Heritage Science at the Bodleian Libraries covers any research which yields an improvement in the preservation, understanding or treatment of cultural heritage, including reviewing conservation literature, scientific analysis, artificial ageing experiments, real-time condition monitoring and more.
The main aim is to find out more about our collections. To this end the library has established a research support laboratory to aid researchers of all types in their explorations of our collections. Up until now these techniques have been in development and have only been used to explore objects identified by curatorial, conservation and academic staff within the University. We are now offering the opportunity to conduct such investigations to the Libraries' wider audience, and in particular our onsite researchers.
The laboratory has two main pieces of equipment: a Raman spectrometer and a hyperspectral imaging system. Applications to have material inspected or analysed will be via the online form below. A shortlist of the most compelling applications will be reviewed by an expert panel and those deemed to be of most academic interest will be taken forward. This will depend on the physical condition of the material, the importance of the academic question being asked, and the chances that we would get a successful result. Successful applications will lead to a meeting with the object(s) in the laboratory with the Head of Heritage Science, David Howell.
It is not known at this stage how popular this service will be so it may be that very few applications are successful due to the limited availability of time available on the equipment. Applications for which funding is available will be given priority.