                             Denn
Ford, Baines, Dixon, Platts, Peat, Proctor, Rotherforth, Dakin/Daykin, Sales, Beech, Hall, Parkin, Nightingale. ----- Harthill, Waleswood, Woodhouse-mill, Whitwell

South Yorkshire/Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire

Torremocha, Candog, Ramos, Reyes, Rodrigueus
-------Philippines --- Bohol

Offline Hogan Kit

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Re: Ultraviolet or infrared for faded writing?
« Reply #12 on: Tuesday 14 February 06 05:54 GMT (UK) »
Yes, I agree.  I will likely get a small hand held UV lamp, and see what can be done with that just reading for transcription, and also trialling taking photos with digital camera.  I don't think I will be taking my video camera.  If it works, fine.
  Beyond that, if it doesn't produce legible results, unless some experts take an interest in it for historical or archive purposes, and the family are willing, which is quite likely, I will leave the deciphering to others.  Six weeks from now I may be back to let you know the results.

Thanks to all for your input.  It was most helpful.

HK

Offline Hogan Kit

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Re: Ultraviolet or infrared for faded writing?
« Reply #13 on: Tuesday 14 February 06 06:26 GMT (UK) »
This message is just in hopes that my profile changes have "taken" - putting my father's pic in.  I liked Denn's coloured pic - imagine it was done on editing program. 
HK

Offline dennford

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Re: Ultraviolet or infrared for faded writing?
« Reply #14 on: Tuesday 14 February 06 06:55 GMT (UK) »
       The attached document is primarily for Prue, however I have posted it here so that If anyone is interested in false colour infra red photography as use in document conservation, they may read it.

                                                Denn

P.S. Prue the pdf was too large a file so I have copied it as a txt file.

                                                 Denn
Ford, Baines, Dixon, Platts, Peat, Proctor, Rotherforth, Dakin/Daykin, Sales, Beech, Hall, Parkin, Nightingale. ----- Harthill, Waleswood, Woodhouse-mill, Whitwell

South Yorkshire/Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire

Torremocha, Candog, Ramos, Reyes, Rodrigueus
-------Philippines --- Bohol

Offline PrueM

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Re: Ultraviolet or infrared for faded writing?
« Reply #15 on: Tuesday 14 February 06 06:56 GMT (UK) »
Thank you, Denn!  Much appreciated!  :D

Prue

Offline PrueM

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Re: Ultraviolet or infrared for faded writing?
« Reply #16 on: Tuesday 14 February 06 06:57 GMT (UK) »
Hogan Kit - glad we were of some assistance, I hope you will come back and let us know how you get on.
Cheers  :)
Prue

Offline Emmeline

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Re: Ultraviolet or infrared for faded writing?
« Reply #17 on: Thursday 16 February 06 08:52 GMT (UK) »
Hello Hogan Kit - Thank you for giving us a glimpse of the family Bible.  Just wonderful to think it has come through the generations and now you will have the chance to see what you can find - with the help of a UV lamp of course ! Would love to hear more later.