Home >> Topics in Preservation Science

Topics in Preservation Science

Photo of Abraham Lincoln which has deteriorated Photo of Conservator treating  poster photo of old book photo of film case and film which has totally deteriorated

Upcoming Programs:

Date Topic Speaker
January 22, 2009 From Decayed Parchment to 'Bit Rot' -- Challenges in Digitizing Archimedes

Archimedes Palimpsest Program Manager Michael Toth and Data Manager Doug Emery will discuss the use of digital multi- and hyperspectral imaging, metadata, and data encoding and access to provide standardized data as effective tools for scientists, researchers, preservation experts and information managers.

West Dining Room, 6th floor, Madison Bldg.
1:30 to 2:30 PM.

>> More Information

March 19, 2009 The Art of the Steal (Recognizing Forgeries)

Mr. Frank W. Abagnale, one of the world's most recognized authorities on forgery, embezzlement, and secure documents, who has been associated with the FBI for more than 30 years, and who was the subject of the Steven Spielberg movie Catch Me If You Can, will describe how to recognize documents that have been altered and forged using simple techniques. 

Mumford Room, 6th floor, Madison Bldg.
1:00 - 2:00 PM.

>> More Information

Past Programs:

Date Topic Speaker
December 4, 2008 When the Whole is Greater than the Parts:  A Holistic Approach to Preservation Exhibition

Mr. Steven Weintraub, founder and principal of Art Preservation Services, Inc. in New York City, discussed new approaches to exhibitions that successfully meet the goals of artifact preservation and enhance the visitors' experience of the collection.

>> More Information

October 23, 2008 Recent Research on Daguerreotypes at George Eastman House

Mr. Ralph Wiegandt, Assistant Director of Conservation, and Mr. Patrick Ravines, Senior Research Fellow, George Eastman House discussed their research collaborative initiative that was established between Eastman House conservators, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. This collaboration focused on the condition of fragile early photographs while preparing them for the exhibition entitled "Young America, the Daguerreotypes of Southworth and Hawes".

>> More Information

October 2, 2008 The Real Thing: Using Collections for Collaborative Conservation

Mr. Velson Horie, Research Project Manager,
Collection Care, British Library, United Kingdom, discussed a 2½ year research project into the state of preservation of identical books deposited in six United Kingdom (UK) legal deposit libraries and two major UK archives.

>> More Information

September 19, 2008 CAMEO:  A Free Internet Reference on Materials Used in the Production and Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

Michele Derrick, Conservation Scientist, Scientific Research Division, Conservation and Collections Managment, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, discussed CAMEO (Conservation and Art Materials Encyclopedia Online), an electronic database of terms, materials and techniques used in all aspects of conservation and production of artistic, architectural, archaeological, and anthropological materials.

>> More Information

May 20, 2008

Recent Trends in Preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Chandra Reedy, Professor, University of Delaware Center for Historic Architecture and Design; Director, Laboratory for Analysis of Cultural Materials discussed UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and its context within overall preservation efforts of UNESCO.

>> More Information

May 8, 2008 Preservation Tools and Training in the Digital Age: NEDCC in the 21st Century

Ann Russell, Director, Northeast Document Conservation Center, Andover, MA, discussed new training and tools to address current challenges in the preservation field.

>> More Information

March 14, 2008 Hyperspectral Imaging of the Waldseemuller 1507 World Map:
The development of hyperspectral imaging and its application to preservation issues

Dr. Roger Easton and Dr. Fenella France discussed established and innovative conservation-safe hyperspectral imaging techniques used on the Waldseemuller 1507 World Map.

>> More Information

December 12, 2007
AMS Radiocarbon Dating of Museum Objects

Dr. Greg Hodgins discussed how accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is used at the National Science Foundation-University of Arizona (NSF-Arizona) AMS Laboratory to perform radiocarbon (14C) dating of museum objects, including the detection of 20th Century forgeries purportedly created before 1955.

>> More Information

July 16, 2007
A Public Trust at Risk: Findings of the Heritage Health Index

Kristen Overbeck Laise, Vice President, Collections Care Programs, Heritage Preservation, Washington, D.C., discussed the Heritage Health Index, published in 2005. This was the first survey to assess the condition of U.S. collections held by institutions, large and small, from internationally renowned art museums, research libraries to local historical societies and archives.

>> More Information

June 18, 2007 Capturing Recorded Sound through Imaging: The I.R.E.N.E. Project and Future Prospects

Carl Haber, Senior Scientist, Physics Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, discussed two-dimensional imaging and three-dimensional surface profiling for the purpose of capturing sound recordings from phonographic records.

>> More Information

May 9, 2006 Peter Waters: His Work as a Designer-Binder Before the 1966 Florence Flood

Sheila Waters, professional calligrapher and wife of the late Peter Waters, former Chief of Conservation at the Library of Congress, described the early book binding and restoration work of Peter Waters.

>> More Information

April 18, 2006 Conservation Applications of Solid-Phase Microextraction

Mark Ormsby, Conservation Scientist at the National Archives and Records Administration, described a versatile analytical technique that is used to study trace concentrations of organic compounds associated with a variety of objects and environments.

>> More Information

April 11, 2006 The Lost 18 1/2 Minutes of the Nixon Presidency

Dr. David P. Pappas, Project Leader, Magnetic Sensors Quantum Devices Group, National Institute of Standards & Technology, Boulder, CO, described the use of magneto-resistive sensors for recovering data from damaged magnetic media.

