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November 30, 2018

Course in conservation of iron gall ink objects organized

Co-organised by the University of Saint Joseph and the Macau Institute of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics, a “Course in Conservation of Iron Gall Ink Objects” will be held from December 8th to 18th, 2018, at the USJ Library. It will be facilitated by renowned German paper and book conservator, Ms Barbara Hassel, and it will focus on the history, techniques, aging features and evaluation of iron gall ink, as well as on its conservation on experimental samples and practicum.

Since Macau opened for trade in the middle of the 16th century, iron gall ink has been commonly used in governmental and religious documents, letters, agreements, art creations and, also, in daily life. There are, approximately, one million iron gall ink-related documents found in Macao’s public and private sectors, as well as in private collections. The promotion of awareness regarding the conservation of documents, corrosions and brittlenesses caused by iron gall ink on aged papers has caught the attention of archivists and researchers. Due to the ink’s characteristics, obvious deterioration is found in many local valuable documents. Some important files are even fastly progressing into the highly deteriorative stage of “self-carbonisation.” With the necessity for the fast recovery of these disappearing heritages, it is necessary to promote the process of conservation and restoration of local iron gall ink objects, hopefully prompting the action of the general public, professionals and scholars.

The course, newly introduced, will include 80 hours of total class time. Should you have any enquiries and/or would like to register, please send an email to or call Mr Fan, the contact person, at +853 6569 2240.