Document dating

Throughout the unit, illustrative images are taken from the collections held by Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham.

Aginsky Forensic Document Dating Laboratory is an international forensic firm that provides consultation, examination and expert testimony on civil and criminal cases involving disputed documents, such as: Cases have been submitted from throughout the United States, as well as from Canada, England, Australia, Russia, Mexico, China, Israel, the Netherlands, Germany, Iceland, Greece, Sweden, Poland, Ukraine, Kosovo, South Africa, Turkey, Lithuania, Malaysia, India, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Gibraltar, British Virgin Islands, Tunisia, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Ireland, Slovakia, and Hong Kong.

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Furthermore, even where a recognisable date is provided, it may not always be what it at first appears.

The information provided within this skills unit aims to identify and explain some of the most common difficulties and pitfalls and to provide sources of assistance.

The ESDA is an extremely sensitive instrument capable of restoring indented writing on documents which were situated 4 or 5 sheets below the document written on.

ESDA test results can also show if a questioned entry was written before or after uncontested information on a document or in a file.

In such situations, the time information was added to a document can be a critical factor.

In Figure 3 below, the sentence outlined in red was allegedly written on Wednesday July 22nd, the same day that two entries above and below the questioned entry were made.

The location of the questioned entry corresponds to the second line in the box dated Wednesday July 29th on the following page (see Figure 4).

Indented writing impressions can be made visible by testing documents with an Electro-Static Detection Apparatus or ESDA.

A description of this instrument and the functions it performs appear in the section Indented Writing.

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