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Thursday, May 16 • 11:00am - 11:30am
(Photographic Materials) Specular Reflection FTIR for Chemical Analysis of Historic Photographs

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Cultural heritage objects present a special set of challenges for chemical analysis. Often micro-sampling or even contacting the object is deemed an unacceptable risk to the object. Here is presented the successful use of specular reflection FTIR, a non-sampling and non-contact modality for the chemical identification on historic photographs. The method was quite successful with using a spectral library generated from modern reference samples for the identification of single coatings on salted paper prints in the Harvard University class albums from 1853-1863. This work has also been extended to the identification of mixtures of coatings, and multiple distinct layers of coatings on paper objects. The multiple coatings identified on Frederic Flachéron’s paper negatives from Horblit Collection at Houghton Library at Harvard University served as a case study.

avatar for Arthur McClelland

Arthur McClelland

Principal Scientist, Harvard University - Center for Nanoscale Systems
Arthur McClelland received his PhD in applied physics from the University of Michigan in 2009. He has worked at the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard University since 2011 running the optical spectroscopy laboratory.

avatar for Elena Bulat

Elena Bulat

Photograph Conservator for Special Collections, Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard Library
Elena Bulat is a photograph conservator for special collections at the Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard Library since 2007. Elena came to Harvard from the George Eastman House where she was a paper and photograph conservator. From 2001 to 2003 Elena was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow... Read More →

Thursday May 16, 2019 11:00am - 11:30am EDT
Nehantic/Pequot/Paugussett Rooms Sky Convention Center, Mohegan Sun
  Specialty Session, Photographic Materials