MOLAB non-invasive investigations of Mesoamerican codices in the Bodleian Libraries

Activity: Talk or presentationLecture and oral contribution


MOLAB is a collection of integrated instruments based on non-invasive spectroscopic methods which exploit light from mid-IR to X-ray and work in point or scanning/imaging mode to carry out scientific studies on cultural heritage materials. Currently the transnational access to MOLAB is financially supported by the H2020 project IPERIONCH ( The MOLAB facility allowed for the molecular characterization of coloured materials of several Mesoamerican codices conserved in European museums and libraries, offering to scholars a wide database of valuable analytical data to deepen our knowledge about the complexities of the Mesoamerican manuscripts’ painting tradition. We will present the analytical methodology adopted to analyse the coloured compounds employed as painting materials, highlighting strengthens as well as limitations of the non-invasive approach in the view of the challenges posed by the wide use of organic dyes. The results obtained on the codices of the Bodleian Libraries will be discussed in details by typology of colour/compound.

Period31 May 2016
Event titleMesoamerican Manuscripts: New scientific approaches and interpretations
Event typeConference
LocationOxford, United KingdomShow on map