Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS


SURVENIR Informe resumido

Project ID: 6594
Financiado con arreglo a: FP6-POLICIES
País: Germany

Final Report Summary - SURVENIR (Near Infrared Spectroscopy Tool for Collection Surveying)

Most of humanity's memory is contained on paper. In order to successfully manage the information and make it continuously available, we need to monitor and understand the quality and stability of historical paper. The principal aim of the SURVENIR project was to develop a non-destructive instrument providing all the necessary data to conservators, conservation scientists and collection managers in a matter of seconds. Prior to SURVENIR, days were needed to do the job and large samples were consumed, which was entirely unacceptable.

We achieved the aim using near-infrared-spectroscopic technology and developed an instrument and software incorporating multivariate chemometric analysis of the spectra. To do so, we first had to collect and analyse more than 1 000 historical paper samples and use the data to develop the software. As the new approach is entirely non-destructive, it can be used for analysis of even the most valuable paper objects. In addition, surveys of whole collections can be performed effectively.

In our endeavours, we also assembled and characterised a large collection of historical papers and we developed new techniques and methods of paper analysis, which we also publicised. The database is comprised of paper samples of the most frequently used paper types in European libraries, museums and archives. The number of samples exceeds 1 300, from recent papers to historical papers. A number of chemical analytical techniques and mechanical tests were used to establish paper properties. The database is now available and generally accessible for further studies.

However, the most important result is our optimism that the concept which we were the first to introduce into heritage science will be received well in both conservation workshops and research groups. The developed instrument will help the conservator and collection manager in taking well informed decisions. The technique has been validated in a number of collections of European significance thus demonstrating the importance of the development. The instrument has also been made available for purchase, thus increasing the competitiveness of the European economy. Finally, through better preservation of cultural heritage, information will become more accessible to every citizen.

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