The YHIP 2019 Summer School/Research Seminar on Historic Polymeric Materials (HIPOMS) and Cultural Heritage Research was held on the 27th and 28th of May in combination with the Plastics Heritage: History, Limits and Possibilities Congress, organized by the chairs Maria João Melo and Maria Elvira Callapez and co-chairs Artur Neves and Eva Mariasole Angelin.
This two-day seminar course intended for graduate students, post-docs, and other scientists with comparable levels of experience and education, had 14 participants, which resulted in 5 oral presentations and 7 poster presentations. These presentations addressed a broad spectrum of issues related on science and cultural research of materials such as cellulose nitrate, cellulose acetate, PVC, PMMA and organic colorants.
The YHIP 2019 also featured three keynotes talks from remarkable researchers in different fields of study: Robert Friedel, Anita Quye and Günter Lattermann. Ranging from history of science and technology, chemistry, and cultural heritage conservation, their insights allowed the “cross-linking of multiple perspectives, communication and knowledge exchange”. Together with the active participation of the discussion leaders Gabriele Oropallo and Joana Lia Ferreira in fostering a multi-disciplinary discussion, their contributions were essential for a new viewpoint among the emerging professional about the diverse fields that impact historic polymeric materials research and for the development of novel ideas for the future.
The culmination YHIP 2019 was the roundtable discussion entitled “Materialities and Heritage” focused on the questions brought by the different approaches presented. Themes such as the meaning of plastics in society, the problems of the anthropocene or on good practices in the preservation of historical plastics were debated.
One of the main goals of this two-day seminar course was also to breed friendships to blossom into fruitful collaborations. It was clear throughout the event how this meeting nurtured the dialogue among the younger minds who share this same goal of valuing and preserving HIPOMS. We are pleased to conclude that all the proposed objectives for YHIP 2019 have been met.
One of the moments of YHIP 2019 was the analysis of an ivory celluloid hand mirror owned by Robert Friedel who gently allowed its characterization in the Scientific Laboratory of the Department of Conservation and Restoration in FCT NOVA. This example is demonstrative of some analytical techniques which allow the determination of the material composition of these artifacts. Check out the results on the right.