Dr Lucia Pereira Pardo

  • Position: Senior Conservation Scientist
  • Specialism: Heritage science, Material analysis
  • Lucia.PereiraPardo@nationalarchives.gov.uk

Lucia is a Conservation Scientist in the Collection Care Department. She uses scientific techniques (Multispectral Imaging, X Ray Fluorescence, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) to investigate the composition of the materials in our collection and understand their production, vulnerability and degradation. She works closely with the conservators to provide scientific support for decision-making about both preventive and remedial conservation.

Before joining The National Archives, Lucia was a Conservation Scientist at Historical Royal Palaces, where she participated in a number of research projects including the technical analysis of the Rubens ceiling paintings at the Banqueting House-Whitehall or the environmental monitoring and protection of the Tudor tapestry collection at Hampton Court Palace. She also provided scientific support for the day to day activities in the conservation studio, such as material testing (accelerated ageing, Oddy test).

With a background in chemistry, she specialised in conservation science at the Spanish Institute of Cultural Heritage (IPCE) in Madrid and completed her PhD at the University of Santiago de Compostela, with her research about the conservation and analysis of 16th century wall paintings in Northern Spain. In 2015 she moved to the UK to take part in the MINIARE project at the University of Cambridge, after obtaining a MINIARE-ZKS fellowship. She performed non-invasive analysis of large groups of illuminated manuscripts from a wide range of periods and origins. Some examples can be seen here. Between 2016 and 2019 she was appointed as an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the Scientific Research department of the British Museum where she explored the use of Er:YAG lasers in conservation, performed digital reconstructions of the original polychromy on medieval sculptures or investigated the production of Hokusai’s woodblock prints.

Lucia’s research interests are varied and include: the study of the techniques and materials of painted objects, the use of non-invasive techniques of analysis, understanding the degradation of materials, research for preventive conservation, the development and application of innovative conservation methods such as laser cleaning, providing scientific training to conservators and disseminating conservation science to broader audiences.

She is a member of the Icon Heritage Science Group committee and the International Institute for Conservation.

Select publications

L. Pereira-Pardo, D. Tamburini and J. Dyer, ‘Shedding light on the colours of medieval alabaster sculptures: Scientific analysis and digital reconstruction of their original polychromy’, Color Research & Application 44:2 (2018), pp. 221-233

Panayotova, L. Pereira-Pardo, P. Ricciardi, ‘Illuminators' Materials and Techniques in Fourteenth-century English Manuscripts’ in Manuscripts in the Making: Art and Science 1, ed. Stella Panayotova and Paola Ricciardi, (London and Turnhout, 2017), pp. 46-64

C. Korenberg, L. Pereira-Pardo, P. McElhinney and J. Dyer, ‘Developing a systematic approach to determine the sequence of impressions of Japanese woodblock prints: the case of Hokusai’s “Red Fuji”’, Heritage Science 7:9 (2019)