Dating documents forensics


Forensic document examiners either work as private examiners within their own laboratory, or for publicly funded laboratories.

If an agency does not have questioned documents analysis capabilities, investigators may opt to send the evidence to a nearby lab, or retain a private examiner.

Membership requirements for these associations vary; however, an examiner typically must have completed a two-year, full-time training program under the guidance of a qualified forensic document examiner.

To maintain membership in good standing and keep their skills current, examiners are required to complete continuing education.

Research has demonstrated that impressions can be successfully visualized from documents up to 60 years old, provided the papers are not mishandled or stored improperly.

Revealing indented writing using the electrostatic detection apparatus (ESDA) () Detecting alterations, obliterations, erasures and page substitutions ― Alterations, obliterations and erasures not visible to the human eye can often be detected through use of photography and other imaging devices that utilize ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths of light.


The ESDA uses the principle that indented areas of the document carry less negative charge than surrounding areas.

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.


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