Coordinated Research Project: Disinfection and Consolidation of Archived Materials and Cultural Heritage Artefacts by Radiation Processing Techniques
In decision making on the appropriate dose for control of microbiological contamination by radiation treatment of cultural heritage objects several factors have to be taken into account: radiation sensitivity of the contaminating microorganisms and the composition, the state and the age of the materials of the object. However, the literature does not offer a larger overview on how to address complex situation of cultural heritage (CH) objects constituting of different and aged materials in relation to various bioburdens. Because of that there is a large need for systematic approach to data concerning radiation treatment of CH artefacts. The goals of the proposed coordinated research project are to address those needs by initiating research using appropriate model materials and experimental techniques. The goals can be achieved only in cooperation of adequate research institutions so the scientists of the Radiation Chemistry and Dosimetry Laboratory (RCDL) of the Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI) and Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb propose this coordinated research project. The results gathered by the project should present a base for formation of database of response of various CH materials combined with response of common microorganisms to radiation treatment and serve as a guideline to restores, curators and personnel of radiation facilities in deciding on the best dose for a particular case. The formation and application of database in practise will combine the basic knowledge and skills of the profession aimed at preserving cultural heritage, from the Conservation-Restoration Department, Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb and the National and University Library, Zagreb. Standardization of irradiation procedures and methodologies for treatment of CH artefacts will be performed by dose mapping and dose distribution studies in simulated samples using ECB dosimetry systems.