David Howell, accredited conservator and former Head of Heritage Science at the Bodleian Libraries (Oxford).


David Howell’s research record ranges from the analysis of historic textiles and dyes as Head of Conservation Research at Historic Royal Palaces (1984-2004) to the non-destructive identification of pigments and the use of advanced imaging techniques to reveal hidden texts and under-drawing during his time at The Bodleian Libraries (2004-2020). He has experience of working with many types of organic material found in museums, historic houses and research libraries.


Role within Chromotope

David Howell, who is replacing Kelly Domoney during her maternity leave, will be supervising Tea Ghigo’s analyses of Burges’s Great Bookcase.

Selected Publications

  • David Howell, Ludo Snijders “Conservation Research in Libraries with contributions by Andrew Beeby, Kelly Domoney and Anita Quye”, de Gruyter, 2020

  • David Howell, “The potential of hyperspectral imaging for researching colour on artefacts” in Digital Imaging of Artefacts: Developments in Methods and Aims, ed Kate Kelley and Rachel Wood, Archeaopress, 2018

  • David Howell, “Jonathan Ashley-Smith: mentor, role model, inspiration”, Journal of the Institute of Conservation, (2018)

  • A.Beeby, L. Garner, D. Howell, C.E. Nicholson, “There’s more to reflectance spectroscopy than lux’, J. Inst. Conserv. (2018)

  • Maybury, I.J., Howell, D., Terras, M. et al. “Comparing the effectiveness of hyperspectral imaging and Raman spectroscopy: a case study on Armenian manuscripts”, Heritage Science (2018)

  • Nick Millea, David Howell, “Revealing the Past: How Science Is Unlocking Cartographic Secrets” In: Altiæ M., Demhardt I., Vervust S. (eds) Dissemination of Cartographic Knowledge. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography. Springer, Cham (2018)

  • Richard Mulholland, David Howell, Andrew Beeby, Catherine Nicholson and Kelly Domoney, “Identifying eighteenth century pigments at the Bodleian library using in situ Raman spectroscopy, XRF and hyperspectral imaging”, Heritage Science (2017)

  • Di Bai, David W. Messinger, David Howell, “A pigment analysis tool for hyperspectral images of cultural heritage artifacts”, Proc. SPIE 10198, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XXIII, 101981A (2017)

  • Di Bai, David W. Messinger, David Howell, “Hyperspectral analysis of cultural heritage artifacts: pigment material diversity in the Gough Map of Britain,” Optical Engineering 56(8), 081805 (2017)

  • Ludo Snijders, Tim Zaman, and David Howell, “Using hyperspectral imaging to reveal a hidden precolonial Mesoamerican codex”, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Elsevier October (2016)

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