ISAAC Launch Event – The Application of Scientific Analysis to Cultural Heritage Research

Conservation scientists, museum technicians and curators, art historians, and University staff and students gathered together on 21 January 2013 to celebrate the launch of ISAAC, the University of Glasgow’s Imaging Spectroscopy and Analysis Centre based in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences. ISAAC was established, in part, to assist industrial customers in meeting their metrology challenges by offering easy access to sophisticated, high quality characterisation and analyses.

Featuring presentations by representatives from the Doerner Institut in Germany, the Natural History Museum in London, Historic Scotland, the Hunterian Museum, and the University of Glasgow, the seminar provided insights and described the benefits achievable by applying characterisation and analysis to heritage science research and conservation applications.

The attendees were treated to fascinating case studies as diverse as the imaging of an Egyptian mummy; the examination of a pocket watch salvaged from the Swan, a 300 year old shipwreck; and an analysis of the painting materials used by Samuel van Hoogstraeten, an apprentice of Rembrandt. A remote online demonstration from the ISAAC facilities also gave the audience a flavour of the range of services on offer and the state-of-the-art facilities available.

Elaine McChesney, Curator at Dunollie Preservation Trust, who attended the ISAAC Launch Event, commented, “I was delighted to attend such a superb seminar. I was inspired and awed by the images/results in the presentations, and every session contained something I can take with me in my work and imagination.”

Professor Maggie Cusack, Head of the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences and co-founder of ISAAC, added, “The Centre has a wealth of services and facilities available to industry and research groups. We are delighted to launch ISAAC to enable us to facilitate collaboration, and we look forward to working in partnership with our industrial contacts on various future projects.”