Restoring Faded Documents

Dear Donia,
How can I restore old documents that have been faded?

Faded document

Q. Dear Donia,

We have my mother's baptismal document, which is a very decorative document and in old (prior to WWII) German language. It's a large 11x14 document that's been hanging on the wall for over 50 years. The writing has faded so much that it's scarcely legible. How do we restore it so we can read it and enjoy it another 50 years? I had it re-framed on acid-free paper several years ago but it was too little too late. Can you please direct me to the proper professional who can restore it for us? Thank you for any advice you can give. Thanks, Martha

A. Dear Martha,

I have worked on some of these wonderful old baptismal and wedding certificates and they are beautiful. The problem with fading ink is that it is difficult to bring it back. However, if you can get it out of the frame you can have someone create a high-quality digital image who can then manipulate the photo to enhance the writing. This can then be printed out and placed in the original frame so that the original document can be safely stored so the ink doesn't continue to fade. This is the safest and best way to have this done. It also results in having a good digital copy that you can share with the rest of the family.

Good luck with your project!