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The Museum Conservation Institute - Staff


Nicole Little

Nicole Little

Physical Scientist

 

Phone: 301-238-1243
Fax: 301-238-3709
E-mail Address: LittleN [at] si.edu

Address:
Museum Conservation Institute
Smithsonian Institution
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD 20746


Education

B.A. University of Missouri - Columbia (2001)
M.A. University of Missouri - Columbia (2005)

Research Specialties and Interests

Nicole’s responsibilities include the chemical characterization of museum objects by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry as well as the identification of crystalline structures by x-ray diffraction.  Although her research has primarily focused on the chemical characterization of archaeological materials (including pottery and obsidian), Nicole has begun utilizing MCI’s new time-of-flight ICP-MS (TOF-ICP-MS) to research environmental issues, including the heavy metal content of commercially available teas. Nicole is also responsible for the anoxic treatment of museum objects associated with MCI’s conservation staff.

Recent Research Activities

  • Identification and quantification of heavy metals in historic bones from Jamestown and St. Mary’s City.
  • Identification of lead oxides in stained marble from Arlington Cemetery by XRD.
  • Argon treatment of objects

Past Research Activities

  • Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) of pottery from Northwest Belize

Field Work Locations

Northwest Belize, Mid-Atlantic U.S.

Exhibition Projects

Nicole’s research on the quantification of heavy metals in historic bones is currently being showcased in the Natural History Museum exhibit Written in Bone.

Recent Publications

Tsang, Jia-sun, Madden, Odile, Coughlin, Mary, Maiorana, Anthony, Watson, Judy, Little, Nicole C. and Speakman, Robert Jeff 2009. Degradation of 'Lumarith' Cellulose Acetate Examination and Chemical Analysis of a Salesman's Sample Kit. Studies in Conservation, 54(2): 90-105.

Sheppard, Paul R., Ort, Michael H., Anderson, Kirk C., Elson, Mark D., Vazquez-Selem, Lorenzo, Clemens, Angelika W., Little, Nicole C. and Speakman, Robert Jeff 2008. Multiple Dendrochronological Signals Indicate the Eruption of Parícutin Volcano, Michoacán, Mexico. Tree-Ring Research, 64(2): 97-108.

Little, N. C., Scarlett, T. J., Speakman, Robert Jeff, Glascock, Michael D. and Merritt, C. W. 2007. Analysis of historic latter-day saint pottery glazes by laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. In: Glascock, Michael D., Speakman, Robert Jeff and Popelka-Filcoff, R. S., Archaeological Chemistry: Analytical Methods and Archaeological Interpretation. American Chemical Society, pp.447-459.

Little, Nicole C., Kosakowsky, Laura, Speakman, Robert Jeff, Glascock, Michael D. and Lohse, John 2004. Characterization of Maya pottery by INAA and ICP-MS. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 262: 103-110.

 

Related Links (to projects or collaborations)

http://anthropology.si.edu/writteninbone/

Book Chapters

 Lera, Thomas M., Giaccai, Jennifer and Little, Nicole Lera, Thomas M., Barwis, John H. and Herendeen, David L. A Scientific Analysis of the First Issues of Chile 1853–1862, London Printing Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Analytical Methods in Philately 2013 19 33 https://repository.si.edu/handle/10088/21394

 Little, Nicole C., Scarlett, T. J., Speakman, Robert Jeff, Glascock, Michael D. and Merritt, C. W. Glascock, Michael D., Speakman, Robert Jeff and Popelka-Filcoff, Rachel S. Analysis of historic latter-day saint pottery glazes by laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry Archaeological Chemistry: Analytical Methods and Archaeological Interpretation 2007 447 459 American Chemical Society

Journal Articles

 Grissom, Carol A., Vicenzi, Edward P., Livingston, Richard A., Aloiz, Emily, Little, Nicole C., Giaccai, Jennifer A. and Freedman, Willa Manganese in Black Crusts on Seneca Sandstone 2104

 France, Christine A. M., Sheppard, P. R., Cano, N., Little, Nicole C. and Speakman, Robert J. Stable isotopic and chemical indicators of volcanic eruptions in tree rings from Parícutin, Mexico 2014 37 42

 Centeno, Silvia A., Williams, Veronica I., Little, Nicole C. and Speakman, Robert J. Characterization of surface decorations in Prehispanic archaeological ceramics by Raman spectroscopy, FTIR, XRD and XRF 2012 119 124

 Speakman, Robert J., Little, Nicole C., Creel, Darrell, Miller, Myles R. and Iñañez, Javier G. Sourcing Ceramics with Portable XRF Spectrometers? A Comparison with INAA using Mimbres Pottery from the American Southwest 2011 3483 3496

 Grissom, Carol A., Gervais, Claire, Little, Nicole C., Bieniosek, Genevieve and Speakman, Robert Jeff Red "Staining" on Marble: Chemical or Biological Origin 2010 11 20 https://repository.si.edu/handle/10088/11194

 Gervais, Claire, Grissom, Carol A., Little, Nicole C. and Wachowiak, Melvin J. Cleaning Marble with Ammonium Citrate 2010 164 176

 Tsang, Jia-sun, Madden, Odile, Coughlin, Mary, Maiorana, Anthony, Watson, Judy, Little, Nicole C. and Speakman, Robert Jeff Degradation of 'Lumarith' Cellulose Acetate EXAMINATION AND CHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF A SALESMAN'S SAMPLE KIT 2009 90 105 INT INST CONSERVATION HISTORIC ARTISTIC WORKS LONDON; 6 BUCKINGHAM ST, LONDON WC2N 6BA, ENGLAND

 Sheppard, Paul R., Ort, Michael H., Anderson, Kirk C., Elson, Mark D., Vazquez-Selem, Lorenzo, Clemens, Angelika W., Little, Nicole C. and Speakman, Robert Jeff Multiple Dendrochronological Signals Indicate the Eruption of Parícutin Volcano, Michoacán, Mexico 2008 97 108 https://repository.si.edu/handle/10088/8136

 Speakman, Robert J., Glascock, Michael D. and Little, Charles T. Neutron Activation Analysis of Medieval Limestone Sculpture at the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center 2006 479 480

 Little, Nicole C., Kosakowsky, Laura, Speakman, Robert Jeff, Glascock, Michael D. and Lohse, John Characterization of Maya pottery by INAA and ICP-MS 2004 103 110

 Holmes, L. L., Little, C. T. and Sayre, Edward V. Elemental Characterization of Medieval Limestone Sculpture from Parisian and Burgundian Sources 1986 420 438