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UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage

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Heritage Science

Heritage Smells

This project explored the way in which volatile emissions from historic objects such as books and modern materials can be used to understand their composition and degradation reactions.  This interdisciplinary project was done in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde and in partnership with the British Museum, the British Library, the National Records of Scotland, English Heritage and the company Owlstone.

Accessible Heritage 

Through this work environmental sensor arrays have been developed that enable remote monitoring of pollutants, humidity and temperature.  This is particularly aimed at heritage sites with more limited infrastructure, such as those in developing countries.  This work was done in collaboration with English Heritage.

Change or Damage

A study of the effect of climate on decorative furniture surfaces in historic properties, this project explored the impact of changing environmental conditions on furniture and questioned what constitutes damage.  Understanding these issues can inform decisions about how to manage and care for collections and display environments.

Natural ageing of objects in the display or storage environment

The 'Historic Objects' project began our research in this area, and the theme was explored further by the 'Identical Books' project.