Characterization of writing materials of books of great historical-artistic value by FT-IR and micro-raman spectroscopy

Conservation Science in Cultural Heritage. 2014;14(1):39-50 DOI 10.6092/issn.1973-9494/4740


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Journal Title: Conservation Science in Cultural Heritage

ISSN: 1974-4951 (Print); 1973-9494 (Online)

Publisher: University of Bologna

Society/Institution: University of Bologna – Dipartimento di Beni Culturali

LCC Subject Category: Fine Arts: Arts in general

Country of publisher: Italy

Language of fulltext: English, Italian

Full-text formats available: PDF



Vito Librando

Zelica Minniti


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 15 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This work describes the application of Fourier-Transform Infrared and Raman spectroscopic techniques for the characterization of cellulose paper samples and inks used on ancient writing materials. These samples from books of high historical and artistic interest were provided by the Public Library of Syracuse.The ancient paper showed a characteristic pattern of carbonyl groups, whose vibration modes were observed in FTIR spectra. The spectra of ancient paper samples were compared to each other and to modern paper in order to highlight differences in conservation state between new and old papers. The paper aging process is related to the presence of acid substances and oxidative agents that result in cellulose hydrolysis leading to the shortening of its chain along with changes in the amount of the crystalline form. This hydrolysis causes changes in hydrogen bonds and consequently change the CCH, COH, OCH and HCH bending vibrations mode. In this work, the FTIR and Raman spectra of inks used on ancient paper and parchment samples were also discussed.