Issue 47 • Summer 2007 •

U.s. Department of the interior

Year in review
• new! Pre-proposal requirement for Grant applications latest additions to the PTT Products Catalog Higher limit on Grants awards: $50,000 Promotional Poster inside



Call for Proposals
Preservation Technology & Training Grants Pre-ProPosal Deadline: oct. 1, 2007

• • •

Preservation Technology & Training Grants
laTesT awarDs

Grants Edition • Issue 47 • 

tures. in order to develop curricular materials that adequately reflect the current state of the art, the university will convene a colloquium of noted heritage preservation engineers and design professionals for that purpose. The colloquium will result in the creation of new curricula along with publication of the colloquium proceedings. ab

New PTTGrants research to advance Technology in Preservation
Nine projects selected for 2007 funding


ore than $350,000 will fund research to protect america’s historic legacy as part of the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training’s PTT Grants program. secretary of the interior dirk Kempthorne recently announced the funding of nine projects that tackle preservation problems such as cleaning contaminated museum artifacts and making use of post-disaster data from multiple agencies. “NCPTT’s goal is to equip preservation professionals with progressive technology-based research and training,” Kirk Cordell, NCPTT executive director, said. “Many of america’s most cherished cultural resources have benefited from NCPTT research, including the statue of Liberty, Congressional Cemetery and numerous National Parks. our 2007 PTT Grant recipients will potentially protect many additional cultural resources through technological innovation.” Finalists were selected from 44 applications submitted by eligible

agencies, including federal and nonfederal government laboratories; accredited museums; colleges and universities; non-profit organizations; offices, units, and Cooperative study Units of the National Park system; and state Historic Preservation offices, tribal preservation offices, and local organizations. The 2007 PTT Grants awards will fund the following research: ab school of engineering, University of Vermont, $49,900 Heritage Preservation Engineering: Curriculum Development The school of engineering at the University of Vermont is in the process of adopting heritage preservation engineering as an area of focus. This will make it one of the first engineering programs in the U.s. focused on quantitative techniques and methodologies applied to the engineering evaluation and remediation of heritage struc-

New orleans Historic district Landmarks Commission, $49,200 Adapting Post-Disaster Data for Local Government Use after Hurricanes Katrina and rita, New orleans benefited from a wide range of volunteer, university, state, federal and other efforts. in the areas of architecture and preservation, many of these efforts were recorded in electronic format and done specifically to support the HdLC, whose staff was cut to minimal levels. How does an agency adapt this wealth of data to meet local needs? This project will use real world data to establish standards for future disaster-related preservation work. ab Princeton University, $48,900 Diagnosing and Controlling Hygric Swelling of Stone Many sedimentary stones–including those widely used in historic buildings on the east coast of the Us–swell when wet, leading to stress and cracking. Princeton proposes to develop methods for quantifying the stress, identify the flaws that trigger cracking, and optimize treatments to prevent the damage. They would also develop experimental methods for quantifying the rate and magnitude of swelling, which are essential for diagnosing the risk to a building, and evaluating the effectiveness of treatment. 

• NCPTT Notes • Issue 47

ab University of Colorado at denver and Health sciences Center, $50,000 Microbial Detoxification of Mercury Contaminated Museum Collections: Effect of Material Composition on Mercury Removal The Native american Graves Protection and repatriation act (NaGPra) has generated increased interest in the mitigation of metal toxicity associated with metal-treated museum collections, which pose health risks to museum personnel and tribal members. The research proposed here represents a novel, microbiologically-based mercury mitigation method for the remediation of contaminated cultural collections. Naturally-occurring mercury-volatilizing bacteria will be used to reduce the mercury concentrations associated with treated materials. The bacterial conversion of mercury into a gaseous form that can be properly disposed of reduces the material-associated mercury concentration. during bacterial treatment, microbiological and analytical chemistry methods will be used to monitor the environmental parameters needed to optimize mercury removal. ab Cornerstones Community Partnerships, $13,700 An Emergency Flood Mitigation Manual for Earthen Architecture Cornerstones Community Partnerships, the santa Fe nonprofit organization internationally known for its community-based adobe preservation model, will develop an emergency flood mitigation manual. This manual will serve as a guide for emergency preparedness teams, homeowners, and contractors in the stabilization and recovery of storm-damaged earthen architecture in the western U.s. and border region. The organization’s PTT Grant will fund the preparation, publication, and public dissemination of the latest flood-mitigation techniques that Cornerstones has developed in response to recent disastrous flooding

in southern New Mexico. The publication will be the first of its kind to focus on disaster conditions affecting earthen architecture.

