Assessment of the state of archival, museum and library collections is a task of utmost importance. Depending on the type and size of a collection, surveying may also be one of the most demanding tasks in terms of the necessary resources. It is usually done using simple physical and chemical tests, often destructive, in order to reveal the collection condition, the general conservation needs and in order to plan preservation activities. As testing of a single item should take as little time as possible, the information obtained is usually only rudimentary.By providing a near-infrared-spectroscopic instrument prototype, the end-users will be provided with a powerful survey tool allowing reagent-less multi-component low-cost analysis of items. As the technique itself has recently found the way into industry as an in-line production control tool, and as a number of preliminary experiments have already been performed, the risk of its implementation for the purpose is low. Furthermore, the spectra can be taken non-destructively in a matter of minutes, then analysed using advanced statistical methods and as the result, data important for the preservation officer and policy maker may be provided, such as material composition and chemical state in a user-friendly software interface.The tool will be tested in seven collections, thus demonstrating the relevance of the developed approach. The involvement of an SME, a university lab and two libraries, three archives, and two museums, i.e. seven end-users, ensures an efficient and directed dissemination both of knowledge and of the developed technology.Surveying is indispensable in the sustainable impact assessment especially of protection treatments, and is the basis of all planning in collection management, so the project is highly relevant to Task 3 of the work programme.
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project