Historical manuscripts are subject to deterioration due to aging processes under different storage and handling conditions. There can be physical, chemical and biological factors with different impact on papers and parchments or inks and dyes. Optical methods are preferred for the evaluation of historic manuscripts because of its non-destructive character. Changes in color and material composition can be correlated to optical parameters. Iron gall inks are known to cause damage to cellulose, the main component in papers. Light-induced fading or color change of a material, a form of photochemical damage caused by the absorption of optical radiation, can be monitored by absorption and reflection measurements.
This application note describes how the PerkinElmer LAMBDA 1050+ Wide Band spectrometer in combination with the 150 mm integrating sphere combination provides an excellent platform for the spectral characterization of manuscript materials in ageing processes.