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paper gnomon


a pointer to paper

This site is about paper, more precise about how a paperconservator can find out what is IN the paper that is on the worktable. It is called paper gnomon because it wants to be a pointer to everything paper. A gnomon is the name for the pointer in a sundial (and not the plural for gardengnome). Information about my research will be communicated here in the form of pages about fibre microscopy, spot- and microchemical testing of paper and a collection of small articles that will deal with what can be called ‚bycatch’. You can find these under the link ‚bycatch’. You can subscribe to a mailing list when you want to be updated on the posts on this page.

For students at the Amsterdam University conservation program extra information can be found using the UvA link page.

PS. this website is best seen on a desktop computer, some functionalities will not work on mobile devices: fair warning!

hover over photos for caption

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retted hemp in transmitted light (100X)

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the same in polarised light: interference colours are visible

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the same in polarised light and a lambda plate: note the colour difference between the horizontal (orange) and the vertical (blue). This is typical for hemp fibres

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linen fibres from a 16th century garment show the opposite colours vertically and horizontally under polarisation and lambda plate, this is typical for linnen fibres. Note that the enlargement for the linnen fibres is 200x since in this sample the fibres are very thin in comparison to the chunky hemp fibre(s).