>> More Information

March 17, 2006 Innovations at the British Library: A High Density, Fully Automated, Low Oxygen Environment Storage Facility

Dawn Olney, Head of Collection Storage at the British Library, described the key issues, management objectives, and key decisions that are leading to the construction of a new state-of-the-art library collection storage facility. West

 >> More Information

March 2, 2006 The Conservation Scientist Meets Hurricane Katrina

Dr. Mary F. Striegel, Chief of Materials Research at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), described work being done to save Louisiana collections damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

 >> More Information

December 21, 2005 Predicting Life Expectancies of Modern Magnetic and Optical Media

Vivek Navale, Technical Chief for the Electronic Records and Special Media program at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), described findings of recent studies conducted by NARA, the Library of Congress, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to address media stability and life expectancies of higher density magnetic tapes and optical discs.

>> More Information

November 30, 2005 Scientific Analysis and Materials Research in the Conservation of Photographs

Dr. Christopher Maines, Conservation Scientist in the Scientific Research Department of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and scientific editor of the forthcoming book Coatings on Photographs: Materials, Techniques, and Conservation, described how scientific analysis of photographs yields information about the processes used to produce them and gives insight into the mechanisms of degradation that can endanger their survivability.

October 17, 2005 VisualAudio: A Preservation Strategy for Fragile Disk Recordings by Means of Photography

Ottar Johnsen, Professor of Signal Processing and Telecommunications at the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland (Fribourg), described a project entitled VisualAudio, which is a technique to extract sound from old phonograph records.

 >> More Information

August 23, 2005 Summary of Research on Magnetic Media Deterioration Since 1995

Sarah Stauderman is the Preservation Manager of the Smithsonian Institution Archives, where she oversees the care of paper, book, photographic, moving image and recorded sound materials. Her major research interest is in the deterioration of magnetic media.

 >> More Information

July 12, 2005 An Iron Gall Ink Database: Its Potential Usefulness

Jacque Olin, former head of Research at the Smithsonian's Conservation Analytical Laboratory, talked about her work with the "Vinland Map" as a case study for analysis of inks of medieval origin.

 >> More Information

May 28, 2005 Update on Collaborations with the Library of Congress on Reconstruction of Mechanically Recorded Sound by Image Processing

Carl Haber, Senior Scientist, Physics Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, described the status of a collaborative program on how the effects of damage on medium such as phonograph records can be compensated through image processing and analysis methods.

May 16, 2005 Using Images to Reconstruct Sound Recordings: Progress and Prospects

Carl Haber, Senior Scientist, Physics Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, provided an update on his project to digitally image sound recordings.

 >> More information

April 6, 2004 Optimization of Archiving Optical Storage Media

William P. Murray, Principal Reliability Engineer for implanted medical devices, Medtronic Corporation, presented a brief overview of the development of CD's and the growth rate of CD's, the construction differences, the optical read mechanism and the principal failure mechanism.

March 31st - April 2nd Lecture/ Workshop 2004




Where Science and Conservation Meet: a Challenging Field Dr. Jan Wouters, Section Head of the Laboratory for Materials and Techniques at the Royal Institute for the Study and Conservation of Belgium's Artistic Heritage, talked about leather and parchment, and the chemistry of preparation, degradation, and analysis, putting emphasis on micro-methods and results obtained from several European research projects.
January 22,
Organizational Response to Digital Preservation Anne R. Kenney, Associate University Librarian, and Nancy Y. McGovern, Assistant Director of Research and Digital Preservation Officer, Instruction, Research, and Information Services (IRIS) at Cornell University, NY.
November 21, 2003 Stabilization of Iron Gall Ink Corrosion Dr. Jana Kolar, Head, National Centre for Preservation of Library Materials, National and University Library, Slovenia.
November 21, 2003 Laser Cleaning of Paper Dr. Matija Strlic, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Sept. 29 - Oct. 1, 2003
Adhesives and Leather Symposium

Robert Barlee, J.Hewit & Sons Ltd.
Jane Down, Canadian Conservation Institute
Toby Raphael, National Park Service
Roy Thomson, Leather Conservation Center
Click here for complete program and registration information.

July 18, 2003 Reconstruction of Mechanically Recorded Sound by Image Processing Carl Haber, Senior Scientist, Physics Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, described how the effects of damage on medium such as phonograph records can be compensated through image processing and analysis methods.
June 3, 2003 Light-induced Appearance Change Terry Schaeffer, Special Research Scientist, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, presented background information and research on effects of light on supports and media.
May 22, 2003 Understanding How Paper Ages and How We Can Save It Chandru Shahani, Chief, Research and Testing Division, Preservation Directorate, Library of Congress, provided an update on groundbreaking research on the aging of paper.
March 24, 2003 Fading of Colorants and Micro-Testing Paul Whitmore and Sandra Connors, Carnegie Mellon Institute, focused on surveying and testing selected collections.
February 18-21, 2003 various lectures on pigments and inks Cheryl Porter, Chemist, Director of the Montefiascone Library Conservation Project, Italy, gave public lectures in association with a course.
January 15 and 16, 2003

(1) Lighting Initiative

(2) Microenvironments

Jim Druzik, Conservation Scientist, Getty Conservation Institute, discussed developments in lighting, absorbents and molecular sieves used to protect treasures from the environment.

December 13, 2002

Diagnostic Techniques: Selection and Interpretation


James Martin, Director, Orion Analytical, presented techniques used in his investigations which span four millennia of material (from ancient Egyptian tombs to modern compact discs).

November 25, 2002

Science in the Service of Treatments


T.K. McClintock, Director, TK McClintock Ltd., who has researched and treated objects ranging from Mercator globes at Harvard to Chinese wallpapers in the Netherlands, lectured on treatment topics compelling research today.

For more information contact:

Dianne van der Reyden
Director for Preservation
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540-4500

Home >> Topics in Preservation Science