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Saturday, May 31 • 10:00am - 10:30am
(Research and Technical Studies Session) Development and Testing of a Reference Standard for Documenting Ultraviolet Induced Visible Fluorescence.

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Near ultraviolet induced visible fluorescence (UV/visible fluorescence) is a non-invasive characterization technique used extensively by conservators across all media and specializations. Among many applications in the field of conservation and beyond, this technique is commonly used to identify variations in surface, reveal previous restorations, date materials, and identify resins and pigments. Documentation of this work provides an important record of cultural material and is a powerful tool for guiding conservation treatment and historical research.

Despite extensive use and application, standardization of UV/visible fluorescence documentation presents challenges due to numerous inherent variables. Variations in hardware, software, radiation sources, filtration, workflows and user interpretation pose significant challenges. As a result, there is little basis for comparing UV/visible fluorescence documentation across institutions and conservation labs.

This presentation will discuss the development and beta-testing of new reference standards and imaging protocols that have been formulated and tested by UV Innovations Inc., (a project of Paul Messier, LLC), to address the need for standardization. Under development since 2006, the Target-UV™ and UV-Grey™ are useful for the calibration of documentation equipment and accounting for all significant variables. The system uses a set of grey values, in the form of a UV/visible fluorescent grey card and documentation target, to set white balance and correct exposure. Prototypes were completed in January 2013 and tested to determine efficacy and the potential for standardization. Eight institutions in the US and Europe participated in a round robin blind test. Each site was sent the prototype reference standards, filters, and the same set of items to document using UV/visible fluorescence. Resulting images were compared visually and using RGB data.

Testing confirmed there is a high degree of variability in current approaches to UV/visible imaging and that documentation made to existing standards is almost meaningless in terms of comparison across sites. The test also demonstrated that the calibration of imaging equipment, using the UV-Grey™ and Target-UV™, in conjunction with standardized filtration, provides more accurate documentation of fluorescent color and intensity as well as permitting disparate sites and users to create comparable images. Data derived from the resulting images show a four to five fold reduction in image variability across the test sites. Additional discussion will focus on next steps including potential options for manufacturing and marketing the reference standards.

avatar for Jennifer McGlinchey Sexton

Jennifer McGlinchey Sexton

Conservator, McGlinchey Sexton Conservation, LLC
Jennifer McGlinchey Sexton is a Conservator of Photographs and Art on Paper at Paul Messier LLC in Boston, MA. Jennifer performs treatments and specializes in UV/visible imaging and analysis of photographs and works on paper. Jennifer earned a BFA in Photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. In 2010, she received a Masters of Arts and certificate of advanced study in the conservation of works on paper and photographs from the... Read More →


Jiuan Jiuan Chen

Assistant Professor, Art Conservation Department, SUNY Buffalo State
Jiuan Jiuan Chen joined the faculty in the Art Conservation Department at SUNY Buffalo State in the Fall of 2012 as the professor for Conservation Imaging, Technical Examination and Documentation. She is a graduate of Class of 2001 from the same program. She previously interned or worked at the Northeast Document Conservation Center, the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, Heugh-Edmondson... Read More →
avatar for Paul Messier

Paul Messier

Head, Lens Media Lab, Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage
Paul Messier is the head of the Lens Media Lab at Yale University's Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. the LML is devoted to materials-based research on the 20th century photographic print.

Saturday May 31, 2014 10:00am - 10:30am
Seacliff A-B

Attendees (95)