Tana Villafana

Tana Villafana is a Chemist in the Preservation Research and Testing Division. She loves her role as a Chemist because she gets to work closely with curators and conservators across the Library of Congress and examine unique, and sometimes strange, collection items. Tana uses her background in spectroscopy, microscopy, and imaging to non-invasively analyze and identify the materials in the Library’s vast collection, often leading to impactful data that can inform object history and guide preservation treatments. Tana worked towards her B.S in Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago; by day researching ultrafast laser phenomena in the school’s basement and by night, going to poetry slams and playing music at local venues. She went on to earn her doctorate in Chemistry from Duke University. With the help of the North Carolina Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art, Tana was able to bring her love of lasers and art together in a thesis detailing the use of femtosecond pump-probe optical microscopy to generate virtual cross-sections in historic artwork. Outside of work, Tana is an avid gardener and home chef. She enjoys writing, playing music, and being a mom to three great kids and four fluffy cats.

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