Preservation Science Intern Jessica McKenzie breaks down some applications of analytical chemistry in the Library of Congress, where she uses Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy to expand the Preservation Research and Testing Division’s database for pigment analysis. She then demonstrates how she has assisted in applying her work to collection items.
The Inks and Skins collaboration studies material aspects of medieval Gaelic manuscripts, fusing scientific analysis with codicology and linguistic study. These manuscripts contain a wealth of tales and poetry, historical, legal, and scientific writing from medieval Ireland. The manuscripts themselves, their creation, and their survival each have their own tales to tell.
In the first of our new staff series, Backgrounds as Vast as Our Collections: The Research and Testing Division, we meet Chris Bolser. Chris is a preservation technician who has been with the library for about 8 years.
Scientific research meets the allure of the past as Tineta Nkoronye, an intern at the PRTD at the LOC, delves into the world of preservation chemistry as she explores predictions made by William J. Barrow. Learn about the analytical methods used to carry out this experiment and discover whether Barrow's predictions were accurate or not.
Register to join us at the Library of Congress on September 13th from 10 am - 4 pm. Speakers will address the history of the Irish manuscripts, complementary research projects in which they are involved, and the results of the analytical techniques involved in the research. As Inks&Skins is a collaboration between heritage science and humanities, the importance of a visualization platform to share the results with humanities scholars will also be discussed.
My summer at the Library was spent capturing data from colored pigments in order to build a reference database. Using a high-tech portable FTIR instrument, I prepared samples and collected infrared readings from 50 pigments in the Library’s collection using three of the portable instrument’s attachments. I compiled 150 measurements in order to create the database’s foundation.
Join us, at The Library of Congress or virtually, as we discuss “Assessing the Physical Condition of the National Collection (ANC)”. This Andrew W. Mellon funded project has collected data from over 2500 volumes to compare the physical, chemical and optical characteristics of 500 “identical” books from five large research libraries in distinct regions of …
Preservation Research and Testing Division hosted colleagues from Nottingham Trent University’s ISAAC Research Lab (Imaging & Sensing for Archaeology, Art History, and Conservation) as they explored the Library of Congress’ collection of pith paintings. Their international research project “From Lima to Canton and Beyond: an AI-aided Heritage Materials Research Platform for Studying Globalisation through Art” exemplifies collaboration on a multitude of different levels: between the cultures who produced the art, between institutions researching them in present day, between collections in multiple divisions within the Library, and even between different instruments for analysis.