Dating of Documents

Comparative analysis of a particular document against other documents from the same source and the same period may be of assistance in determining the relative date of documents or may identify a particular time frame in which a particular organisation used a particular paper type, printer, fax machine etc.

There are various libraries of information available concerning when papers were produced but these rely very heavily on the presence of a watermark in the paper. Comparative analysis of a particular document against other documents from the same source and the same period may also be of assistance or may identify a particular time frame in which a particular organisation used a particular paper type.

Similarities in paper type, colour, content, fibres, sizes etc can yield valuable information when determining similarities or differences between papers.

The types of pen, printers etc may be significant in assessing the date of a document and as with many of the dating techniques, the evidence is often more valuable or significant when an anachronism is established as opposed to compliance with other materials, papers etc which may have been available for a prolonged period of time.

Other aspects of documents relating to defects in features such on printed or typewritten document, the presence of trash marks or incidental marks on photocopies or laser prints etc may also yield valuable information concerning the dating of the document.

Handwriting and signatures may change with time and if reasonable volumes of comparison documentation over a period of time from the same individual can be obtained, the quality of writing or writing style may be identifiable to a particular time period.

The relative dating of documents or entries on documents can also be undertaken utilising such techniques as ESDA or by examination of offset ink transfers (caused by writing a document resting on top of a "wet" transferable ink).

What We Offer

We offer a free of charge:

  • Estimate of likely costs 
  • Initial brief discussion of the case with potential instructing solicitors over the telephone
  • Outline of other potential examinations that may be available to extract the maximum evidence from the documents available

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