remains now buried beneath agricultural fields and prairie. ab Mississippi state University, $46,100 Establishing an Elemental Baseline for Sourcing Shell and ShellTempered Artifacts in the Eastern Woodlands of North America using Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry a non-destructive method of sourcing shell artifacts and shell-tempered pottery using Laser ablation-inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass spectrometry (La-iCP-Ms) has recently been developed (Peacock et al., under review). To make the method widely applicable, background chemical data on shells from different watersheds are needed. La-iCP-Ms analysis of shell samples from sites across eastern North america is proposed in order to create a database for researchers interested in conducting non-destructive sourcing studies of shell and shelltempered artifacts, especially sensitive artifacts such as museum specimens and burial accompaniments for which destructive analyses are undesirable. ab University of arizona, $50,000 Evaluation of Conservation and Preservation Practices in a Southwest Pottery Collection a variety of materials and methods have been used to preserve ceramic vessels. Many have proven successful, while others are damaging. Monitoring and evaluation of past treatments is a documented research priority in the conservation field. The arizona state Museum proposes to examine, record and analyze the performance of past treatments on the museum’s collection. Previous grant funds enabled conditions assessment of 20,000 southwest vessels and a modern storage facility. NCPTT funds will be used to monitor and evaluate previous preservation treatments. This research will enable researchers to identify patterns in archeological methods, museum management and conservation.

ab City of aspen, Colorado, $23,100 Conservation of Wooden Artifacts in Cemeteries This project will produce a report that summarizes information on wood deterioration, conservation and preservation options that will allow cemetery stewards to extend the life of fragile wooden artifacts. additionally, researchers will identify research priorities for long-term conservation of these artifacts. More durable artifacts in the cemetery landscapes, such as stone markers and metal grave enclosures, have readily available documents on conservation methodologies. There is no single resource available that explains conservation issues for wooden artifacts in cemeteries. This project is intended to fill that void. ab Board of Trustees of the University of illinois, $14,800 Aerial Thermal Survey of New Philadelphia, Ill. Town Site This project will conduct low-altitude aerial surveys using thermal imaging to determine whether the actual spatial extent of New Philadelphia’s lots and streets can be detected through such technologies. The town was the first planned and legally founded by a free african-american in the United states. it grew as a multi-racial community from 1836 through the 1880s. a surveyor’s plat and town plan filed in 1836 set out a grid of blocks, lots, alleys and streets. Geophysical and archeological investigations to date have located limited extents of the town’s

Grants Edition • Issue 47 • 

Betty Seifert at the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory measures pins set in samples before freeze drying.

Rising fRom the depths
Waterlogged wood artifacts may be rescued by technological advances in drying techniques
hen Union ships sunk the english blockade runner Modern Greece off the coast of North Carolina in 1862, Confederates at nearby Fort Fisher wasted little time in salvaging munitions from the vessel. Nearly 150 years later, what they left behind is helping make history in preservation research. Gunstocks from the shipwreck were used in NCPTT-funded research by the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Va. to investigate the use of emerging technologies to dry waterlogged archeological wood. “Waterlogged wood collapses and shrinks when exposed to air, potentially destroying significant archeological data,” eric schindelholz, the project’s principal investigator, said. “We studied a method called supercritical drying, which does not add chemicals to the wood that could affect its long-term preservation and the reversibility of the treatment.” researchers at st. andrews University developed the supercritical drying technique in the 1990s and the method


Jason Hemmer, graduate student at Clemson University, examines the supercritical reactor and impeller head used for the study.

