#MuseumHour is a Twitter chat happening every Monday, at 8pm BST focused on museum and heritage topics. SEAHA student Panos Andrikopoulos ( @Phil_Kimby ) and fellow student Danny Garside ( @da5nsy ), were invited to chair the #MuseumHour conversation on Museum Lighting. The discussion started from what consists “good museum lighting” and quickly evolved to address new lighting technologies, lighting policy decision and conservation versus access and included artists, curators, conservators and lighting designers. A summary of the discussion can be found on storify ( https://storify.com/museumhour/museumhour-museumlighting ). Panos is a first year student in the Centre for Doctoral Training in Science Engineering Arts Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA) and Danny is a PhD research student within the 3D Impact group in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at UCL.
Cecilia Bembibre, 2nd-year SEAHA student at UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage, has recently completed training in chemical and sensory analysis of odours with Odournet SL, industry partner in her Smell of Heritage project. Working in the company’s laboratory in Barcelona, Cecilia has analysed samples of historic value from National Trust’s property Knole House. The combination of analytical chemistry (Time-of-Flight Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry) and the human nose (via GC-sniffing) allowed for the most sophisticated characterization of odours, helping us understand the information historic smells carry and how it can impact our interpretation of the past.
The Mobile Heritage Lab participated in the European Archaeological Council (EAC) symposium in Brighton. 50 conference delegates visited the laboratory facilities during their visit to the site of the Long Man of Wilmington. In the lab, Josep Grau-Bové (MRes Assistant Course Director) and Lik Ren-Tai (Mobile Heritage Lab Driver and Lab Technician) explained the research carried out by SEAHA PhD students and displayed some of the props created by students to be used in public engagement activities. For more information regarding the Mobile Heritage Lab, please see the SEAHA website: http://www.seaha-cdt.ac.uk/mobile-heritage-lab/.
Year 1 SEAHA students (MRes year) just returned from a field trip in Herefordshire. We carried out our research in a privately owned historic mansion with stunning history, amazing building fabric and unique collections.
Three research topics were developed with the extraordinarily helpful house managers: (i) effect of the recently installed central heating, (ii) multi- and hyperspectral imaging of paintings and (iii) preventive conservation of iron armoury. Having packed the entire mobile lab, we divided into three groups and collected mountains of data. Short presentations were given to the house management before we left back for London, and detailed reports will be written by each group in the coming months, providing useful evidence-based advice to the house curator.
SEAHA has been described as “ground-breaking” by the Science and Engineering South (SES) Consortium in their recent newsletter. SES is a consortium of six research intensive universities, including the University of Oxford and UCL. To read the full article, please visit the SES website.
On the 17th of June 2016, SEAHA doctoral student Hend Mahgoub will present her research in a talk at the conference of the Institute of Conservation entitled “Turn and Face the Change: Conservation in the 21st Century” in Birmingham. Hend’s topic focuses on scientific characterization of materials properties of Islamic paper and she will present a new non-destructive spectroscopic technique for surveying of Islamic paper based on Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. This has shown the potential of developing evidence-based preservation policies tailored to Islamic libraries and archives. For more information in the event, please visit the conference website.
On the 3rd and 4th of March 2016, SEAHA doctoral students Sarah Hunt and Yun Liu will each present a research posters at a two day conference entitled: “Museum Pollution : Detection and Mitigation of Carbonyls” held in Birmingham. Topics include information on new trends in pollution monitoring, understanding the levels of risk to collections, cross disciplinary projects, the application of shared knowledge for mitigation, material emissions, building/demolition projects, putting research into practice and projects that have highlighted Heritage Science to the wider sector. Sarah will be presenting on Environmental monitoring at the Mary Rose Museum and Yun will be presenting on Modelling collections and their environment. For more information in the event, please visit the conference website.
Call for Papers: Abstract deadline 29 January 2016
16-17 March 2016, Brighton, United Kingdom.
The annual European Archaeological Council (EAC) Symposium focusing on Digital Archaeology will be held in March 2016 in Brighton, England. The aim of this year’s EAC symposium is to explore exciting developments in digital technologies and consider how they may become embedded in general archaeological policy and practice over the next few years. As ambassadors of the future, we want students and early career to provide their vision as input to the discussions about “Digital Archaeology” and the future of the field.
