UCL ISH December 2016 Guest Lecture: Dr. Eleanor Schofield, Head of Conservation and Collections Care at the Mary Rose Trust
On the 19th July 1545, The Mary Rose, a flagship of Henry VIII’s English fleet, sank off the coast of Portsmouth. At the time of sinking, the ship was prepared for battle and therefore at capacity in terms of personnel, warfare, everyday living equipment and personal possessions. Rediscovered in the late 1960s, the following years saw the excavation of over 19,000 objects, culminating in the eventual excavation of the remaining hull itself in 1982. The Mary Rose hull now resides in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard alongside a number of the discovered artefacts, providing a unique insight into Tudor Maritime life. Materials found vary from leather, wood and human remains to iron, bronze and lead, with items varying in size from minuscule dice to gun carriages capable of transporting 2-3 tonne cannons. In this lecture, Dr Eleanor Schofield will give an overview of the conservation techniques and strategies employed over the last three decades. She will demonstrate the criticality of new advanced materials and techniques, such as synchrotron based analysis and the development of nanotechnology enabled strategies, in ensuring the long term protection of this important piece of cultural heritage.
Dr. Eleanor Schofield is the Head of Conservation and Collections Care at the Mary Rose Trust. After completing her PhD in Materials Science at Imperial College London in 2006, she completed research posts at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory and the University of Kent. She joined the Mary Rose Trust in 2012 and is now responsible for the conservation of the Mary Rose hull and associated artefacts, the care and management of the collection and research into novel conservation treatments and characterisation methods.
© Image: 'Investigating sulfur in drying marine archaeological wood using synchrotron x-ray techniques' Image credit: Diamond Light Source