promises to reduce treatment time from months, as with current methods, to days. supercritical fluid is created by compressing a gas or a liquid at elevated temperatures. The resulting product is neither liquid nor gas and its lack of surface tension prevents pressure damage to the weakened wood. a similar method is used in “green” dry cleaning and in decaffeinating coffee. The supercritical drying method involves replacing the water in the wood, which will not mix with supercritical carbon dioxide, with methanol, which will mix in supercritical carbon dioxide. The methanol in the wood is replaced with the carbon dioxide in a pressure chamber. The chamber is then decompressed and the carbon dioxide escapes from the wood leaving a dry specimen. researchers compared the physical effects of supercritical drying on the wood to air-drying and the popular freeze-drying method. They had plenty of material with which to work. The gunstocks from the Modern Greece were among hundreds of artifacts in submerged containment at the North Carolina Underwater archeology Branch. additionally, researchers studied samples from an unidentified shipwreck in Maryland. The samples were measured using pins inset in the samples and by 3-d laser scanning before and after treatment to measure shrinkage. The microscopic effects of each treatment were evaluated as well. “We found the supercritical drying was successful in some–but not all –of the wood samples,” schindelholz said. “This project did confirm the potential of this process and has laid the necessary groundwork from which to scale up the supercritical drying technique for use on larger archeological artifacts.” The study also confirmed the efficacy of freeze drying for preventing collapse and shrinkage in the wood. The Mariners’ Museum partnered with the National oceanic and atmospheric administration, old dominion University, Clemson University, University of Minnesota, Maryland Trust and the NPs Harpers Ferry Center.

4 • NCPTT Notes • Issue 47

2008 PTT Grants Call for Proposals
Grants Process Now includes Pre-Proposal requirement
CPTT’s goal is to make our PTT Grants program an easy and rewarding process. We continually seek new ways balance the mission of NCPTT with our desire to fund to the best ideas in the preservation universe. This year we took a close look at the PTT Grant program and have made changes to the program that will save applicants’ time and provide more feedback earlier in the application process. We recognize that many times researchers and trainers want to know if their project is a good fit with a funding source before spending many hours drafting a grant proposal. They also want to get an idea of how difficult the application process will be and how long it might take to be awarded funds. Finally, the applicants want to feel that they


NCPTT also wishes to make the application process as userfriendly as possible so that the first-time applicant with great ideas does not feel intimidated by the process. if it is easy to apply and the applicant can quickly receive feedback, then there may be fewer hurdles to overcome to get funding for a worthy

SPECIAL PULL-OUT SECTION The reverse side of this page may be used as a poster for your department’s notice board.

nCPTT advances the application of science and technology to historic preservation. working in the fields of archeology, architecture, landscape architecture and materials conservation, the Center accomplishes its mission through training, education, research, technology transfer and partnerships.

gather information about the project including a brief project description, statement of national need, time frame, and overall cost. Based on the quality and fit of the pre-proposal letter, applicants may be invited to complete an online application for 2008 funding. NCPTT will continue to keep the full application process as simple as possible while looking at the greater details of the projects. We will continue to streamline the review process as well in hopes of providing an expedient turnaround time as well. Now that getting feedback is so fast and easy, yours may well be the next project that revolutionizes the field of preservation through the use of technology.

“Applicants can come to NCPTT’s website and submit a brief one- to two-page letter proposal that describes a research or training idea. Based on the quality and fit of the pre-proposal letter, applicants may be invited to complete an online application for 2008 funding.”
have fairly good odds of receiving a grant if they place the effort into preparing the application. Many times we see projects that might be a good compliment to our PTT Grants program if some minor changes were made to the application. There are also times when a grant proposal— while worthy of funding—simply doesn’t fit the mission of NCPTT. in the past, our staff members have only been able to provide feedback after the application process has run its course. project. Thus, NCPTT staff hope to encourage submission of more proposals and increase the chances of funding proposals that are on target with NCPTT’s mission. To address these issues, NCPTT is instituting a streamlined pre-proposal letter process in 2008. applicants can come to NCPTT’s website and submit a brief one- to two-page letter proposal that describes a research or training idea. The easy application process will

