Scientific projects

Scientific projects

Examination of collection objects from the National Technical Museum funds by modern physical and chemical methods with the goal of higher quality restoration and preventative conservation.

Consortium project NAKI, ID code DF12P01OVV034, project lifetime: 2012 – 2015
Project workplace: NTM and FJFI ČVUT in Prague
NTM working team: Eng. I. Kopecká, RNDr. Eva Svobodová PhD., Bc. Z. Švarcová, Š. Brabenec, Eng. T. Štanzel, Mgr. A. Nezmeškal, M. Plavec
FJFI ČVUT in Prague working team: prof. Eng. Čechák DrSc., Eng. T. Trojek, PhD., Eng. L. Dragounová
Project goals:
A. Working out an optimal method for material examination of layered historical material.
Chemical analysis of historic material has certain specifics and limitations. It is always desirable to use methods either non-destructive, or at least micro-destructive, or methods nondestructive from the standpoint of the actual object. Removed samples are always very small and limited in number. It is necessary to conform the selection of analytical methods, the removal of samples, analytical techniques and preparation methods to this. The goal of the project is to create a reproducible process of analysis for basic types of layered historical material, starting with the removal of samples and selection of working technique, up through preparation of specimens, with minimum possible error.
B. Creating and distributing a comparative database FTIR spectra for the uses of the National Technical Museum
Distribution of the existing comparative database FTIR spectra of historical material, degraded material and special supplementary substances will noticeably improve the precision and reliability of examinations in the National Technical Museum's funds. There are several such databases:
a) Formerly used organic binders
b) Synthetic organic pigments of the 20th century
c) Supplementary materials, used for conservation and restoration
d) Material used in historical photographic processes
e) Comparison database of surface preparations used by the Janeček (JAWA) company
C. Examination of specific National Technical Museum funds
a) Examination of surface preparation of transportation collection in connection with restoration activities.
b) Database of materials of aeronautical canvas from historical biplanes and their surface preparation (for documentary and research purposes).
c) Examination of historic photography fund in connection with restoration activities and plans for future conservation.
d) Examination of construction fund (original surface preparation of wooden construction elements, patination of plaster surfaces).
e) Examination of medallion fund from National Technical Museum archive
f) Material examination of various other National Technical Museum collections, based on actual needs (of restorers or curators of the collections)
D. Working out a model strategy of preventative conservation for the most endangered parts of the NTM funds, based on evaluation of degradation caused by climate on specific materials.

Traditional plaster technology of historical constructions and its current use

Project DF11P01OVV010, treatment 2011-2015, MK0/DF
Project staff: Institute of theoretical and applied mechanics AV ČR, v. v. i.; Archeological Institute AV ČR, Prague, v. v. i and National Technical Museum.
NTM responsible staff: PhDr. Martin Ebel, Ph.D. and Mgr. Pavel Kodera, Ph.D.
The project goal is research and development of traditional plaster technology, which allows for repeated use during repairs of architectonic memorials. The project aims to identify defunct sources of raw materials and specific technologies for processing plaster binders in connection with their use during construction of historic buildings. Drawing on historical sources, current plans and other documentation, a plaster oven will be built on traditional firing techniques for small-scale production of plaster binding agents, and the generated products will then be applied. The project will prepare an educational program, which will support renewal of traditional material and technology for repairs of our architectonic memorials. National Technical Museum staff will primarily focus on research into traditional raw material foundations, tied to technology and applications. Based on historical documents, they will research historical techniques for manufacturing plaster (kilns) and curing plaster, with further research into historical sources of plaster. The second basic goal of the NTM staff will be a running presentation of their results during the course of the project. After opening CSD Plasy, the National Technical Museum will present examples of traditional plaster technology and a thematic exhibition on the subject.

Methods and instruments for preservation and safeguarding cultural heritage objects threatened by floods

Project NAKI # DF11P01OVV009, treatment 2011-2015

Project staff: ČVUT in Prague, construction faculty (coordinates workplace), Czech Agricultural University, Institute of theoretical and applied mechanics AV and National Technical Museum.

NTM responsible staff: Eng. Ivana Kopecká.

One of the project's primary goals if creating a methodology for the preservation of cultural heritage objects and lands with historical value before being flooded – design of anti-flooding measures for the preservation of historic and urban structures, and their integration into urban planning. Special attention will be given to preservation of historic waterworks, ranked into the funds of industrial heritage. In connection with flood risk, specialized maps of cultural heritage objects and historic waterworks will be prepared. Another goal of the project is creation of methodology for making crisis plans for memorial objects and collections, possibly even memorial objects with collections stored inside them. (Methods for negotiating and creating these plans, allocation of responsibility, structural plans, relationships with integrated safety systems and with local authority.) It may safely assumed that preparation for crisis situations, including floods can markedly reduce the damage caused by such events. The resulting methodology for forming crisis and flood plans makes provisions for the individual character of both real estate and movable assets of our cultural heritage.

