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Monia Vadrucci, Cristina Cicero, Claudia Mazzuca, Leonardo Severini, Daniela Uccelletti, Emily Schifano, Fulvio Mercuri, Ugo Zammit, Noemi Orazi, Francesco D’Amico, and Pietro Parisse

 Published: 30 January 2023 


In this work, the effect of X-ray irradiation as a disinfection treatment in original ancient parchment samples, belonging to a discarded book cover of a 16th-century archival register, has been evaluated. Specifically, the bacterial and fungal species isolated from the book cover have been characterized and then irradiated with increasing doses of X-rays with the aim to evaluate the effectiveness of the antimicrobial protocol on the isolated microorganisms. The deterioration effects induced by the X-ray treatment as well as the natural aging on the collagen matrix of the parchment sample have been tested by employing several techniques, namely, Light Transmission Analysis, Fiber Optic Reflectance Spectroscopy, Attenuated Total Reflectance-Fourier Transformed Infrared spectroscopy, UV Resonant Raman spectroscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy. The results reveal that the irradiation treatment applied to our ancient parchment samples deteriorated by biological attack and other naturally occurring phenomena, possibly associated with inappropriate conservation conditions, does not seem to induce further damage factors even when large doses of irradiation are employed. The X-rays-based disinfection treatment effects are limited on the collagen support and this confirms the potential of this method in mass disinfection of library and archival materials.

Keywords: parchment; bio-deterioration; disinfection treatment; X-ray irradiation; nuclear treatment; green disinfection

… In this work, the reflectance spectra were obtained by averaging the data from 5 measurements recorded with StellarNet GREEN-Wave spectrometers equipped with a D65 illuminant in the range of 400–1100 nm. The instrument is optically coupled by means of fiber to a cube with an internal integrating sphere able to probe an area with a diameter of approximately 1 cm2 (StellarNet FORS Systems, 2021) …

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