Grants Edition • Issue 47 • 

U.s. Department of the interior

Technology Serving the future of America’s Heritage 
• NCPTT Notes • Issue 47

ll for PrOPOSALS

Preservation Technology & Training Grants


review Criteria
Review panels evaluate each project proposal by the following criteria. The proposed project should • address an identifiable national need in preservation technology, • demonstrate a technically sound methodology, • include a principal investigator who is well qualified relevant to proposed work, • disseminate project results effectively, and • be cost effective given the scope of work and the audience.

new! as the first step in applying for a PTT Grant, we now require a pre-proposal letter

CPTT supports single year projects. Grants are awarded competitively with the maximum award of $50,000. Grants are funded by annual federal appropriation and are subject to availability of funds.

Share Your Vision
(it will only take a minute) Visit before Oct. 1, 2007 and submit your one-page pre-proposal letter.

Who Is Eligible
The following organizations are eligible to submit proposals: • U.S. universities and colleges, • U.S. non-profit organizations: Non-academic museums, research laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. that are directly associated with educational or research activity, and • Government agencies in the U.S.: National Park Service and other federal, state, territorial and local government agencies, as well as Hawaiian Natives, Native American and Alaska Native tribes and their Tribal Historic Preservation Offices. Other organizations can participate only as contractors to eligible U.S. partners. Grants funds support only portions of projects that are undertaken or managed directly by U.S. partners.

Other Considerations
NCPTT reviews proposals for disciplinary, geographical and institutional distribution. Additionally, a National Park Service (NPS) grants administrator reviews for financial and policy matters. Special consideration will be given to proposals that leverage resources through public and private partnerships.

Special research Initiative in Mitigation of Storm Damage
The aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 brought to light a need for further research into mitigation of storm damage to cultural resources. This Special Initiative gives priority to research that develops or advances technologies to preserve storm damaged cultural resources.

Grants Edition • Issue 47 • 7

2008 PTT Grants Call for Proposals
new! as the first step in applying for a PTT Grant, we now require a preproposal letter.
Fill out the form available at and click the “submit Your Pre-Proposal” button at the end of the form. Deadline for abstract submission: october 1, 2007. For more information contact: andy Ferrell, Chief, architecture & engineering, Dr. David w. Morgan, Chief, archeology and Collections, david_morgan@ Debbie smith, Chief, Historic landscapes, Dr. Mary F. striegel, Chief, Materials research, Telephone: 318/356-7444 Fax: 318/356-9119 web site:

visit our online product catalog to download research from past grants recipients:

about the Grants Program
The Preservation Technology and Training (PTT) Grants Program supports research, training, meetings, conferences and publications that further the Center’s mission.

• develop innovative techniques in dating, monitoring, analysis, and remote sensing of archeological sites and artifacts • develop appropriate technologies to preserve houses of worship and cemeteries, • monitor and evaluate preservation treatments, • study environmental effects of pollution on cultural resources, and •document and preserve threatened cultural landscapes.

research Priorities
The following research priorities are designed to focus NCPTT’s grants program, but still accommodate a variety of proposals in archeology, historic

architecture, historic landscapes and materials conservation. although any proposal will be accepted that advances NCPTT's mission, NCPTT will give preference to research and training proposals that: • protect cultural resources against vandalism, looting, terrorism and natural disasters • conserve architectural materials of the “recent past,” 

• NCPTT Notes • Issue 47

Architecture and Engineering graduate students Christopher Kim and Kelly Salyards set up vibration tests in the National Cathedral choir vaults. Huriye Sezer Atamtürktür was the lead graduate student on the project.

the buRden of histoRy
Manual offers guidance to engineers challenged by historic load-bearing structures
See the manual online: masonry-assessment/ By Charles Guidry ong before the advent of standardized building codes, architects were tackling complicated structural elements like arches, domes and buttresses. While today’s architects and engineers marvel at the endurance of these historic features, awe sometimes turns to frustration when faced with restoring them—especially those that are load bearing. The struggle with load-bearing buildings that have high ceilings and no central support is amplified by the lack of technical guidance on the subject. as a result, these structures are in danger of being restored improperly or replaced. Using a PTT Grant, Thomas Boothby and his research team from Pennsylvania state University studied structural modeling to assess load-bearing masonry structures and developed a manual to demystify these structures for architects and engineers. “a structural engineer is usually confronted with a standing, apparently competent, structure that seems to defy most of the rules of structural behavior, as incorporated in modern building