The last goal is creating a general plan for controlling flood damage on memorial objects with regard to the affected construction material and character of artistic decoration of the object. In a similar fashion, damage control plans for collections will take regard of the specific properties of the material from which they are made.

Study of technology in Bohemia 1945-1992 (2003-2003, AV0/IC)


(Studies on the Technology in the Czech Lands in 1945-1992)

The Studies on the Technology in the Czech Lands in 1945–1992 represent output of the project supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GA ČR 404/96/1034). The Studies were defended in 1998 and evaluated as excellent. 230 specialists participated in the project. After the defence, the work was extended by chapters on weaponry, glass industry, ceramics, and some passages on mechanical engineering, where originally no co-authors could be found. The latter parts and completion of the work were supported by the research project of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic (MK 0 CE Z99 F 0101). The work is divided into 30 chapters. In the form of manuscript, it contains 4 200 standard pages and 1380 illustrations; summaries in English and German are rather extensive (460 pages).

Lighting in the collections of the National Technical Museum in Prague
"Project RK04P03OMG019"
Electronic form of catalog of lighting fixtures from the collections of the National Technical Museum in Prague. Responsible staff: Mgr. Jiří Hulák.

Authors preparation of collection catalog Automobiles in Bohemia – Catalog of automobile collection of the National Technical Museum in Prague
"Project RK01P03OMG010"
A complete author's catalog of the automobile collection in the National Technical Museum in Prague. It presents individual objects from the collections not only by description, functional history and photo documentation, but also their ranking in the wider range of automobile development and the overall development of Bohemian society. Responsible staff: Petr Kožíšek

Stanislav Lachman. Creations of an industrial designer
"Project RK99P03OMG005"
A historical first – a retrospective exhibition about one of the most influential Czechoslovakian designers working in the machine industry was displayed in the National Technical Museum between August 6th and September 23rd, 2001. The author of the exhibition, Jana Pauly set her sights on the creations of Stanislav Lachman together with samples from other designers, like Kovotechna. The exhibition surface of approximately 100 square meters displayed objects – primarily manufactured products bearing the logo ETA, designer models, design sketches, photographic and drawn documentation, even contemporary advertising material. Responsible staff: Jana Pauly.
SCALEX – virtual museum
Two-year EU grant # IST-2001–35103.
Responsible coordinator for the National Technical Museum: Walter Schorge and PhDr. Jitka Zamrzlová.
The National Technical Museum was one of the coordinators of EU grant SCALEX (Scalable Exhibition Server). The results of the project will be creation of a virtual exposition accessible to visitors through multimedia kiosks with touch displays. The contents of this virtual exposition include a wider range of information about exhibits displayed in the Transportation Hall of the museum. It presents information via text, pictures, sounds and film sequences. Two multimedia kiosks were put into service in the Transportation Hall in 2004. The project was thus successfully concluded at the end of June, 2004.

World View Network
Three-year EU grant, # 2001–2923/001–001 CLT CA3A.
Responsible coordinator for the NTM: PhDr. Jitka Zamrzlová.
In 2004, the three-year international project WVN was completed. The project was part of the EU grant Culture 2000 about five European astronomers (Copernicus, Brahe, Galileo, Kepler, Newton), in which institutions from five countries participated: Muzeum Mikolaja Kopernika, Frombork (PL), Tycho Brahe Museum, Hven (SE), Museo di Storia della Scienza, Florencie (IT), Woolsthorpe Manor (GB) and the National Technical Museum. The project involved numerous short-term exhibitions, permanent exhibitions and creation of multimedia websites, rounded out by a symposium, publication of a journal and preparation of the mobile exhibition "Machina Mundi". The National Technical Museum's contribution to the grant was the exhibition "Kepler and Prague", printing a catalog of the exhibition and preparing information about the scientists who worked in Bohemia (Brahe and Kepler) for the websites. The National Technical Museum was the coordinator of the tasks that traced preserved objects in the collections of five countries and scientific inventories tied to the individual scientists. The summary (Scientific Inventory), published on CD captured the following themes: instruments, books, artistic creations, miscellaneous and modern models. The scientific seminar and subsequently published journal "Science in contact at the beginning of the scientific revolution" closed out the NTM's work on the grant.
Expert institute
The National Technical Museum is listed as an Expert Institute in the records of the Ministry of Justice for the following expert activities:

Schooling and culture
Historical instruments in the area of exact sciences, history of technology, industry and social industrialization, history of mining, metallurgy, machine tooling, consumer industry, transportation (road, railroad, water and aeronautical), electrotechnology, history of media technology, construction, architecture, historical technical literature.