The Student & Early Career Symposium will last one and a half days (Wed16th March 10.00 – Thurs 17th March 12.30 GMT) and will feed into the main Symposium (Thurs 17th March 13.00 – Fri 18th March 17.30 GMT). The student and early career gathering will mirror the three general themes of the Symposium:
Measuring and Sensing. The aim of this session is to explore developments in how we perceive, identify and characterize archaeological landscapes, sites and artefacts. From hyperspectral satellite imagery through Structure from Motion photographic techniques to sub-millimetric laser scanning, our capacity to use vast processing power to visualize archaeology has developed dramatically over the last 20 years and led directly to wonderful new discoveries even on very well studied sites.
Data to Knowledge. Information technology is unlocking the way we create information from raw data. We can now mine vast datasets to find associations, perceive patterns or serve up rich Geographic Information systems for national heritage protection or sophisticated research, and we are learning how to organise, manage, and curate these priceless archives and how to represent our knowledge in open linked data sets that become accessible to other researchers to use. This session will explore new approaches being adopted by member states.
Visualising the Past. This session will review the ways in which we can and may in the future present archaeology and its interpretation to professionals and the wider public alike, ways which continue to develop at a breath-taking speed. 3D-printing, immersive technologies, Augmented Reality, and Haptics are just a few examples of the remarkable advances, which seem set to change the way people access, explore, and enjoy archaeological knowledge.
Please include the theme(s) you intend to address in your presentation. Given the fixed number of sessions, sessions are expected to involve presentations of 20 minutes long. Authors will be notified by the end of January and a preliminary programme will be circulated as soon as possible thereafter.
On 16th December 50 people gathered at University College London for the National Heritage Science Forum’s second Members & Friends event.
Attendees had the opportunity to visit the SEAHA Mobile Heritage Lab, a unique research and public engagement vehicle that is a joint initiative of UCL, University of Oxford and the University of Brighton, before hearing the evening’s talks which started with Simon Cane, Director of Public and Cultural Engagement at UCL, welcoming people to the event and speaking about the value of public engagement to heritage science and the role that heritage science plays in developing people’s understanding of culture and heritage.
Nancy Bell, NHSF’s out-going Co-Chair reflected on the year’s achievements, highlighting the Kit-Catalogue that supports the sharing of equipment and strengthening of research partnerships between organisations She also pointed to current and future developments such as work to identify the gaps in research that remain five years on from the publication of the National Heritage Science Strategy.
The evening’s keynote speech was delivered by Alastair McCapra, NHSF’s newly appointed Chairman. Alastair spoke on the topic Cash for Data? He addressed the opportunities that may exist for generating income from heritage science but spoke convincingly of the benefits of open data, open access, open science. A lively question and answer session, chaired by Professor May Cassar, followed including questions about the fragmentation of the heritage science data set from Ewan Hyslop, Historic Environment Scotland, the impact of forthcoming requirements for open access to data on museums, libraries and archives from Edward Impey of Royal Armouries and the skills development needs of the heritage science sector from Gary Grubb of AHRC. You can view the full speech on the NHSF website.
The National Heritage Science Forum’s role as an enabler of collaboration and a uniting force for heritage science was evident. Its future challenges include building capacity for heritage science, championing the development of a robust infrastructure to capitalise on the achievements of the last 10 years, and supporting a continuing move to openness that will enable wide public engagement with heritage science with associated benefits in terms of public understanding of, and responsibility for, cultural heritage. More details
Last week, our first-year students visited the Wren Library in the monumental St.Paul’s Cathedral in London. The visit was part of Module 2 of the MRes Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology, and we were warmly welcomed by the Librarian Joseph Wisdom, and the Collections Care Manager Simon Carter. We are very grateful to them for having discussed environmental and visitor management strategies with us.
On the basis of the visit, and on the basis of the collected environmental monitoring data, the MRes students developed a case study: an environmental management plan for the Library as part of the Module.