Inside the conservation lab: microchemical testing

Oct 20, 2014

Thanks to a new microchemical testing system, Historic New England’s conservators can conduct basic chemical analysis that helps identify materials found in our collection objects.

Conservation staff recently used microchemical testing to identify an old adhesive used to repair a table. By testing a small sample of the material against a known positive and a known negative, we were able to identify the adhesive as cellulose nitrate.

Determining the adhesive helps narrow the date of the previous repair and allows for better conservation treatment.

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