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How can faded writing,done in ink,be made legible ?

madjack 2009/10/07 17:08:12
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The writing is inside an old book of psalms,carried by a soldier in the Civil War.A few words are clear,but most are faded,though evident as distinct writing.If the writing can be read,it could help solve a some interesting questions.If I can do that,I'll blog the entire story behind this small book.
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  • Michelle 2010/02/22 22:57:31
    I don't know,but maybe you could try....
    Michelle
    +2
    This is the only answer I could find to help ya out:


    Chemical methods to darken inks are ultimately damaging to documents and are currently not recommended. Conservation treatment can lighten some papers thereby increasing the contrast between ink and paper and improving the ability to read documents. However, this is not necessarily suitable or possible with all types of papers and inks. There are some non-destructive technical methods that can help fading ink appear darker. Ultraviolet light can cause the brightener to fluoresce in some papers making inks appear more visible. (A black-light is usually a long-wave ultraviolet light source.) Sometimes inks are made visible using an infrared viewer. However, viewers can be expensive and hard to find. Black and white photographic prints from infrared film can sometimes show increased contrast between ink and paper. Likewise, some types of faded ink will appear darker to the eye in a standard black and white photographic print. Also, sometimes a copier set on a darker setting will produce a copy that's easier to read than the original.

    :)

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  • Adam Fikso 2010/11/28 18:43:40
    I'm a documentarian,here's what I suggest.
    Adam Fikso
    With problems like this, I advise that you try all non-destructive (definition is unclear) methods before using any solutions to try to enhance the writing itself. And then stay with water,first.

    If you have a large musem near you-- consult with them. However, sometiumes shuttling back and forth between reproductive methods may help, i.e., photograph it with a close up lens, print that and then photocopy it with varying constrast and varying magnificationss. Photograph it with a SLR, on high-contrast film and print it on high-consrast pape. Magnify it to about 5-8x and then photograph it .... to see it may enable you to make out or guess at what was intended more easily. Sleep on it and look at it in the morning.

    Because most inks in that period were iron-based or made froimn plant galls--as a last resort I'd definiftely consider a chemical bath to enhance the iron sulfides and oxides that constitute the ink residues. Check with a knowledgeable high school or university introductory college chemistry teacher.There's got to be a colored solution that binds to iron sulfide and rust that would enhanceit. BUT...it's probably not removable once you do it.
    Look up a miitary Graves Registration Unit ..they deal with this kind of problem all the time. Faded documents in the pockets of the dead.
  • Michelle 2010/02/22 22:57:31
    I don't know,but maybe you could try....
    Michelle
    +2
    This is the only answer I could find to help ya out:


    Chemical methods to darken inks are ultimately damaging to documents and are currently not recommended. Conservation treatment can lighten some papers thereby increasing the contrast between ink and paper and improving the ability to read documents. However, this is not necessarily suitable or possible with all types of papers and inks. There are some non-destructive technical methods that can help fading ink appear darker. Ultraviolet light can cause the brightener to fluoresce in some papers making inks appear more visible. (A black-light is usually a long-wave ultraviolet light source.) Sometimes inks are made visible using an infrared viewer. However, viewers can be expensive and hard to find. Black and white photographic prints from infrared film can sometimes show increased contrast between ink and paper. Likewise, some types of faded ink will appear darker to the eye in a standard black and white photographic print. Also, sometimes a copier set on a darker setting will produce a copy that's easier to read than the original.

    :)
  • madjack Michelle 2010/02/22 23:43:07
    madjack
    +1
    Thanks Michelle.The book belonged to a young Confederate who was mortally wounded in the final attack on the line at Murfreesboro,Tenn.My g.g.grandfather was a company commander of Ohio Infantry.At the close of this action he went out to see that the wounded were cared for,or returned to their own side.He heard someone call to him'Papa,could you read to me?'.He made the kid as comfortable as he could,sat on the ground,spoke to the kid,read a couple of passages.Soon the young man had died.His last name ;Williams,is clear.Five other names are neatly penned in a column.Friends he'd lost? There's enough legible that I believe he was with the 21stAlabama.My Grandmothers grandfather,the Captain,probably put the book in his coat pocket without thinking.Penciling in how he came to posess it.If I could decipher the names in the book,it would reval alot more of the story.
  • Michelle madjack 2010/02/25 22:25:15
    Michelle
    +1
    How intriguing! I treasure old things. We hate it when we see folks throwing out their family memories.

