Dr Helen Wilson

  • Position: Conservation Scientist
  • Specialism: Chemistry
  • helen.wilson@nationalarchives.gov.uk

Helen is an accredited conservation scientist working in the Collection Care department. Most recently, evidence from Helen’s work has informed preservation activities including environmental data reporting and assessment of the preservation risk of chemically unstable materials. Helen uses analytical techniques such as X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy to inform remedial conservation decision-making through the identification of the composition of The National Archives’ records.

Helen completed her AHRC-EPSRC Collaborative Doctoral Award (Science and Heritage Programme) with the University of Manchester and British Museum in 2012. This project involved investigation into non-aqueous remedial conservation treatments for iron-tannate dyed organic materials. This followed a one year HLF-funded Institute of Conservation internship in heritage science and a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Oxford, during which Helen investigated the chemistry of iron gall ink and its implications for paper conservation.

Helen is Communications Officer for Icon’s Heritage Science Group and a peer reviewer for conservation publications.

Select publications

H. Wilson and S. VanSnick, 'The effectiveness of dust mitigation and cleaning strategies at The National Archives, UK', Journal of Cultural Heritage, 24 (2017), pp. 100-107.

H. Wilson, 'A decision framework for the preservation of transparent papers', Journal of the Institute of Conservation, 38.1 (2015), pp. 1-22.

H. Wilson, C. Carr and M. Hacke, 'Production and validation of model iron-tannate dyed textiles for use as historic textile substitutes in stabilisation treatment studies', Chemistry Central Journal, 6.1 (2012).