Wikipedia:GLAM/NHSF Project

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Heritage science is the application of science and technology to cultural heritage to improve understanding, management and engagement. It encompasses museums and galleries, the historic built environment, archaeology, and libraries and archives.

The National Heritage Science Forum and Wikimedia UK are "working together to increase public access to, and engagement with, heritage science research."[1]

In the first stage of this partnership, NHSF and Wikimedia UK are running a series of workshops around the UK, from 2017-2018, that will teach people the basic skills to work with Wikimedia platforms and heritage science content on those platforms. Heritage science is "cross-disciplinary scientific research of cultural heritage. It encompasses research enabling access to cultural heritage, its conservation, interpretation and management."[2]

A pilot workshop took place in London, March 2017, for employees and members of NHSF member organisations. This was followed by a public workshop at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, on 28th September 2017. The next training session was held at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, on 17th November 2017.

Articles to be improved[edit]

General articles which should mention heritage science

  • pH Needs a clear mention of heritage science.
  • Tensile testing (paper and textiles don't feature in this article) Needs a clear mention of heritage science.
  • Textile has no degradation section. Heritage science could feature strongly here. A 'textile instability' section does exist on the 'conservation and restoration of textiles ' page however. At the very least the 'textile' page could have a link to this.
  • Looting there are only two lines about archeological looting. However, this is a very important topic that needs to be developed in further detail explaining the implications of looting like the loss of provenance and dating of objects. How local societies are affected is also important to mention. Furthermore some detailed examples can be explored.
  • Tapestry can be improved by exploring the change and damage that can happen in a tapestry to inform how these objects gets damaged and why, exploring the importance of light, dust and the environment exposure.
  • Relative humidity good information, but written in more personal style as Wikipedia comments. could be rewritten, and also mention made of its crucial importance to heritage materials.
  • Electron paramagnetic resonance Needs a clear mention of heritage science.


  • Conservation science (cultural heritage) This article is really a stub, and does not adequately cover conservation science or the types of questions it investigates. It does refer to ‘heritage science’ as a more current term, but I feel that scientific investigation relating to conservation issues deserves more explanation.
  • Digital heritage and Virtual heritage could be better explored since these are areas that are currently expanding (i.e. adding some reconstruction projects, some examples of how this can be used, some techniques that can be considered, exploring the ethics of virtual heritage)
  • Archaeological science Contains some good information but too brief and not well cited, needs expansion, can also be linked or contrasted to Heritage Science. Some Archaeometry/Archaeological Science practitioners feel that their field is not related to Heritage Science due to differing research goals, this could be addressed.
  • Conservation-restoration of cultural heritage – This has some good points and examples, and somewhat unexpectedly covers the history some current US and UK debates on the subject fairly well, it is however quite patchy in what it covers and does not adequately cover the issues of archaeological conservation amount others. Also does not clearly link to Heritage Science as a broader field.
  • Heritage science wiki page could have a section on analytical techniques frequently used, linking to relevant wiki pages. This will be a massive list but it would demonstrate how varied our work is and might bring heritage science up in searches for techniques.


Notable applications of heritage science

  • add articles which should mention heritage science here

Articles to be created[edit]

  • ‘Heritage retrofit/ refurbishment’ General description of available measures and applicability to various types of buildings. Based on:
    Design the refurbishment of historic buildings with the cost-optimal methodology: The case study of a XV century Italian building (Ascione et al. 2015)
    A holistic approach of optimising the process of refurbishment of historic buildings. Good article that highlights a broad approach when chosing the most cost-effective retrofit measures based on several key criteria such as: need of intervention in terms of structural upgrade, new functionalization of buildings and installed equipment,etc. It is a primarily a macroeconomic analysis of the various measures but tailored to historic buildings.
  • Energy efficiency and thermal comfort in historic buildings: A review (Matrinez-Molina et al. 2016)
    Review of common refurbishment practices in historic buildings. Useful examples are discussed in article describing various practices of retrofitting historic buildings and their benefit not only on energy and CO2 savings, but maintaining cultural heritage and increasing expected life of buildings (through structural improvements). It also discusses how some historic buildings have been adapted for modern use therefore keeping them as part of the useable building stock. References good articles that have examined in detail various case studies.
  • Briefing Energy efficiency in old buildings (S.P.A.B.)
    Briefing on appropriate upgrades in old buildings. Provides a rather basic summary of available measures and their benefits.
    Saving the Architectural Appearance of the Historical Buildings due to Heat Insulation of their External Walls (Murgul & Pukhkal 2015)
    Provides advice that water vapour barriers should be used when drylining external walls with internal insulation to avoid condensation issues and therefore degradation of the building material.
  • Energy retrofit of historical buildings: An Italian case study (Aste et al. 2012)
    Case study examining how one can both increase the energy efficiency of a historic buildings and preserve its architectural and cultural heritage
  • Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings - Application of Part L of the Building Regulations to historic and traditionally constructed buildings (Historic England 2012)
    Historic England have issued several guidance documents that provide advice on the principles, risks, materials and methods for improving energy efficiency of the various elements of the buildings envelope (roofs, walls, floors, windows, etc.)
  • Heritage BIM - there seems to be nothing related to BIM and heritage in wikipedia. BIM is a very powerful tool oriented to architecture and construction industry. Thus some difficulties of implementation in heritage can be referred to. BIM in heritage projects can be explored since it iss an area that is also expanding. Some projects should be mentioned and also some special techniques oriented to heritage science and archeology.

Further Resources[edit]

Event attendees[edit]

March 2017, London[edit]

September 2017, Cambridge[edit]

November 2017, Edinburgh[edit]


  1. ^ "Wikimedia UK | National Heritage Science Forum".
  2. ^ "Heritage science". Wikipedia. 28 September 2017.