University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology

The coordinating partner institution in the project is University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology. Heritage research is an important research strand at the Chair of Analytical Chemistry. Our researchers have been involved in international projects on the topic for the past decade, with important developments including an electrode for micro-destructive determination of pH of paper, chemiluminometry of paper and other organic heritage materials, micro-sampling and quantitative analysis of inks and paper using laser ablation, ageing and degradation studies of organic materials, studies of emissions of volatile degradation products, and in SurveNIR, near infrared spectroscopy with chemometrics. Visit the homepages of other projects we coordinated: Papylum, and in which we cooperated: Papertreat, Inkcor, MIP, COST D42 and COST G7.


Matija Strlič - project coordinator

High quality teaching is essential for University of Ljubljana, but high quality research must complement it. On the photo: a moment of reflection at the laboratory course Chemistry for Conservators.

Zentrum für Bucherhaltung

The Zentrum für Bucherhaltung has contributed immensely to development of efficient methods of conservation of library and archival materials. Mass deacidification is in the centre of these developments. Prior to this activity, however, it is necessary to characterise the condition of objects in order to sort out the books that do not need such a treatment or for which it is already too late to treat them in this way. The development of a rapid spectroscopic method is a dream that now came true –non-destructive characterization of paper using NIR spectroscopy. The Zentrum für Bucherhaltung will market the instrument and softrware after the project completion – it is also possible to order surveys of collections as a service. We see this new method as the basis for optimiseed conservation strategies, the efficiency of which can finally be controlled using the SurveNIR instrument.


Dirk Lichtblau

Mass deacidification of books at the Zentrum für Bucherhaltung in Leipzig, Germany. Prior to this process, which prolongs the lifetime of paper considerably, object selection can optimally be performed using the SurveNIR instrument.

The National and University Library

The National and University Library of Slovenia collects, documents, preserves and archives the written cultural heritage of the Slovenian nation and country. It provides ready access to its collection of human knowledge and culture of the past and current Slovenian generations, and thus makes it available to the citizens of Slovenia and other countries.


Jana Kolar

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Nationaal Archief

The Nationaal Archief is the largest public archive in the Netherlands. Almost 1000 years of Dutch history are stored here, in 100 kilometres of documents, 250.000 items maps drawings and 1 million photographs. The collection is formed by of archives supplied by: the central government, the Province of Zuid-Holland and the former County of Holland, private institutions and individuals. One will find a wealth of national government documents and correspondence. They record the plans and activities which have made the Netherlands what it is today. For example, you find archives devoted to: wars fought by the Dutch; the evolution of the constitutional state; economic developments in agriculture, industry and trade; healthcare; voyages of discovery and overseas dominions. The collection contains a huge amount of information about people who served as diplomats, civil servants or soldiers. Beside all the personal information, there is a lot of material about public works like dykes, roads, bridges and churches throughout the Netherlands.


Gerrit de Bruin

The oldest map of Manhattan, stored at the Nationaal Archief in The Netherlands.

The British Library

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest libraries.  It originated in 1753 as the Department of Printed Books of the British Museum, and became a separate body in 1973. The British Library moved to the present building at St. Pancras in 1998.
The collections include treasure collections (Magna Carta, Lindisfarne Gospels, Leonardo da Vinci's Notebook, The Times first edition from 18 March 1788, Beatles manuscripts, The recording of Nelson Mandela's trial speech) and holdings, which include material from 300 BC to today's newspapers, 310,000 manuscript volumes, from Jane Austen to James Joyce, Handel to the Beatles, 49.5 million patents, over 4 million maps and over 260,000 journal titles.


Barry Knight

In the frame of cooperation of The British Library with the National Library of Wales, cartoons of Leslie Gilbert Illingworth were surveyed using the SurveNIR instrument.