Hydraulic displacement controlled testing is used on a tile specimen from State Education Building in Albany, N.Y.

codes,” Boothby said. “The engineer must then choose between reinforcing the structure according to a modern understanding of material strength and structural behavior or trying to make sense of the behavior and anticipated strength of the structure on a more fundamental level.” The study used a testing procedure called experimental modal analysis (eMa). Using response transducers and signal processing techniques, eMa can describe a structure in terms of its dynamic characteristics, such as damping ratios, natural frequencies and mode shapes. The project team conducted detailed assessment studies on four major early twentieth-century buildings: the National Cathedral in Washington, d.C.; the Cathedral of st. John the divine in New York; the state education Building in albany, N.Y.; and the City-County Building in Pittsburgh. in each of these studies experiments were conducted on a key portion of the building and used to verify the accuracy of a diagnostic model. The manual resulting from this research describes the application of different methods to the structural assessment of two different types of structures: two-dimensional arch structures and three-dimensional vault structures. it also gives guidance for the application of frame analysis programs to linear and non-linear assessment of masonry arches and provides detailed instructions for the development of solid models, meshing, entering material properties, boundary conditions, and loads for models of complex three-dimensional structures, such as domes and vaults. “We sincerely hope we have provided information that will assist consulting engineers in making appropriate decisions regarding these structures,” Boothby said. “since the engineering profession is driven by safety, there is a tendency to reinforce what we don’t understand. When the inherent strength of load-bearing masonry can be understood, it is easier to undertake appropriate treatments for historic properties made with this material.” Boothby plans to further develop the research by including explicit guidance for assessments of load-bearing masonry structures for natural and mad-made hazard loading such as earthquakes and explosions. additional updates will be made to the online manual as well.

Grants Edition • Issue 47 • 

newest titles

Shenandoah-diveS Mill haeR, hSa and ndT WoRkShop organization: San Juan County Historical Society Grant number: MT-0-0-NC-04 The San Juan County Historical Society created a workshop to provide comprehensive information on historic preservation documentation and assessment. The Shenandoah-Dives Mill, a National Historic Landmark provided a hands-on-learning experience for professionals, students, and advocates in the field of historic preservation. Topics presented include: Historic American Engineering Recordation (HAER) drawing typology, photogrammetry, laser scanning, total station laser mapping, large format photography, Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS), GIS cultural data collection, historic research, principals of stabilization and preservation, developing a Historic Structure Assessment, building forensics, and seminars on the historic development of the mining and milling process within a regional and national context.

MicRobial deToxificaTion of MeRcuRy conTaMinaTed MuSeuM collecTionS organization: University of Colorado, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center Grant number: MT-0-04-NC-0 As part of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), Native American tribal members are entitled to reclaim their tribal artifacts from museums. A method to detoxify the harmful materials, mercury and arsenic, applied in the preservation of these artifacts was explored in this research. The research focused on the use of bacteria able to tolerate the toxicity of the metals to convert the mercury on the artifact from a liquid to a gaseous state where it could be contained safely. The effectiveness of  species of bacteria were analyzed.

WaTeR TRanSpoRT chaRacTeRiSTicS of MaSonRy ReSToRaTion MoRTaRS: developMenT of a TeST MeThod and a peRfoRMance SpecificaTion organization: Rocky Mountain Masonry Institute, Atkinson-Noland and Associates Grant number: MT-0-04-NC-0 Because it is important to understand the water vapor transmission properties of mortar in order to ensure compatibility and durability of repair mortar in historic masonry, this project explored the water vapor transmission (WTV) in the mortar of historic structures. This study critically evaluates the WVT of mortar in order to ensure compatibility and durability of repair mortar in historic masonry. 

