Iron Gall Ink: Decision Making and Treatment Practices

Dates
Monday, November 6, to Thursday, November 9, 2017
Location
Canadian Conservation Institute
1030 Innes Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1B 4S7, Canada
Application deadline
September 6, 2017
Language of instruction
English (some documents will be made available in French)
Delivery

Two options:

  • November 6–9, 2017: One-day conference followed by a three-day practical hands-on workshop. It is intended for early- or mid-career practising paper and archival conservators (limited to 16 participants).
  • November 6, 2017: One-day conference comprised of lectures, exercises, discussions and case studies on iron gall ink (limited to 50 participants).
Facilitator/Instructor
Eliza Jacobi, Paper and Book Conservator (Practice-in-Conservation, Amsterdam); Crystal Maitland, Paper Conservator (CCI); Season Tse, Conservation Scientist (CCI)
Registration fee
$750 CAN (workshop and one-day conference) and $200 CAN (one-day conference only) includes HST
Iron gall ink manuscript page exhibiting damage from ink corrosion
© Government of Canada, Canadian Conservation Institute. CCI 124703-0089
Figure 1. Iron gall ink manuscript page exhibiting damage from ink corrosion.
Workshop participant using the Dutch migration test papers and sponge-blotter system to monitor and control moisture levels while performing a remoistenable tissue repair on a didactic iron gall ink document
© Practice-in-Conservation.
Figure 2. Workshop participant using the Dutch migration test papers and sponge-blotter system to monitor and control moisture levels while performing a remoistenable tissue repair on a didactic iron gall ink document.

Workshop overview

The Canadian Conservation Institute is pleased to host the “Iron Gall Ink: Decision Making and Treatment Practices” workshop. This advanced professional development (APD) workshop will incorporate 20 years of international research in the chemistry, degradation and treatment of metallo-gallic inks and use this research as the basis for informed treatment decisions and risk evaluation. The APD workshop will present new tools and techniques for treatment, including instructions by Eliza Jacobi based on Practice-in-Conservation’s “Local Repairs on Iron Gall Ink” workshop. It is structured as a one-day conference followed by a three-day hands-on laboratory workshop.

  • Over the one-day conference, participants will learn about the theory, practice and research into iron gall ink degradation and stabilization. In addition, Eliza Jacobi will present a lecture and a demonstration on localized mending.

In the three-day workshop, participants will

  • carry out traditional phytate treatment and explore variations such as solvent modification, the use of gels and other moisture control methods such as controlled humidification;
  • prepare remoistenable tissue with different Japanese papers and adhesives for low-moisture mending;
  • practice local repairs on iron gall ink using the Dutch Fe-migration mending test, remoistenable tissue and the sponge-blotter system to limit the risk of spreading ink corrosion during the local repairs;
  • receive a how-to package including all the instructional materials to reproduce these techniques in their own studio; and
  • examine the risks of many standard paper conservation treatments and how to make adjustments to accommodate the problems encountered with iron gall ink documents.

The workshop will wrap up with a discussion on the risks and benefits of a range of treatment options using several difficult case studies. The aim is to help participants decide whether to treat or not to treat, as well as to develop treatment plans.

The content of this workshop is developed in collaboration between Eliza Jacobi of Practice-in-Conservation and CCI, and it is based on combined years of conservation practice, research, experimentation, literature review and observations.

Conference
State of knowledge in iron gall ink research and treatment techniques
Workshop day 1
Dutch Fe-migration mending test, remoistenable tissue and the sponge-blotter system
Workshop day 2
Phytate treatment—traditional and controlled moisture
Workshop day 3
Case studies, risks and benefits of treatments and treatment planning

Learning objectives

Workshop participants will

  • learn how to identify iron gall inks and the various risk factors;
  • become familiar with the strengths and risks of existing chemical and physical stabilization treatments, and areas of ongoing research;
  • be able to prepare and use the Dutch Fe-migration test sheets and remoistenable tissue as tools for controlled moisture repair;
  • be able to carry out phytate treatment using traditional and modified methods; and
  • gain confidence in making evidence-based decisions to treat or not to treat objects containing iron gall ink.

Participants taking part in the one-day conference will

  • learn how to identify iron gall inks and their various risk factors;
  • become familiar with the strengths and risks of existing chemical and physical stabilization treatments, and areas of ongoing research;
  • gain exposure to the preparation and use of the Dutch Fe-migration test sheets and remoistenable tissue as tools for controlled moisture repair;
  • gain exposure to phytate treatment methods; and
  • learn how to make evidence-based decisions to treat or not to treat objects containing iron gall ink.

Options and costs

First option

One-day conference and three-day workshop, November 6–9, 2017 ($750 CAN [includes HST] for all participants)

A maximum of 16 participants will be selected. Preference will be given to Canadian citizens.

Cost includes the workshop manual, refreshments on all days and lunches on days two to four.

Second option

One-day conference, November 6, 2017 ($200 CAN [includes HST] for all participants)

The conference can accommodate 50 participants. Preference will be given to Canadian citizens.

Includes refreshments.

Applications

Who can apply and selection criteria

The three-day workshop is designed for early- or mid-career, practising paper and archival conservators. Consideration will depend on:

  • Demand—demonstrable present or future stewardship of iron gall ink items or collections
  • Training—ability to share gained knowledge with others
  • Experience—perceived lack of knowledge on care of iron gall ink items
  • Balance of institutional and private practice conservators
  • Number of registrants from a single organization

Materials and supplies

Participants in the three-day workshop will be provided with sample objects and a basic range of supplies for workshop sessions. We would encourage you to bring:

  • an apron or lab coat and safety glasses
  • a digital camera
  • a flash drive with digital images of problematic iron gall ink items you have encountered, or that exist in your collection (PDF or PowerPoint slides) for discussion.

How to apply

To apply for the one-day conference and three-day workshop, please send an email to pch.ICCservices-CCIServices.pch@canada.ca to request the application form. Once completed, please send the form back to pch.ICCservices-CCIServices.pch@canada.ca.

A waiting list will be established once the maximum number of participants has been selected.

Confirmation of acceptance will be sent out by the end of September.

Payment

Once your registration has been confirmed, you will be contacted by phone to process the payment. The payment must be provided in Canadian funds by credit card (American Express, MasterCard or VISA).

Canadian federal government employees must provide IS Reference Codes or a commitment number, department code and cost centre.

Refunds

Requests to withdraw must be submitted in writing to CCI. Refunds will be issued under the following conditions:

  • a full refund less a $25 CAN administrative fee for requests received at least 21 days prior to the start of the APD workshop
  • a full refund less a $50 CAN administrative fee for requests received between 20 and 7 days prior to the start of the APD workshop
  • no refund for requests received less than 7 days prior to the start of the APD workshop

Exceptions to this refund policy may be made in the event of insurmountable difficulties in attending the APD workshop.

Cancellation

CCI reserves the right to cancel this workshop if the minimum enrolment requirement is not met 30 days prior to the event. In such cases, CCI will refund the full registration fee but will not be responsible for any transportation, housing, loss of income or other costs that may have been incurred by the participants.

Additional information

Please contact CCI if you require additional information.

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