Victoria and Albert Museum

The purpose of the Victoria and Albert Museum is to enable everyone to enjoy its collections and explore the cultures that created them; and to inspire those who shape contemporary design.
The National Art Library (NAL) at the Victoria and Albert Museum is both a major reference library and the Museum’s curatorial department for the art, craft and design of the book. Special Collections contain material that are rare or unique, and include medieval illuminated manuscripts and deluxe printed editions of books illustrated by Matisse. Another substantial collection in the Museum is the Designs Collections. The designs range from back-of-the-envelope sketches and annotated  specifications to blue prints and presentation drawings. Among those represented in the collection are architects Sir John Vanbrugh, Robert Adam, A.W.N. Pugin and Norman Foster, the sculptor Henry Moore and designers William Morris, Mary Quant, Manolo Blahnik and Tom Dixon.


Graham Martin

The Victoria and Albert Museum houses extraordinary collections - the ‘Just William Card Game’ Printed Cards were published by Castell Brothers Ltd. in the1950s.

National Archives

The National Archives is one of the oldest government institutions in Sweden, dating back to October 18, 1618, when the organization of "the old chancellery", i.e. the National Archives, was created as a separate office within the Royal Chancellery. The National Archives is charged with the supervision of all public archives in Sweden. The National Archives keeps the records of the Swedish Parliament, of the Government and the Ministries, and of the central government authorities and their predecessors. This wealth of accounts, statistics, correspondences, registers of population and taxation, minutes etc. depicts in detail the development of Swedish society through the centuries. The archives also contain maps, plans and drawings as well as modern media as photographic records, audio and video recordings as well as digital records.


Jonas Palm

The biggest book in the world, stored at the National Archives in Sweden, is actually a collection of accounting documents. Its condition was assessed using the SurveNIR instrument.

State Archives in Dubrovnik

The State Archives in Dubrovnik is one of the richest in this part of Europe, next to those in Vatican, Vienna, Venice or Istanbul. The Archive of the Republic of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) consists of more than 7000 books and more than 100,000 documents, and spans the period from the 11th to the 19th century. Many documents form this Archive are written records of activities of Dubrovnik Republic, such as instructions to ambassadors, letters to consuls, charters issued by the rulers of Spain, Austria, Turkey, Germany, France, England, Russia, United States of America, Vatican etc. The greatest number of archival books and documents are written in Latin, which was the official language of diplomacy, although there are many documents written in Italian, Croatian and Turkish language (more then 14,000 Turkish documents), in Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Russian and Armenian. Handwritten and printed books of famous Dubrovnik scientists and writers (Gundulić, Palmotić, Getaldić, Bošković) are also stored in the Archives as well as collections of old maps, photos, postcards, newspapers, magazines, plans and drawings.


Nikša Selmani

Istanbul, 1639. Firman (edict) issued by sultan Murat IV (HR-DADU-7/2.1, sv. 19, br. 922).

National Museum of Denmark

The National Museum of Denmark is Denmark’s primary cultural history museum. Housed in an eighteenth-century palace in the centre of Copenhagen, the museum offers a broad spectrum of exhibitions and activities. The permanent collections portray more than 10.000 years of history, providing insights into the world of the past and foreign cultures worldwide. Bevaringsafdelingen (The Conservation Department) has about 80 conservators and conservation scientists plus a small support and administrative staff. The department conserves the collection of the National Museum including the archives (written sources, drawings, photographs etc.). The Conservation Department also works for other institutions and individuals on a non profit basis, covering about half of its expenses in this way. The department conducts research in conservation processes – and in Preventive conservation. Research in this field at the Department of Conservation presently focuses on those factors directly related to the interior climate of the museum building and storage facilities: temperature, moisture, light, and destructive airborne substances. The current specific focus areas deal with optimizing and documenting storage conditions at the National Museum, and with the description of air quality and its decisive factors in museum storage or archive buildings.


Mads Christian Christensen

The National Museum of Denmark houses a huge collection of posters, which was also surveyed using the SurveNIR instrument. Film poster printed by Dyva & Jeppesen, 1941.