Past Event

To Detect and Conserve: New Research on the Science and History of Columbia’s Ancient Manuscripts

April 25, 2017
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
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Butler Library Room #523, Columbia University, 535 West 114th St., New York

What happens when researchers in carbon nanotechnology encounter some of the oldest documents in existence? In 2012, scientists, papyrologists and conservators joined forces to study writing materials thousands of years old, and the Ancient Ink Laboratory was born. Based in the Columbia Nano Initiative, the team found an ideal source of study in the Columbia University Libraries’ Papyri and Ostraca Collection, one of the largest holdings of ancient writings in the United States. This talk will describe the cross-disciplinary work of the Ancient Ink Lab and explain some of its surprising discoveries, including research that may lead to a new and non-destructive method for dating carbon inks from the ancient Mediterranean world. The speakers are Alexis Hagadorn, Head of Conservation, Columbia University Libraries; David Ratzan, Head Librarian, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University; and Sarah Goler, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Columbia Nano Initiative.

For more information and to register, please visit the event website.

This event is sponsored by the Ancient Ink Lab, the Columbia Classics Department and the Columbia University Libraries.