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Wednesday, May 31 • 9:30am - 10:00am
(Book & Paper + Research & Technical Studies) - Contacts that leave traces: investigations into the contamination of paper surfaces from handling

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The contamination of paper surfaces during the process of handling documents is a significant issue for forensic scientists and conservators. In the forensic context, it has been found that polyvinyl chloride and latex gloves would leave handprints on porous and non-porous surfaces after 20-40 minutes of wear by a subject.[1] Anecdotally, it has been seen by both forensic practitioners and by fingerprint researchers at Curtin University that nitrile gloves can also leave fingermarks on paper after periods of wear. The issue of whether to wear gloves or not to wear gloves when handling documents has also been a matter of controversy in the conservation and archivist community.[2] Prue McKay at the National Archives of Australia carried out some preliminary studies to determine the potential for contamination from gloved and non-gloved hands when handling paper items.[3] However other than the papers mentioned above there is a paucity of published research in this area. A research project has been initiated at Curtin to explore this issue by using a range of forensic fingerprint techniques to investigate the level of fingermark contamination on paper items handled with bare and covered hands. Subsequently, the effect of latent fingermarks on paper items will be investigated using artificial aging. This presentation will give an overview of the background of the methods to be used as well as presenting some of our initial results. Acknowledgments: The authors thank Terry Kent and Prue McKay for useful discussion concerning this research. References [1] Willinski G. J Forensic Sci. 1980; 25(3):682-685 [2] Baker C.A and Silverman R. International Preservation News. 2005; 37: 4-17 [3] McKay P. 5th AICCM Book, Paper and Photographic Materials Symposium. 2008; 1-10

avatar for Karin van der Pal

Karin van der Pal

PhD Student, Curtin University
Karin J. van der Pal received her Bsc (Hons) in Chemistry from Curtin University, Western Australia. She is currently pursuing a PhD within the Nanochemistry Research Institue and Department of Chemistry at Curtin University, Western Australia. Her research involves the analysis of... Read More →

avatar for Wilhelm van Bronswijk

Wilhelm van Bronswijk

Emeritus Professor, Curtin University
Professor Wilhelm van Bronswijk is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Curtin Univerity. His research involves the application of infrared and Raman spectroscopy to a wide range of areas including forensic science and conservation studies.
avatar for Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis

Professor of Forensic and Analytical Chemistry and Director of Teaching and Learning in the Department of Chemistry, Curtin University
Simon Lewis is Professor of Forensic and Analytical Chemistry and Director of Teaching and Learning in the Department of Chemistry at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. His research is focused on chemical techniques applied to forensic analysis and he has published in excess... Read More →
avatar for Rachel S. Popelka-Filcoff

Rachel S. Popelka-Filcoff

Associate Professor, Flinders University
Rachel Popelka-Filcoff is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Flinders University. Her research program uses radioanalytical and spectroscopic methods for the application to cultural heritage, environmental and forensic questions. In the cultural... Read More →
avatar for Gregory D. Smith

Gregory D. Smith

Otto N. Frenzel III Senior Conservation Scientist, Indianapolis Museum of Art
Gregory Dale Smith received a B.S. degree from Centre College of Kentucky in anthropology/sociology and chemistry before pursuing graduate studies at Duke University as an NSF graduate fellow in time-domain vibrational spectroscopy and archaeological fieldwork. His postgraduate training... Read More →

Wednesday May 31, 2017 9:30am - 10:00am
Regency A-B Ballroom Level, West Tower

Attendees (210)