Amelia Millar from the Clemson University/College of Charleston Program in Historic Preservation, and Stéphanie A. Cretté from the Clemson Conservation Center presented a two-part paper on a graduate-level project at Fort Moultrie National Monument near Charleston, SC. Millar presented the student portion of the work, while Cretté presented the analytical research.
The project entailed a survey of metals in a portion of the Fort Moultrie site, owned by the National Park Service. Students from the Clemson University/College of Charleston program performed a survey of all existing metals, both architectural metals and the metal objects on site, and assessed the condition of the metals. They took paint samples to determine the chemical composition of the paint so that NPS can develop a strategy to safely remove any lead-containing paint while preserving the metal substrates. The students did most of the field work and tested paint-removal methods, then collaborated with scientists from the Clemson Conservation Center on SEM-EDS and Raman analysis of the paints. Most of the scientific portion of the presentation was about the analytical techniques and why they were used for this application.
The paper was interesting, but I would have liked to have learned more about the researchers’ findings and the various treatment recommendations put forward by the students. It would have also been interesting to learn whether the NPS has implemented or plans to implement any of the student recommendations. Nevertheless, it was a good collaborative project that seems to have benefited the students and scientists alike.