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Lunch Hour Lectures on Tour: A book by any other name would smell as sweet

James M Heather28 June 2012

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.Go on, give it a sniff

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.

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