Cultural Heritage Microbiology: Fundamental Studies in Conservation Science

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Ralph Mitchell, Christopher J. McNamara
ASM Press, 2010 - Antiques & Collectibles - 326 pages
Historic and culturally important objects, like all materials, are vulnerable to microbial attack. Over time, microorganisms can affect paint, wood, paper, glass, textiles, metal, wax, stone, polymers, and coatings, Microbial deterioration of heritage materials can be caused by the formation and growth of biofilms or by direct attack by a variety of microorganisms, all of which may be difficult to correct without also damaging the materials themselves. On the other hand, microbial processes can also be adapted to conserve and even restore heritage materials, pointing to the complex nature of microbial interactions with these irreplaceable materials.

Cultural Heritage Microbiology assembles over twenty scientific papers published during the past two decades, each presenting a major advance in some facet of this complex field. These seminal articles, by a wide range of international experts, are grouped by the historic material affected. Each section is introduced by a thorough review, written for this volume, which serves to introduce and synthesize these past studies and to combine them with the latest cutting-edge findings to present the most current state of the field. Extensive references in every chapter and article offer valuable resources for further investigation.

Cultural Heritage Microbiology is ideal for anyone concerned with recognizing and dealing with microbial deterioration of heritage materials. Professionals and students in microbiology, conservation science, archaeology, fine arts, architecture, museum conservation, and other fields will find here the most current knowledge and approaches to preserving cultural heritage objects for generations to come.

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