Light & microclimates: a conservation science perspective 

10 January 2012 , 9.30am - 5pm
Te Papa
Wellington  , Wellington 

Light and Microclimates: a conservation science perspective


As museums, libraries, and archives strive to balance collections access with preservation, conservators are increasingly being called upon to articulate and justify display guidelines.  Two tools that have been developed to inform decision making are microfade testing and the use of anoxic microclimates.

Microfade testing provides object-specific correlative data on colour change resulting from light exposure. Anoxic framing is another methodology recently developed to expand the options for display of vulnerable artworks.

Who is it for?

This workshop is intended for conservators working in museums, libraries, and archives, as well as those in private practice. 

Who will I meet?

The workshop will be led by Bruce Ford, and will bring together conservators from across New Zealand.

Bruce Ford is a chemist and conservation scientist with Art & Archival Pty Ltd in Canberra, and works on rock art conservation and site management in addition to museum-based science and conservation policy issues. He is a consultant to the National Museum of Australia, where he established a micro-fading capability to support a lighting scheme designed to better identify and direct resources in the area. Most recently Bruce has been working in London for the Tate Gallery on a project dealing with the low oxygen encapsulation of works on paper during display.  He has a BSc Hons (Chemistry) from the University of  Canterbury, Post Graduate Diploma (Conservation) from the University of Canberra, and an M.A. (Museum Studies) from the Australian National University.

For more information see:  Ford. B and Nicki Smith, ‘The development of a significance-based lighting framework at the National Museum of Australia’. AICCM Bulletin, vol. 32, 2011.


The workshop will be a one-day lecture format:

9:30am–10:30am        Overview of the principles and logistics of microfade testing

10:30am– 11am          Morning tea

11am– 12:30pm          Microfade testing case studies and discussion

12:30pm– 1:45pm       Lunch (provided by NTSP)

1:45pm–2:30pm          Optional conservation lab tour

2:30pm – 3:30pm        Microclimates and anoxia: concepts

3:30pm –4pm              Afternoon tea

4pm –5pm                   Microclimates and anoxia: case studies and discussion

Places are limited, so if you are interested in attending, please contact National Services Te Paerangi at with your contact details and an outline of your experience.

Limited travel subsidies up to a value of $300 will be available through National Services Te Paerangi’s Helping Hands Grant for one person per organisation. Subsidies are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and preference will be given to those working in publicly funded organisations.

Apply for a Helping Hand Grant