Cover: The 2nd AIV International workshop “Science, Technology and Cultural Heritage” took place in Catania (Italy) between 9th and 11th November 2005. The aims of the workshop were to discuss the state of the art of natural sciences in cultural heritage, to create interdisciplinary collaborations between scientists working in the field of cultural heritage and between scientists and other cultural heritage professionals, such as conservators and curators. One of the main themes of the workshop was the study of macromolecules and their degradation. Macromolecules in cultural heritage occur either as original constituents of works of art or as conservation treatments including consolidants and protective coatings. Both natural and synthetic macromolecules undergo degradation with time and use. As an example, the picture shows a pair of natural rubber shooting gloves from the Danish Defence Museum in Copenhagen. The two gloves are a pair and both date from the 1948, but the right hand glove is highly oxidized due to exposure to ultraviolet light during use, while the left hand glove was rarely used and was not exposed to degradation factors since the soldier was right handed (picture kindly provided by Dr. Yvonne Shashoua).
Plastic objects are included more than ever in museums and galleries collections these days, but these items can start to deteriorate when they a just a few years old. In this book Yvonne Shashoua provides the essential knowledge needed to keep plastic pieces in the best possible condition so that they can continue to be enjoyed for many years. The historical development of plastics, as well as the technology, their physical and chemical properties, identification, degradation and conservation are all clearly and concisely covered within this single volume, making it an invaluable reference for the increasing number of conservators and curators that are encountering plastics in their day to day work.
1. Yvonne Shashoua, Conservation of Plastics: Materials Science, Degradation and Preservation (Oxford: Butterworth- Heinemann, 2008).
2. Joanne Dyer, Clare Ward, Nicole Rode, Marei Hacke, and Yvonne Shashoua, "Reassessment of Anoxic Storage of Ethnographic Rubber Objects," in Preprints of 16th Triennial Conference, ICOM-CC, Lisbon, Portugal, 19–23 September 2011, edited by J. Bridgland (Paris: ICOM -CC, 2011), . UzO7wygcKdI.