Degradation of Historical Paper: Nondestructive Analysis by the NMR-MOUSE®

The NMR-MOUSE is a mobile sensor for single-sided NMR inspection of organic materials which takes advantage of the principles of magnetic resonance and inside-out-NMR. Historical books dating from the 17th century were measured at different points by positioning the NMR-MOUSE on the paper. Different degrees of paper degradation can be discriminated from the regularized inverse Laplace transform of the envelope of the acquired echo signals. For the first time the degradation of historical paper was characterized entirely nondestructively by NMR. As a contribution to current preservation efforts, NMR shows great promise for future use in damage assessment of historical documents.

B. Blümich, S. Anferova, S. Sharma, A. Segre, C. Federici; J. Magn. Reson. 161 (2003) 204-209; DOI: