Spectral Imaging of Ink Behind Glass: A Preliminary Investigation of the Colorimetric Shift
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Transparent glass frames are often used to exhibit, handle, and store ancient manuscripts (folia or fragments) across museums, libraries, and collections. Once the manuscripts are carefully sealed (glazed), the process of re-opening the frame for the analysis of the glazed manuscript is not always desirable, given their fragile state of preservation. Therefore, microimaging with IR and UV light sources above the glass frame is a frequently used method for the preliminary (qualitative) classification of the inks applied on the manuscripts. Building on this well-established methodology, this study explores the potential of spectral imaging technology for the quantitative analysis of glazed manuscripts. The present research focuses on the colorimetric analysis of iron-gall and carbon black inks applied on a papyrus substrate, aiming to the quantitative analysis of the effect of glass frames to the acquired images. The obtained results show that the quantitative colorimetric analysis of the inks above the glass frame can be used for the preliminary classification of the inks, hence minimizing the need to open the glass frames for further analysis.