How can I enhance faded ink?

Once ink has faded (from natural aging, light exposure, or other environmental or internal factors), the mark cannot be restored to its previous intensity. This is why prevention, through proper storage, storage environment and limiting light exposure, is very important. Sometimes, faded inks can still be seen using parts of the electromagnetic spectrum outside the visible region (e.g., in infrared or ultraviolet).

Imaging can be complicated and ultraviolet light is damaging to paper, inks, and human tissues, including the eye. A conservator or regional conservation center can provide more information about a particular object after examination and can assist with imaging.

Last Updated: Mar 02, 2021
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