The major SurveNIR results are:

The instrument and software will be commercially available from Zentrum für Bucherhaltung GmbH in 2008. Please contact Dr. Dirk Lichtblau for details.

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.

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. There is a growing number of groups now working on similar developments for characterisation of historical textiles, plastics, and other materials.

We would like to stress, however, that this approach needs to be used critically; otherwise it can easily turn into a ‘black-box’. It is impossible to over-stress the importance of understanding for what types of materials and properties the chemometric methods have been developed. It would be critical to use the methods we developed for any type of paper not contained in the reference sample collection. To use the SurveNIR software on mouldy, burnt, transparent or other less usual papers would most likely give wrong results.

Does it really work?