The UCL Lunch Hour Lectures, currently on tour to the British Museum, offer the free chance to break up a busy working day with a thought-provoking mini-lecture. I went along to the third instalment on 21 June, which was given by Dr Matija Stlic from the UCL Centre for Sustainable Heritage.
Dr Strlic’s job is one of those that you never found out about in career days at school; he uses applied chemistry to protect our cultural heritage. This week’s talk was all about his work on paper and the importance of its smell.
There’s nothing quite like a smell for triggering memories. Like many other people, I think the smell of old books takes me back to many happy places; finding old family documents in the back of my grandparents’ cupboards, wandering through old libraries with my parents, or rooting through second-hand bookshops as a student.