    I hope the research helps you!

    Michelle :)
  • madjack Michelle 2010/02/25 23:41:39
    madjack
    +1
    I think the research will help,and I appreciate it.I never understood either how people can just toss things out that have meaning.We all lose when they do.
  • Michelle madjack 2010/02/26 23:55:04
    Michelle
    +1
    Can you imagine if someone had thrown Anne Frank's writings away? What a tragedy that would of been.....
  • madjack Michelle 2010/02/27 00:18:26
    madjack
    It would,and we lose things of that value every day and never know.
  • Michelle madjack 2010/02/27 00:44:59
    Michelle
    +1
    Exactly! That old saying....hind sight ringing pretty loud, huh?
  • Dinkiedow 2010/01/21 23:57:19
    I don't know,but maybe you could try....
    Dinkiedow
    +1
    Black light info-violet,or try a copy machine on dark?
  • madjack Dinkiedow 2010/01/22 00:05:06
    madjack
    +1
    I think I'll try the black light,thanks. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks Harold.
  • IndyLinda 2009/10/09 00:21:00
    I used this method,give it a try,worked for me.
    IndyLinda
    +1
    Yes to scanning or photocopying. Use halogen lighting -- you can see detail much more clearly -- I am archiving documents from the 1880s on.
  • madjack IndyLinda 2009/10/09 00:42:36
    madjack
    +1
    That may be a good way to go.There seems to be a number of ways to deal with this.
  • The Wife 2009/10/08 22:55:25
    I don't know,but maybe you could try....
    The Wife
    +2
    I looked into this a few years ago while wanting to restore faded writing on an antique marriage certificate. I had two certificates and ended up gifting that one to another family member. I doubt that she did anything with it though.

    Have you tried using a strong magnifying glass to see if you could read the writing? If so, you could then take it to an expert in script writing and calligraphy. You can find calligraphers online in your area or, perhaps, the telephone yellow pages.
  • madjack The Wife 2009/10/08 23:03:19
    madjack
    +2
    That's a very practicle answer,and one I can try right away.I can read most old script,so I'm lucky in that part of it.Thank you very much !
  • The Wife madjack 2009/10/08 23:11:27
    The Wife
    +2
    You're very welcome, hope it works for you!
  • a 2009/10/07 17:45:29
    I don't know,but maybe you could try....
    a
    +2
    You could try photo copying if it isn't too fragile or you could just ask a person who works in a museum.
  • madjack a 2009/10/07 17:52:46
    madjack
    +2
    That might work ,thanks for the response.
  • a madjack 2009/10/07 18:05:34
    a
    +2
    You're welcome. Also you may try scanning on a flatbed.
  • madjack a 2009/10/07 18:20:50
    madjack
    +2
    Thanks again,the more information I get the better informed my decision will be.
  • a madjack 2009/10/07 18:36:27
    a
    +2
    Not a problem and yes your decision will be more decisive.
  • ☼ Homeward Bound ☼ 2009/10/07 17:40:08
    I don't know,but maybe you could try....
    ☼ Homeward Bound ☼
    +2
    You could try scanning it and then see if altering the gamma properties in a program such as photoshop may bring out the text.
  • madjack ☼ Homew... 2009/10/07 17:57:27
    madjack
    +1
    It sounds like you really know your stuff ! Would a large library or university be able to do this? I really lack in tech skills.This seems like a good way to go.Just the slightest enhancement would do it.Thanks so much for responding !
  • ☼ Homew... madjack 2009/10/07 19:35:27 (edited)
    ☼ Homeward Bound ☼
    +2
    You're welcome. I just found that info on the net! I know NOTHING! :) I would think that a library or university could easily help! You might contact a museum too. Sometimes they know people who can help archive documents.
  • madjack ☼ Homew... 2009/10/07 21:34:09
    madjack
    +2
    Thanks,I'm probably becoming a pest asking these questions.
  • ☼ Homew... madjack 2009/10/07 21:35:49
    ☼ Homeward Bound ☼
    +2
    Not at all!

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