JAIC 2001, Volume 40, Number 1, Article 3 (pp. 35 to 41)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 2001, Volume 40, Number 1, Article 3 (pp. 35 to 41)

SHORT COMMUNICATION: MICRO-RAMAN IDENTIFICATION OF BLOOM FORMED ON A HISTORICAL PRINT ARTIFACT

VINCENT OTIENO-ALEGO, JENNIFER HODGEMAN, & DUDLEY C. CREAGH



4 CONCLUSIONS

The high spatial resolution of the micro-Raman technique has been exploited in the individual identification of solid compounds amid a mixture of 4-60 m-sized particles that constituted a white bloom on an 1876 print artifact. No sample preparation was required. In this instance, the powdery deposit brushed off the surface of the print artifact was simply placed on a microscope slide and directly analyzed. The Raman spectra of the individual particles were recorded and compared with those available in our spectral database for identification. The white deposit was predominantly a mixture of calcium carbonate and paratoluenesulfonamide (almost certainly arising from a previous conservation treatment by chloramine-T), with small amounts of black carbon, quartz, and microsized cellulose fibers from the paper matrix. None of the solids identified was a toxic pesticide residue, as had been feared, and the conservation treatment of this valuable artifact is now under way. It is noteworthy that the use of chloramine-T as a paper-bleaching chemical has now been discontinued due to a proven problem of severe degradation of the cellulose fiber.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors are indebted to the Adelaide City Archives, Adelaide, South Australia, for providing permission to publish this data.


Copyright 2001 American Institution for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works