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NCPTT awarded 12 projects, totaling $262,500, for preservation technology and training awards to universities, non-profit organizations, and state agencies.

The awardees were selected and the assistance agreements will be administered by the National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The Center was created under the 1992 Amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act.

The National Park Service awards these grants and Agreements under Title IV of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Fire Safety for Historic Buildings – Teaching Modules
Fire Safety Institute, Middlebury, Vermont, $19,500

In order to protect cultural resources against natural and human threat of fire, five electronic teaching modules will be developed that cover fire prevention,  code requirements,  fire safe construction, fire detection and suppression, and fire safe renovation. The modules will be compiled electronically for optimum dissemination and presentation technology.

Evaluation of Ca(OH)2 Nano-Particle Treatment of Cordage/Basketry
Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, $19,500

This project will evaluate the utility of nano-sized calcium, magnesium and barium hydroxides for the treatment of fragile cordage/basketry objects.  This treatment has proven suitable for stabilizing fragile, historic paper.  During the proposed project, fibers will be collected, prepared, tested, artificially aged, treated, and evaluated.

Web-Accessible Training in Thin-Section Petrography of Cultural Materials
University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, $25,000

This project aims to provide interactive web-accessible training in thin-section petrography of cultural materials. It will include illustrated lectures with audio and text, video clips, self-quizzes, and virtual laboratory experiences on the basics of polarized light microscopy; analyzing volcanic, plutonic, sedimentary, and metamorphic cultural materials; interpreting ceramic thin sections; and contemporary image analysis. Thin-section petrography is used in analyzing the structure and composition of historic materials.

Preservation of Human Dental Surface Micro-Topography with Three-Dimensional Non-Destructive Digital Imaging
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, $11,500

This project will test the applicability of three-dimensional digital dental imaging technology for creating research-quality digital models of human dental surface micro-topography. If successful, this technology would be useful for collection and long-term curation of dental data that would otherwise be lost after reburial of skeletal remains. Bioarcheologists use dental data to research the diet, health, and cultural practices of ancient peoples.

A Comprehensive Training Program for 3D Digital Rock Art Documentation and Preservation
Cultural Heritage Imaging, San Francisco, California, $25,000

Reflectance Transformation Imaging provides flexible, cost effective tools and methods for the on-site, three-dimensional full-color digital capture of rock art, petroglyphs, and artifacts. This grant aims to put these techniques in the hands of archeology and conservation professionals through training, video podcasts, do-it-yourself guides, and online dissemination materials, in an economical and comprehensive program.

Preservation of Historic Iron and Steel in Bridges and Other Metal Structures
Lansing Community College, Lansing, Michigan, $25,000

Historic wrought iron and steel bridges are being replaced today at an alarming rate.  Those that remain are often rehabilitated using inappropriate techniques, or are downgraded for limited highway traffic or pedestrian use. Guided by the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, this proposal aims to develop and provide training based on modern and historic technologies to address the national need for preservation expertise in preserving historic metal truss structures.

Assessment of Handheld Multibeam Sonar Imagery for the Study of Submerged Cultural Resources
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, Vermont, $24,000

Handheld imaging sonars have been developed that provide near visual quality information regardless of underwater conditions. The adaptation of imaging sonars for use on underwater sites will have wide spread applicability to the nations’ thousands of submerged archeological sites located in turbid waters that make detailed archeological documentation impractical.  This project aims to assess the feasibility and develop methodologies for this technology using a Dual Frequency Miniature Multibeam Imaging System on the steamboat Phoenix site.

A Polymeric Treatment for Controlling Salt Damage to Stone and Brick
Trustees of Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, $25,000

A new method has been proposed for protecting stone and brick from salt damage. The idea is to eliminate the repulsive stress that normally exists between mineral and salt surfaces by depositing a monolayer of polymeric material from an aqueous solution onto the internal surfaces of the stone or brick. The polymer provides a low-energy interface between salt and mineral, so that the growth of salt crystals does not cause stress or damage. The proposed study will demonstrate the principle, evaluate the durability of the treatments, and optimize the conditions for application of this method on limestone.

Creation of a Web-Accessible Database of the Comparative Plant Fiber Collection
Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, $25,000

The Comparative Plant Fiber Collection (CPFC), produced under a prior PTT grant, contains over 700 plant fiber examples, 1000 microscope slides, and hundreds of photographic slides. Useful for identifying fibers found in prehistoric artifacts and determining the extent of fiber processing and degradation, the CPFC provides a resource for studies of fiber perishables for determination of preservation techniques. A web-accessible database of digital images, explanatory text, and terminology documents will be created that will permit ethnobotanists, archeologists, and analysts of material culture to glean critical information from artifacts.

What’s Out There – An Interactive Catalog of Designed American Cultural Landscapes
The Cultural Landscape Foundation, Washington, DC, $25,000

The What’s Out There web project will raise public awareness of the breadth, diversity, and interconnectedness of the historic designed landscape heritage of the U.S. by developing a framework for cataloging historic designed landscapes. Each individual entry, searchable by designer, location, type, or style, will be supplemented with a narrative history, critical website links and illustrated with downloadable PDF images, making it useful to designers, historians, educators, and preservationists.

The Tutuila Basalt Export Industry: Leveraging Resources to Train Native American Samoans in Preservation Technology
American Samoa Community College, Pago Pago, American Samoa, $25,000

This project combines an historic landscape approach, materials research, and site inventory techniques to develop training for initial site identification. GIS and energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) datasets generated by the project will be used to gain a better understanding of prehistoric patterns of interaction between communities on Tutuila Island. Final products will include journal papers, correction algorithms for EDXRF results from different labs, downloadable online materials, a film documentary, and classroom resource materials.

Development of Ceramic Reference Materials for Calibration and Quantification of Portable XRF Data
Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Richmond, Virginia, $13,000

Efforts to accurately interpret and use non-destructive portable x-ray fluorescence (NDT-XRF) data have been impeded by the lack of standard reference materials replicating objects in museum and repository collections. This proposal will develop and test the appropriateness and feasibility of NDT-XRF analytical methodologies, particularly in archeology, through the preparation of low-fired ceramic reference materials.

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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119