Geek Trivia

The Largest Library Of Inks In The World Belongs To?

The British Crown
The French Ministry of Culture
The New York Times
The U.S. Secret Service
Which Of These Mammals Is Cold Blooded?

Answer: The U.S. Secret Service

What drove the creation of the largest library of inks in the world? Well, if you’re a strong believer in the ideas that “money rules everything” and “if you want the answers, you’d better follow the money”, then we’ve got a treat for you. The answer to our library inquiry is the result of money, cost a lot of money, and if you follow the (counterfeit) money, you’ll end up there. Where? At the International Ink Library, a massive library of inks maintained by a joint effort between the United States Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service.

Started in the 1960s, the library contains the single largest collection of inks in the world with over 11,000 different samples ranging from inks used in the 1920s to inks used on modern documents today. The inks are not just used for counterfeit detection and anti-counterfeit measures as you would assume (although that’s one of the areas the Secret Service handles), but also to analyze the ink found on threats mailed to the President and others and, when working with the FBI, to determine if documents in forgery and fraud cases are authentic.

Image courtesy of Max Stanworth/Wikimedia.