Scientists discover way to slow decay of old manuscriptsBreaking News
This means it can be applied to documents without fear of washing away soluble scribbles, causing books to swell or ruining leather bindings.
The researchers, who have applied for a patent, say the bath could help to protect kilometres of ancient documents and manuscripts throughout the world's libraries for many years to come. They think it should be ready for commercial use in a few years' time.
Conservators have long known that there is something corrosive about inks from the Middle Ages. Many documents, from sketches by famous artists to political treaties, have fallen apart over time, with holes appearing where the ink used to be.
To tackle this problem, 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 the inks.
Early analyses had indicated that medieval inks are often full of iron. Free atoms of this metal in the ink react with the air to create oxygen radicals, reactive atoms that break down cellulose, yellowing paper and making it brittle. To the horror of scholars, after hundreds of years this can cause the paper to fall apart.
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Humans Hard-Wired to Teach, Anthropologist Says
- Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month
- Maryland is once again considering retiring its state song
- One of the last remaining Nazis goes on trial in Germany
- Inside story finally told of the young US diplomat who cracked the case of the murder of 4 nuns in El Salvador in 1980
- Historian at the center of Sanders-Clinton debate
- James Loewen Says Additional Baltimore Confederate Statues Should be Removed
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- A historian’s advice to students thinking of getting a PhD in a tough economic climate
- German historian Heinz Richter cleared of charges