Chapter 9: X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry as a diagnostic tool in conservation of illuminated manuscripts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter we will describe the capabilities of Portable X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry to characterize illuminated manuscripts. As complementary techniques, Raman and SEM-EDS Spectroscopy will be also described. The use of these techniques is essential for the understanding of the artists working methods, which aids conservation and restoration of the manuscripts. As a case study, the Renaissance foral charters, from the 16th century, belonging to the Portuguese National Archive will be studied in detail. A complete characterization of parchments, pictorial materials and metallic coatings used in the production of illuminated manuscripts will be performed. Scientific identification of: i) inks used in the written texts; ii) pigments used in the production of coloring materials for the illuminations and inks for letterings, will be carried out. These results will be a key step in the work of conservation and restoration to be undertaken in many illuminated manuscripts, such as the aforementioned charters, which can present very high degrees of deterioration and need urgent intervention.
Original languageUnknown
Title of host publicationCultural Heritage: Protection, Developments and International Perspectives
EditorsPiero Frediani, Marco Frediani, Luca Rosi
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova science publishers
ISBN (Print)978-1-62808-822-9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Publication series

NameFocus on Civilizations and Cultures
PublisherNova Science Publishers

Cite this