Equipment and Capabilities

The Heritage Science Research and Testing Laboratory houses a variety of equipment and instrumentation necessary to provide scientific evidence in support of effective and sustainable preservation decision making. We can conduct elemental and molecular material analysis as well as material testing and aging in controlled environments. The lab evaluates the products the National Archives uses for storage and exhibition.

Material Characterization and Analysis

  • Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS), primarily using solid-phase microextraction 
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) 
    • Fiber optic and ATR attachments available
  • X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) Spectroscopy
  • Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC)
  • Capillary Electrophoresis (CE)
  • Microfadometer 
  • UV/VIS/NIR Spectrophotometer and chemometric analysis
  • Microscopy

Controlled Environment Testing

  • Temperature and Humidity Controlled Ovens
  • Testing room meeting Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) standards 

Material Quality Assurance Testing

  • pH
  • Photographic Activity Test


We partner with other agencies and academic collaborators when the most appropriate equipment is not available in-house.