Organic Chemistry of Museum Objects: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Organic Chemistry of Museum Objects

2nd Edition

By John Mills, Raymond White


222 pages

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Paperback: 9780750646932
pub: 1999-12-16
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'The Organic Chemistry of Museum Objects' makes available in a single volume, a survey of the chemical composition, properties and analysis of the whole range of organic materials incorporated into objects and artworks found in museum collections.

The authors cover the fundamental chemistry of the bulk materials such as wood, paper, natural fibres and skin products, as well as that of the relatively minor components incorporated as paint, media, varnishes, adhesives and dyes. This expanded second edition, now in paperback, follows the structure of the first, though it has been extensively updated. In addition to chapters on basic organic chemistry, analytical methods, analytical findings and fundamental aspects of deterioration, the subject matter is grouped as far as possible by broad chemical class - oils and fats, waxes, bitumens, carbohydrates, proteins, natural resins, dyestuffs and synthetic polymers.

This is an essential purchase for all practising and student conservators, restorers, museum scientists, curators and organic chemists.


Review of first edition: 'Much of the book has been needed in the fields of conservation science and technical studies for some time. A sound and accurate basic introduction to the chemistry of a number of widely occurring materials is presented, together with enough summarized data to give the work value as a reference tool.'
John Winter, Studies in Conservation (1988)

Reviews of the second edition:
'The book will serve the needs of restorers and conservators, museum scientists, students of conservation and curators as well as organic chemists faced with the challenging task of analyzing small samples of complex and degraded natural products.' CONSERVATION NEWS, November 1994

'While it is primarily aimed at the conservator and museum scientists, I recommend this book to anybody who is interested in the properties and use of natural materials in artefacts.'
V. Daniels, Chemistry in Britain, Jan. 1995

'This provides, in one volume, all that curators, archivists, conservators and others with a responsibility for collections of objects will ever need to know about carbon-based chemistry.'
New Heritage Magazine

Table of Contents

CONTENTS INCLUDE: Basic organic chemistry; Analytical methods; Oils and fats; Natural waxes; Bituminous materials; Carbohydrates: sugars and polysaccharides; Proteins; Natural resins and lacquers; Synthetic materials; Dyestuffs and other coloured materials; Deterioration: causes and prevention; Analysis in practice.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES / Care & Restoration
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology