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RAE 2008

Rearch Assessment Exercise 2008

Tracey Chaplin

Research Outcomes

Outcome 1 - The Pigment Compendium
Volume 1 - A Dictionary of Historical Pigments
Volume 2 - Optical Microscopy of Historical Pigments
Chaplin was responsible for the overall mineralogy content of the book, and took the photographs for the Optical Properties volume, as well as writing several other sections of text.
This book was shortlisted in 2005 for the Anna Plowden Award for Research and Innovation in Conservation, having received in 2004 the bronze award in the L’OrĂ©al Art and Science of Color Prize.
Chaplin's contribution is a summation of her collaborative research articles published from 2002 to 2005.


Outcome 2 - Pompeii Purpurissum Pigment Problems
This paper, delivered to the Art '05 - Non Destructive Investigations and Microanalysis for the Diagnostics and Conservation of the Cultural and Environmental Heritage conference, was the presentation of research conducted by a multi-disciplinary team from several high-profile international research establishments which evaluated the problems associated with different analytical methods used in analysis of dyestuffs. This information is important as it has been used to produce guidelines to direct other researchers to the most appropriate analytical techniques for their dye samples.
The research forms part of the analysis conducted by the Pigmentum Project, a group which is currently investigating the compositions, manufacture and usage of historical and modern pigments and which is now affiliated to the RLAHA (Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford).


Outcome 3 - Compressibility of stottite, FeGe(OH)6: An octahedral framework with protonated O atoms
The body of research presented in this article in American Mineralogist has contributed to the understanding of minerals and crystal identification and its use on decorative surfaces and painting on canvas. The article presents the analysis of an extremely rare mineral and its behaviour under the high pressures experienced at depths within the Earth where it is expected to be found.
This research developed further understanding of the behaviour of minerals at extreme conditions and increased knowledge of the geological processes operating within the Earth, particularly those involving water.
This work formed a part of the wider research conducted by the Crystallography Group in the Department of Earth Sciences at University College London.


Outcome 4 - The Gutenberg Bibles: Analysis of the Illuminations and Inks Using Raman Spectroscopy
This article in Analytical Chemistry presents the first research into the identification of pigments used to decorate the illuminated pages of seven Gutenberg Bibles. These rare 15th century manuscripts are considered to be the first books printed in the western world using moveable type and for this reason are of great cultural significance. The research has allowed the illumination histories of these books to be determined and has increased current knowledge of how and where the printed books were decorated. Further, the knowledge of the pigments obtained will be used to guide future conservation strategies of these works.
The research forms part of a wider collaborative Raman spectroscopy project involving the chemistry department at University College London and the British Library.


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