Conservation Equipment

Conservation Equipment

left: A conservation student faces a stained glass window in the Robie House holding a magnifying glass to a white wall. Right: A behind the shoulder photograph of a student holding a lighted magnifying glass to a white wall in the Robie House.
Students in the Suzanne Deal Booth Conservation Seminar compare the original application of plaster in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House to newly restored surfaces with the aid of a lighted magnifying glass.

The following equipment has been acquired in the context of COSI and the Suzanne Deal Booth Conservation Seminars. The equipment is available for check-out from the VRC by any Art History course for use on campus or at local museums and other sites. To make a reservation for the following equipment, please write to

Magnifying loops with LED lights (set of 20)

Ultraviolet Lamp (1) and UV goggles (set of 20)
Viewing art and other objects under ultraviolet light (UV) is one of the many analytical techniques conservators and scholars use to explore materials and to detect previous restorations, mold, and insect damage. UV is most reliable when used as one of many analytic techniques.

Transmitted by the sun, ultraviolet radiation  (UV) is not visible to the human eye and it is that portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that makes your skin burn. As illustrated below it is one of many different wavelengths and frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum.1

A diagram of the electromagnetic spectrum, including wavelength and energy arrows at the bottom of the half-circle diagram.

The earliest published examples of the use of ultraviolet (UV) in the examination of art date back to the 1930s.2 To understand UV examination, it is helpful to understand fluorescence. Fluorescence is the visible light emitted from certain materials as a result of the incident radiation of a shorter wavelength, such as UV. The Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material developed an accessible reference chart to use when examining a work of art under UV.

Health and safety note: Long term exposure to UV radiation can lead to vision problems. When carrying out examination using UV light, the following personal protective equipment is recommend: UV filtering safety glasses and long sleeves (e.g. lab coat).


White cotton gloves (set of 24)

Pantone Formula Guide (solid coated and solid uncoated)

Infrared filter for 50mm lens

The AIC Guide to Digital Photography and Conservation Documentation is available for check-out via the Library and a reference copy is available for use VRC.

  1. Chandra X-Ray Observatory, Harvard . University, Electromagnetic Radiation &  Electromagnetic  Spectrum.
  2. Hickey-Friedman, Laramie. “A Review of Ultra-Violet Light and Examination Techniques.” Objects Specialty Group Postprints, vol 9, 2002, pp. 161-168.