Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Anne Wilson


The study of cultural heritage objects requires reference materials for comparison in order to determine the identity of chemical compounds in historically/culturally significant artifacts. The reference materials available today can be inaccurately labeled, can contain inauthentic compounds, or can simply be formed differently than what the labeled material should be. Utilizing the laboratory at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, three case studies were conducted over three different potential reference materials in order to properly identify each of the three materials being focused on here. Based on the analysis, the labels for these materials often do not match the actual material. This mislabeling should be addressed as incorrect properties can result in misinformed conservation efforts that have potential to go awry.