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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.