Sadra Zergoo

Sayad Sadra Zekrgoo

‘Persian Inks: A study on traditional writing matters used in Persia (15th–18th CE) through collection of recipes, historical reconstruction and non-invasive analysis of University of Melbourne’s Middle-Eastern manuscript collection’ (PhD in Cultural Materials Conservation, 2018).

This thesis investigated optimum methods for the identification of different black inks used in Persia, mainly during the Safavid period (fifteenth to eighteenth centuries CE) via ink reconstruction, in order to assist conservators with decision makings regarding preservation, storage and conservation treatment methodology. Fifty-five black ink recipes were extracted from 14 manuscripts, which were translated from classic Persian to English. These recipes were categorised into eight groups and an ink from each group was reconstructed using original recipes as guidelines. To discriminate inks from one another through non-destructive analysis, a photography booth was designed and setup with the ability to take photographs under visible, ultraviolet and infra-red light sources which facilitated false colour (IR and UV) imaging. These techniques complemented by X-ray Fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) successfully differentiating the reconstructed inks and these methods were implemented on nine case studies selected from University of Melbourne’s Middle-Eastern manuscript collection held at the Baillieu library. Furthermore, reconstructed ink samples were artificially aged to understand their characteristics and degradation.

Supervisors: Dr Petronella Nel, Professor Robyn Sloggett