How can I safely remove an ink stain on my original birth certificate?
Q. Dear Donia,
I accidentally got an ink stain from my purple pen on my original birth certificate from 1973. The ink stain is covering up my name which is typed. I am so upset at myself; my original birth certificate means the world to me. This is when my mother and I had happy times together, we were a family, and all four of my grandparents were still alive. Can you please help? I am so upset that this happened, and need to desperately get this fixed. Thank you, Susan
A. Dear Susan,
I am so sorry to hear about this accident! Items like this are so precious.
The only thing you can really do is contact a paper conservator. To do this you will go to the American Institute for Conservation's "Find a Conservator" page. Select Book and Paper as your specialty need. You will need to go to 100 miles out as Gainesville is the closest place to you with a paper conservator. They should be able to help reduce the staining. Just know it may not be possible to completely get rid of it depending on the ink composition and the dyes used in the typewriter ink. Good luck!