By now, millions have seen the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building on-screen in “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.” But most of them probably don’t know that the Library was represented in the movie in some even more subtle but no less important ways.
For instance, when the filmmakers sought to portray the forensic techniques behind the examination of a page purported to be from John Wilkes Booth’s diary, they turned to the Library’s director of preservation, Dianne van der Reyden. She and her team consulted with producers on “hyperspectral imaging systems,” which uses light from multiple spectral regions to tell conservators different things about the properties of an item—all in the name of lending a little extra realism to Hollywood fantasy.
So did “NT2” get it right?
Here is an image from November 2006 of the prototype LED illumination system “El Greco”: