The six scientists who work on these projects have different backgrounds, since there is no specific training for this kind of job. But its important for this type of research to be done because it helps the Library preserve its collection, van der Reyden said. It also sets the precedent for other museums and libraries that are looking to do this type of work on their own collections around the world.
Later this year, the department will continue to expand by opening two other labs, a chemical properties lab and a physical properties lab. Here, scientists will continue their research to better understand how to preserve materials without damaging them.
Were really at the beginning of all of this, van der Reyden said. Its cutting edge, and were just at the edge.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.