September 14, 2007 Eric Hansen Named Chief of Preservation Research and Testing Division

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639

Eric Hansen has been named chief of the Preservation Research and Testing Division at the Library of Congress. He is scheduled to start on Sept. 17. Hansen is a “widely known and highly respected preservation scientist with more than 20 years experience in the field, including two decades at the Getty Conservation Institute,” said Dianne L. van der Reyden, director for Preservation for the Library of Congress. “He is enthusiastic about joining the Library and focusing on issues of concern in the science of preservation of library materials, including the problems of modern media found in audiovisual and digital collections.” Hansen received a degree in chemical engineering from California State University in 1977, followed by a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of California, Irvine, in 1980 and a doctorate in 2000 from UCLA, where he focused on scientific analytical techniques applied to preservation problems. He was hired by the Getty Conservation Institute in 1985, moving from assistant scientist in 1987 and associate scientist in 1989, and retiring as a scientist and project manager in 2006. He is currently a research associate at UCLA. Accomplishments in the field of preservation science earned Hansen the 2006 President’s Award from the American Institute for Conservation (AIC). He received the 2007 Kress Conservation Publications Fellowship through AIC’s Foundation. Past grants include a National Science Foundation Grant Award in the Anthropological and Geographic Sciences Program in 1995. Hansen has extensive experience in the following:
  • Designing and directing the development of unique and leading-edge science technology that addresses preservation problems involving parchment, paper, adhesives, textiles, polymers and alkaline compounds
  • Developing methodologies for characterization of degradation products through innovative instrumentation
  • Analyzing materials using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, viscosity and image analysis
Hansen is a former founder and former chair of AIC’s Research and Technical Studies Group, as well as of AIC’s Conservation Science Task Force. He served as special editor for Conservation Research and Technical Studies Papers in the Journal of AIC, and as past organizer and moderator for updates on Research and Technical Studies for AIC. He is well known for his national and international collaborations. Over the years, he has played a significant role in major conservation organizations. Hansen has also been recruited to be a member of many important committees, including the review committee for the SI Scholarly Studies Program for the Smithsonian and the committee overseeing the treatment and installation of the Star-Spangled Banner. He has written more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles covering a wide range of preservation topics, most notably research priorities and field trials in paper conservation, the effect of relative humidity on physical properties of modern vellum, and implications for the optimum display and storage conditions.


PR 07-180
ISSN 0731-3527