Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Textual analyses of ink recipes from historical bibliographic sources

Historical text sources containing information on writing materials and writing tools in general were collected. They contain recipes for iron gall inks in Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin and Spanish language from the 3rd century AD to the early 20th century. Around 90 title descriptions and ca. 250 iron-gall ink recipes from the collected historical sources were entered into the ArTeS database (ArTeS = Art Technological Sources) owned by the ICN.

The inks were reconstructed in the following way. 19 selection criteria were defined and applied to about 150 of the iron-gall ink recipes entered into the ArTeS database. Looking for common denominators applicable to the objectives of further workpackages of the InkCor project, it was found that about 20 % of the searched recipes had equal proportions of "galls" and "vitriol" in common. About 5% of the searched recipes had alkaline ingredients or presumable anti-oxidant suppliers in common. Based on the historical recipes, 23 inks were prepared for reconstruction purposes.

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Gabriel Metsusstraat 16
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