04 November 2013

13:00 - 14:00

Being able to predict with any precision how collections will change over time is difficult as we are always reliant on historical data. But like fashion designers predicting future trends, we now use data we collect everyday to model the future. The National Archives uses computer models to underpin collection management decisions and has successfully used them to reduce energy costs. In this talk, Nancy Bell, Head of Collection Care, The National Archives and Dr Matija Strlič, Centre for Sustainable Heritage, University College London will showcase the potential of computer modelling to support the business and aid decision making.

To book your place, please email: research@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk

Big Ideas is a new series of briefings on big ideas coming out of The National Archives' research programme. Covering themes of innovation, creativity and excellence each Big Idea will share with colleagues and professionals aspects of innovative research taking place at The National Archives and elsewhere that could apply to their own area of work.


Nancy Bell is Head of Collection Care for The National Archives, and has led the development of a new environmental standard for cultural heritage collections. She believes in the potential of science research evidence to shape policies and practices affecting cultural heritage collections. She is an advisor to the Arts and Humanities and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and supports the Heritage and Science Programme as well as other professional bodies.

Nancy was born in the USA and educated at the University of Maryland where she studied history graduating with an MA in 1982. She received an award for the Council of Library Resources, USA to study book and paper conservation in the UK where she specialized in the conservation of medieval manuscripts. She worked for 12 years in Oxford where she established the Oxford Conservation Consortium, a unique co-operative facility to provide conservation and preservation services for the Oxford's collections.

She has taught conservation in the UK and Canada and has published and lectured in this field, she is member of the Institute for Conservation, an Accredited Conservator and a specialist advisor to two award granting bodies.

Dr Matija Strlič joined UCL Centre for Sustainable Heritage in 2007 as Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Heritage. Apart from teaching and research, he is also Course Director for the MRes Heritage Science at the Centre, and the Heritage Science Laboratory manager.

He was awarded PhD in chemistry at the University of Ljubljana in 2000. This work led to an EU-funded project, in which he was in charge of scientific coordination. In the last 17 years, he has been involved in more than 30 research and networking projects, mostly as a senior scientist, research manager, co-investigator or principal investigator, attracting more than £10M funding predominantly for heritage science.

Matija's research is frequently featured in the media. Recent research into the smell of old paper and the use of volatiles as markers for degradation attracted considerable media interest, including the New York Times, The Times, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, BBC, Le Temps Suisse, Scientific American, CBC Radio, Daily Planet, Discovery Channel, and more than 50 other national and international media. It was also featured in the major scientific journal Science.

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