Friday, April 26, 2013

Preservation Research Lecture; Centre for the Book at Otago

The Centre for the Book at the University of Otago is pleased to announce a public lecture by Dr Fenella G . France, Chief, Preservation Research and Testing Division, at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, on 8 May 2013.

Public Lecture: "What Covers (and Protects) our Past" (including mysteries discovered in between).
Venue: Commerce Room 2.03  
Time & Date: 5:30 pm on Wednesday, 8 May 2013. 

Please note this in your diary, and spread the word. All are most welcome

Dr. France was formerly Lead Scientist in Preservation Research and is an expert on textiles.  In 2010 she made a major discovery concerning the Library’s draft copy of the Declaration of Independence, in Thomas Jefferson’s handwriting with edits by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. Using hyperspectral imaging equipment to distinguish discrete layers of ink using various spectra of light she revealed that Jefferson in the draft declaration initially wrote the word "subjects," then carefully rewrote over it to make that word "citizens."  She is an alumna of the University of Otago.

Brief Biography:

Dr. France is Chief of the Preservation Research and Testing Division at the Library of Congress researching non-destructive imaging techniques, and prevention of environmental degradation on collections. She received her Ph.D from Otago University, New Zealand and an MBA from Deakin University, Australia. After lecturing at Otago, she was the research scientist for the Star-Spangled Banner project at NMAH. An international specialist on polymer aging and environmental deterioration to cultural objects, she focuses on links between mechanical properties and chemical changes from environmental damage and treatment protocols. 

Dr. France has worked on projects including the World Trade Centre Artifacts, Pre-Columbian mummies and textiles, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, and work on lighting standards for the preservation of cultural heritage. She serves on a range of standards and professional committees for cultural heritage preservation and maintains close links and collaborations with colleagues from academic, cultural, forensic and federal institutions.

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