Research in Conservation

Conservators and conservation scientists are constantly working towards new and better solutions for conservation conundrums such as iron gall ink deterioration, treatment of 20th century photoreproductions, and quick identification of at-risk materials. Tools at their disposal include scientific testing, instrumental analysis and microscopy. Many conservators conduct their own small-scale research projects, and scientists are working on the thorniest of problems at the largest conservation science centers including the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE), the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) and the Library of Congress, and at smaller conservation science labs such as the Heritage Science for Conservation at Johns Hopkins University.

Analysis with a Compound Microscope

University of Chicago Library Conservator Melina Avery conducts pigment analysis using a compound microscope with polarized light capability.

Photo by Tonia Grafakos