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This paper proposes an algorithm to clean up a large collection of historical handwritten documents kept up in the National Archives of Singapore. Due to the seepage of ink over long period of storage, the front page of each document has been severely marred by the reverse side writing. Earlier attempts have been made to match both sides of the page to identify the offending strokes originating from the back so as to eliminate them with the aid of a wavelet transform. Perfect matching, however, is difficult due to document skews, differing resolutions, inadvertently missing out reverse side and warped pages during image capture. An approach is now proposed to do away with double side mapping by using a directional wavelet transform that is able to distinguish the foreground and reverse side strokes much better than the conventional wavelet transform. Experiments have shown that the method indeed enhances the readability of each document significantly over after the directional wavelet operation without the need for mapping with its reverse side.