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Subject: Invisible ink

Invisible ink

From: Nicole Hayes <nicole<-at->
Date: Thursday, November 12, 2009
I am posting this question on behalf of a colleague at a local
college special collections department:

    I was at a symposium recently and one of the speakers
    recommended rare books be marked with invisible ink (visible
    under UV light) so as to be traceable.  He assured the audience
    that these inks were archival, and called them "Identi-kits."  I
    have not been able to Google anything using that term that
    relates to stamping paper with ink.  I looked on the CoOL
    archive and didn't see anything about this.

    There are products out there, one of which claims to be water
    based and one permanent that can be purchased cheaply and used
    to mark books. See
    <URL:http://www.blacklightworld.com/security_kit.htm> for a
    permanent type.

    I am wondering if any testing has been done on these inks?  Are
    any libraries marking items this way?  Is such a practice as
    stamping books invisibly archival or even desirable; and is
    anybody doing that?  It would really help in identifying and
    recovering rare materials, but how would dealers and law
    enforcement people know to check?

Nicole M. Hayes
Director of Education and External Relations
Intermuseum Conservation Association
2915 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113
216-658-8700
Fax: 216-658-8709


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Received on Thursday, 12 November, 2009

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