0 • NCPTT Notes • Issue 47

newest titles

an evaluaTion of SupeRcRiTical dRyinG and peG/fReeze dRyinG of WaTeRloGGed aRchaeoloGical Wood organization: The Mariners’ Museum Grant number: MT-0-0-NC-0 When sunken vessels and other materials are resurrected from the deep, the wood deteriorates rapidly compared to its lifespan while submerged. Researchers at St. Andrews University developed a technique to dry out waterlogged wood that reduces treatment time from months, as with current methods, to days. Supercritical fluid drying does not add chemicals to the wood that could affect its long-term preservation and the reversibility of the treatment. This report is an evaluative comparison of different methods to dry waterlogged archeological wood, analyzing shrinkage and deterioration. Included in the comparison is the processes of popular polyethylene glycol (PEG)/freeze drying method, the use of supercritical carbon dioxide, and air drying methods.

National Park Service Headquarters
Mary Bomar Jan Matthews Jon C. Smith Director Associate Director, Cultural Resources Assistant Associate Director, Heritage Preservation Assistance Programs

PTT Board
Judith Ann Bense, Ph.D., Chair Chair, department of Anthropology director, Archaeology institute university of West florida Horace Henry Foxall, Jr. program manager, u.s. Corps of engineers

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training Staff
Kirk A. Cordell Kevin Ammons Mary Bistodeau Jason Church Sean Clifford Lance Ellis Christine Faith Andy Ferrell Jeff Guin Sarah Jackson David W. Morgan executive director Administrative officer Receptionist materials Conservator Web developer i.t. Administrator heritage education Coordinator Chief, Architecture and engineering marketing manager Architecture and engineering Assistant Chief, Archeology and Collections

James Walter Garrison state historic preservation officer, Arizona Roy Graham, FAIA director, College programs in historic preservation school of Architecture, university of florida Norman Koonce, FAIA national Co-Chairman the Campaign for the American Center of Architecture Suzanne Lewis, Vice Chair superintendent, yellowstone national park secretary of interior’s designee to ptt board Rob Pahl, AIA president, pahl, pahl, pahl Architects/planners Frank Preusser, Ph.D. frank preusser and Associates, inc. Robert Silman, PE, Robert silman and Associates, p.C. Suzanne Turner, FASLA professor emerita of Landscape Architecture Louisiana state university Norman Weiss, FAPT professor, Columbia university

NCPTT Notes Issue 45 Spring 2006 NCPTT Executive Director Kirk A. Cordell Editor Jeff Guin NCPTT Notes is published by the National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. The purpose of this publication is to convey NCPTT’s Mission, which is to advance the use of science and technology in the field of historic preservation including archeology, architecture, landscape architecture and materials conservation. The Center accomplishes its mission through training, education, research, technology transfer and partnerships. The mail list for NCPTT Notes is subject to request under the Freedom of Information Act. Persons or organizations not wanting to have mail list information disclosed should unsubscribe. Send comments to NCPTT Notes or submit articles or notices for consideration to or call 318-356-7444.

Mary Ellen Servello executive secretary Debbie Smith Mary F. Striegel NCPTT Intern Anna Breaux information technology intern Chief, historic Landscapes Chief, materials Research

Grants Edition • Issue 47 • 

National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior National Center for Preservation Technology and Training 4 University Parkway Natchitoches, Louisiana, 747 Official Business Penalty for Private Use, $00

First Class Mail Postage and Fees PAID national Park service Permit no. G-83

nCPTT noTes
summer 2007/Issue 47 • TeChNoloGy ServING

InsIde thIs edItIon of

GranTs eDiTion

The FuTure oF AMerICA’S herITAGe • latest research Products: Page 10

nCPTT summer institute research in Progress: Page 9

2008 Call for Proposals: Page 4

PTT Grant research investigates the properties load-bearing masonry structures.

Call for Proposals now includes a preproposal letter requirement.
PosTer For DisPlaY on PaGes 5-6!

New research added to PTT Products catalog.

Plus • more than $350,000 awarded for new ptt research 

• NCPTT Notes • Issue 47