Top of page

Archive of all 24 Posts

Close-up view of two hands carefully at work on an aged, yellowing manuscript with handwriting

What Have We to Do with Any Thing but Love?

Posted by: Tana Villafana

This is a guest post written by Meghan Wilson, a Preservation Science Specialist in the Preservation Researching and Testing Division. Meghan runs PRTD’s multispectral imaging system, often unveiling the invisible within the Library’s collection. Amidst the Revolution, Alexander Hamilton sought solace in his love for Elizabeth Schuyler. Their correspondence is filled with moments of fondness, …

Close-up view of two hands carefully at work on an aged, yellowing manuscript with handwriting

Reflections on War

Posted by: Tana Villafana

This is a guest post by Cindy Connelly Ryan, a Preservation Science Specialist in the Preservation Research and Testing Division (PRTD). Her research areas include the light sensitivity of inks, dyes and organic colorants, deterioration and stabilization of verdigris and iron gall ink, technical study of collection items, and re-creating obsolete historic recipes for artists’ …

Close-up view of two hands carefully at work on an aged, yellowing manuscript with handwriting

Observing the Slightest Motion: Using Visual Tools to Preserve Sound

Posted by: Tana Villafana

This is a guest post written by Peter Alyea. Peter is a Preservation Science Specialist in the Research and Testing Division of the Library of Congress and has been working with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on imaging recorded sound collections for preservation and access since the inception of the IRENE project. Although making audio recordings …

Close-up view of two hands carefully at work on an aged, yellowing manuscript with handwriting

Autumn Color Chemistry

Posted by: Tana Villafana

It’s Fall! Time to break out those comfy sweaters. Time to hold a mug of warm cocoa in two hands and watch yellow tinted leaves slowly topple to the ground. Perhaps some of us are looking at the rich textures and thinking “I wonder if I could get a great color out of that leaf?” …

The Apocalypse, The Hellmouth, and Spectral Imaging

Posted by: Tana Villafana

Nothing says Halloween quite like Apocalypses and giant Hellmouths. The Preservation Research and Testing Division (PRTD) wanted to know what this Hellmouth was made of. So, we dove right in. This blog was written jointly by Tana Villafana, Meghan Wilson, Amanda Satorius, and Stephanie Stillo. Meghan Wilson and Amanda Satorius are Preservation Science Specialists in …

Close-up view of two hands carefully at work on an aged, yellowing manuscript with handwriting

If Only Flutes Could Talk – A Tale of Science, Music, and Napoleon’s Flute!

Posted by: Tana Villafana

This is a guest post by Lynn Brostoff, a chemist in the Preservation Research and Testing Division. Her research interests include the characterization of iron gall ink, verdigris pigment, and glass deterioration. Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford (left), Curator, and Lynn Brostoff (right), Chemist, examining a Laurent flute in the Music Division’s Flute Vault. Photo Credit: Larry …

Close-up view of two hands carefully at work on an aged, yellowing manuscript with handwriting

Analyzing Paper Deterioration: The Experiences of Two Interns Working on the Ongoing ANC Project

Posted by: Tana Villafana

This is a guest post by Kimberly Chancellor and Heidi Vance, two Junior Fellow summer interns in the Preservation Research and Testing Division. Kimberly is a recent graduate from Texas A&M University where she earned her BS in Anthropology. Heidi is a current paper conservation graduate student at Northumbria University.  This summer we had the …

Close-up view of two hands carefully at work on an aged, yellowing manuscript with handwriting

Portable Microscopes: It’s a Small World, but not an Unreachable One!

Posted by: Tana Villafana

This is a guest post written by Amanda Satorius, Preservation Science Specialist in the Preservation Research and Testing Division. Her work includes completing historical pigment and paper production research, as well as expanding and preserving the Cultural Heritage Analytical Reference Material (CHARM) collection. She is also part of PRTD’s “Go Team” of scientists that use …

Close-up view of two hands carefully at work on an aged, yellowing manuscript with handwriting

No Labs? No Problem (for PRTD’s Interns)!

Posted by: Tana Villafana

This is a guest post by Andrew Davis, a chemist in the Preservation Research and Testing Division, who is active in PRTD’s outreach efforts. Andrew works to understand polymeric materials in the Library’s collection, such as paper, adhesives, and audiovisual materials, and he also researches the effects of light and the environment on collections objects. …