Treatment FOCUS: A Facsimile Made with UV Photography
Ultraviolet (UV) light is harmful. It’s bad for our eyes, bad for our skin, and, unsurprisingly, bad for paper objects. The windows and lights at CCAHA filter UV light, and the glazing we use in frames protects artifacts from the wavelength. But in certain controlled circumstances, UV light can be used for good, as a recent CCAHA project shows.
A client brought in an 1854 indenture whose ink was highly faded. The document was large (15” x 24”) and the fading rendered much of the text illegible. The client wanted a facsimile that was slightly smaller than the original and easier to display at home. In the process of examining the object, CCAHA staff members realized that the parchment might be a great candidate for a special procedure: UV photography.