Multi-analytical study of 14th to 19th century illuminated Moroccan manuscripts

  • Ghizlane Idrissi Serhrouchni
  • Latifa Hajji
  • Mohammed Talbi
  • Abdelhadi Lhassani
  • M’Hammed El Kouali
  • Sofia Pessanha
  • Maria Luísa Carvalho
  • Marta MansoEmail author
Regular Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Focus Point on Scientific Research in Conservation Science


Moroccan manuscripts heritage preserves valuable information regarding different fields of Arabian history and culture. Despite this fact, analytical studies carried out in Moroccan manuscripts are scarce. In this work, we made use of a multi-analytical methodology to study, for the first time, four illuminated manuscripts from the Royal library of Rabat covering the span 14th to 19th centuries. The chemical structure of inks and paper support was identified. Elemental distribution obtained by micro-energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (μ-EDXRF) showed the use of iron, copper and vermillion in black, blue and red inks, respectively. Arsenic and lead were identified as orange inks in the 17th and 19th century manuscripts, respectively. Quantitative characterization of the paper supports obtained by triaxial geometry EDXRF spectrometry showed high levels of sulphur, chlorine and potassium. Regarding the study of the manuscripts support, cellulose \(I_{\beta}\) was determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) in all the analyzed samples. Cellulose fibers observations by scanning electron microscopy showed that the manuscripts are in general, in a good condition. Calcite is the main filler determined by XRD.



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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Fisica / Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ghizlane Idrissi Serhrouchni
    • 1
    • 2
  • Latifa Hajji
    • 1
  • Mohammed Talbi
    • 1
  • Abdelhadi Lhassani
    • 3
  • M’Hammed El Kouali
    • 1
  • Sofia Pessanha
    • 4
  • Maria Luísa Carvalho
    • 4
  • Marta Manso
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry and Physico-Chemistry of Materials, Faculty of Sciences Ben M’SikHassan II University of CasablancaCasablancaMorocco
  2. 2.Laboratory of Conservation-Restoration of ManuscriptsRoyal Library of RabatRoyal PalaceMorocco
  3. 3.Laboratory of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences and TechniquesSidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah UniversityFezMorocco
  4. 4.LIBPhys-UNL, Laboratório de Instrumentação, Engenharia Biomédica e Física da Radiação, Departamento de Física, Faculdade de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade Nova de LisboaCaparicaPortugal
  5. 5.Faculdade de Belas-ArtesUniversidade de Lisboa, Largo da Academia Nacional de Belas-ArtesLisboaPortugal

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