Imaging Spectroscopy for Quantitative Monitoring of Ageing

Ageing of historical objects often results in changes in the optical properties of the constituent materials. Imaging spectroscopy (IS) can be a valuable tool for monitoring of such changes although it has so far rarely been used in a quantitative manner. The purpose of research presented in this paper is to evaluate its detection limit and sensitvitiy when it comes to fading and loss of colour more generally.

This highly innovative research was a collaborative effort between public institutions, companies and universities in the Netherlands, Australia, UK and Slovenia.

Imaging spectroscopy (IS) is a well-established analytical method in heritage science. IS can enable the detection of change before it becomes visibly detectable, enabling the prevention of damage, rather than just its documentation. The paper describes how the hyperspectral instrument was tested and calibrated in order to enable monitoring of colour change of documents during display. The study shows how the suitability of imaging instruments can be assessed fort he purpose of other case studies. In the future, calibration and validation procedures that are stable over long periods of time need to be researched.


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