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Iron Gall Ink: Decision Making and Treatment Practices

Dates: Monday, November 6 to Thursday, November 9, 2017
Location: Canadian Conservation Institute (1030 Innes Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1B 4S7, Canada)
Application deadline: September 6, 2017
Language of instruction: English (some documents will be made available in French)Delivery: Three Options
  • November 6-9, 2017: One-day lecture followed by a three day practical hands-on workshop. It is intended for early- or mid-career practising paper and archival conservators (limited to 16 participants).
  • November 6, 2017: One-day conference comprised of lectures, exercises, discussions and case studies on Iron Gall Ink (limited to 50 participants).
  • November 6, 2017: One hour livestream on the history, chemistry, degradation and identification of Iron Gall Ink.
Facilitator/Instructor: Eliza Jacobi, Paper and Book Conservator (Practice in Conservation, Amsterdam); Crystal Maitland, Paper Conservator (CCI); Season Tse, Conservation Scientist (CCI)
Registration fee: C$750 (workshop and lecture day); C$200 (lecture day only) and C$50 (one-hour livestream) includes HST

Workshop overview

The Canadian Conservation Institute is pleased to host the Iron Gall Ink: Decision Making and Treatment Practices workshop. This Advanced Professional Development (APD) event will incorporate 20 years of international research in the chemistry, degradation and treatment of metallo-gallic inks, and use it as the basis for informed treatment decisions and risk evaluation. It will present new tools and techniques for treatment, including instructions by Eliza Jacobi based on Practice-In-Conservation’s Local Repairs on Iron Gall Ink workshop. It is structured as one day of lectures followed by three days of hands-on laboratory workshop.

  • The lecture day will present the state of theory, practice and research into iron gall ink degradation and stabilisation. It will include a lecture and a demonstration on localized mending by Eliza Jacobi.

In The three-day workshop, participants will

  • Carry out traditional phytate treatment and explore variations such as solvent modification, the use of gels and other moisture control methods such as controlled humidification.
  • Prepare remoistenable tissue with different Japanese papers and adhesives for low-moisture mending
  • Practice local repairs on iron gall ink using the Dutch Fe-migration mending test, remoistenable tissue and the sponge-blotter system to limit the risk of spreading ink corrosion during the local repairs
  • Receive a ‘how-to’ package including all the instructional materials to reproduce these techniques in their own studio
  • Examine the risks of many standard paper conservation treatments and how to make adjustment to accommodate the problems encountered with iron gall ink documents

Read more.