Tours through the Conservation & Scientific Research Laboratories of the British Museum

The departments of Conservation and Scientific Research of the British Museum are delighted to host tours through their specialist facilities for participants of this years’ SEAHA conference in London. The state-of-the-art laboratories are located in the new World Conservation and Exhibition Centre (WCEC) of the Museum, a multifunctional building supporting the museum’s core aims of preserving, researching, exhibiting as well as storing its precious collections.

Monday, 4th June – Tours of Conservation

The tours on Monday will offer the participants a glimpse behind-the-scenes of three specialist conservation studios. Each tour (tour 1 and tour 2) will visit the Glass, Ceramics & Metals

Studio, the Organics Studio as well as the Western Art on Paper Studio.

In the Glass, Ceramics & Metals Studio the participants will gain insights into a project exploring the removal of mould from ceramic figurines using ErbiumYag and NDYag lasers. In the Organics Studio, a conservator will present the conservation and scientific analysis of a rare example of a complete Tahitian Mourner’s Costume collected by Captain Cook. In the Western Art on Paper Studio, participants will be able to learn about the conservation and examination of Dürer’s monumental Triumphal Arch.

Tuesday, 5th June – Tours of Science

On Tuesday, the tours will focus on the Science Department. Here the participants will be able to choose between two different tours:

The earlier tour, Tour 1 – starting at 17.15pm, will include an overview of current organic analytical techniques, focussing on the analysis of organic residues on ancient ceramics using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry. Visiting a second laboratory, the participant will also gain insights in the current research involving the 3D Scanning Microscope.

The later tour, Tour 2 – starting at 18:00pm, will showcase research using X-Ray Fluorescence. The second laboratory which will be visited during this tour is the Museum’s Radiography-Suite which features the largest CT scanner in a UK museum.

Please be aware that as a security measure, all bags and large coats must be locked away in security lockers prior to entering the conservation or science areas of the museum.
The tour will involve travelling in lifts that run externally to the building and are clear glass.
Please let the organizers know as soon as possible if you have any special access requirements.

Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts Heritage and Archaeology