The Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH) is located on Yale’s West Campus in West Haven, Connecticut. It is dedicated to advancing the field of heritage science by improving the science and practice of conservation in a sustainable manner. At the crossroads between science and art, the Institute is home to state-of-the-art research, conservation, and digitization laboratories. Led by Inaugural Director Stefan Simon, it engages in cutting-edge research and teaching in a multidisciplinary setting and works closely with Yale’s collections, libraries, and academic programs.
IPCH is currently comprised of several laboratories:
The Technical Studies Lab conducts objects-based and technological research, which involves the examination and analysis of objects for evidence of their manufacture, authenticity and life history. It furthermore aims at developing or adapting innovative methods of materials characterization. The laboratory is headed by Dr. Anikó Bezur. Dr. Bezur’s research team includes conservation scientists Dr. Erin Mysak and Dr. Jens Stenger.
IPCH is also home to the Aging Diagnostics Lab. Under the direction of Dr. Paul Whitmore, as well as conservation scientists Dr. Catherine Stephens, Dr. Rui Chen, and Dr. Pablo Londero, the lab studies the causes of chemical and physical degradation and aims at developing analytical techniques that measure and monitor aging and changes as a function of time and environmental conditions.
The IPCH Digitization Lab provides expertise and facilities for the creation, management, preservation and accessibility of digital cultural heritage on Yale’s campus and beyond. Digital technologies provide opportunities to analyze, document, and study cultural heritage in close collaboration with Yale’s collections and Professor Holly Rushmeier from the department of Computer Science.
The IPCH Conservation Lab, a state-of-the-art conservation space shared by all collections at Yale, is overseen by a steering committee currently chaired by Ian McClure, Susan Morse Hilles Chief Conservator at Yale University Art Gallery. This lab is still under construction and will be opened in March 2015. It is designed to accept a wide range of projects as well as large scale objects for investigation and treatment.
Aligned with its long-term vision, IPCH is establishing three new research laboratories, Lens Media, Sustainable Conservation, and Built Heritage, which are envisaged to take up their work in 2015.