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New text focuses on microbiology of historic artifacts

June 21, 2010

Historic and culturally important artifacts, like all materials, are vulnerable to microbial attack. Cultural Heritage Microbiology, a new text from ASM Press, offers a synthesis of important scientific articles describing microbial deterioration of cultural heritage materials and methods for conserving these objects against this decay.

"No material is immune to microbial attack. Microorganisms have been shown to play a role in the deterioration of historic paintings, wood, paper, glass, textiles, metals waxes, polymers and coatings, and stone. 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," says Ralph Mitchell of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, who co-edited the text with Christopher McNamara of the Harvard School of Public Health.

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.

"The literature dealing with heritage microbiology is published in a wide range of locations, including sources from many disciplines and in many languages. Therefore we hope to provide scientists and conservators with important publications describing the major advances in our understanding of the microbial deterioration of cultural heritage materials," says Mitchell.

This text 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.
-end-
Cultural Heritage Microbiology has a list price of $169.95 and can be purchased through ASM Press online at http://estore.asm.org or through other online retailers.

ASM Press is the book publishing arm of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the oldest and largest single life science membership organization in the world. The ASM's mission is to promote research in the microbiological sciences and to assist communication between scientists, policy makers, and the public to improve

American Society for Microbiology

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