2010 Annual Conference Programs

Preservation Forensics and Document Optical Archaeology at LC

Saturday, June 26

Presentations 1:30–3pm, Tours 3–4:30pm
This program will be held at the Library of Congress, Coolidge Auditorium.

Registration is required to attend.*

The Library of Congress Preservation Research and Testing Division has developed methods of accessing information from documents that is otherwise invisible to the unaided eye.   Three presentations (1:30 –3pm) will outline methods of recovering lost information, revealing hidden writing on manuscripts, degradation mechanisms in film and CDs, and unheard sound on damaged audio recordings. Linking these techniques increases access through the creation of a “digital cultural object” that can be described as "scripto-spatial imaging" – a GIS system for documents and manuscripts. Examples range from "fingerprinting" analysis of the Gettysburg Address with hyperspectral imaging of obscured features, to E-SEM imaging of film and parchment, to quantifiable tracking the growth of blemishes on CDs, to scanning "phonautographs" with the IRENE machine.

Through an interactive program, scientists from the Preservation Research and Testing Division will illustrate through a range of examples what can and has been done at the Library of Congress, and how this informs the library community at large.

Afterwards, the Preservation Research and Testing Division will provide behind-the-scene tours (3-4:30pm) of the upgraded laboratories where preservation forensic techniques are employed to access information from documents that’s invisible to the unaided eye. Participants will tour the Optical Properties Lab and the Chemical and Physical Testing labs to learn more about methods that allow nondestructive analysis of fragile, singular documents such as the Gettysburg Address.

*Attendance limited to the first 200 participants to RSVP by email to ALAPRTD@loc.gov. Please note that this event will be held at the Library of Congress. Additional directions and information will be provided in the RSVP confirmation email.

Speakers

  • Eric F. Hansen, PhD, FIIC, FAIC, Chief, Preservation Research and Testing Division, Library of Congress
  • Fenella G. France, PhD, MBA, Research Program Liaison & Research Chemist, Preservation Research and Testing Division, Library of Congress
  • Lynn Brostoff, PhD, Research Chemist, Preservation Research and Testing Division, Library of Congress

Sponsored by PARS and the Preservation Directorate at the Library of Congress.