Hanna Szczepanowska

Research Conservator


Phone: 301-238-1232
Fax: 301-238-3709
E-mail Address: SzczepanowskaH [at] si.edu

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


Ph.D. University of Lyon, France (2012)

Masters degree in Conservation of Art and Archival Material on paper, parchment and leather, University of Nicolaus Copernicus, Torun, Poland (1978)

Additional course work
Ancient Metals Identification Course; Prof. Scott David, UCLA, CA
Wood Identification Course; Prof. Hoadley, Amherst University, UMASS
Mosaic Conservation Workshop, Olympia, Greece; Archetype International Projects
Glass Conservation; Conservator Steven Koob, Archetype International Projects, Florida
Campbell Center, course on Material Characterization Tests for Objects

Research Specialties and Interests

Interest area in technical collections, history of materials and technology, materials behavior in museum  environment. Research specialties include analysis of microbiological effect on artifacts, fungi induced staining and fumigation. Other ongoing research includes studies of space heritage artifacts.

Recent Research Activities

Current research is focused on evaluation of fumigation and anoxia on cultural heritage collections and mitigation of visual alterations of artifacts caused by fungi. That and other projects utilize micro-fadometer, colorimetric  and mechanical tests of materials . On-going assistance to other Smithsonian units includes environmental monitoring of entomological collections at  NMNH.

Courses Taught

Introduction to Conservation; George Washington University, Washington DC ; Museum Study and Anthropology, graduate level. (2001-2006)

Microbiological Deterioration of Collections; Art Conservation Program, Buffalo NY; 2- days seminar. (2010)


Fulbright,  Council of International Exchange of Scholars, 1990 and 2000-01, to assist museums  in Malta and Egypt with developing a systematic approach  to collections’ care.

Recent Publications

  • H. M. Szczepanowska, T.G. Mathia, P. Belin (2013). "Morphology of fungal stains on paper characterized with multi-scale and multi-sensory surface metrology”. Scanning, the Journal of Scanning Microscopies, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 1:10.
  • H. Szczwpanowska (2012) Conservation of Cultural Heritage: Key Principles and Approaches”.(410 pages) Publisher; Routledge, Classics, Archaeology and Museum Studies; Taylor & Francis Books, United Kingdom (December 2012).
  • H. Szczepanowska and R. Cavaliere: Conserving our Cultural Heritage: The Role of Fungi in Biodeterioration (2012). In: Proceedings of the 6th International Scientific Conference on Bioaerosols, Fungi, Bacteria, Mycotoxins in Indoor and Outdoor Environments and Human Health, Sept.6-9, 2011, Saratoga Springs NY. (Eds) Eckardt Johanning Md. Msc., Philip R. Morey PhD, CIH, Piere Auger, Md, MSc. Fungal Research Foundation Inc. Albany NY.: 293-310.
  • H.Szczepanowska, Th. Mathia, (2011) Space Heritage: The Apollo Heat Shield; Atmospheric Reentry Imprint on Materials’ Surface.  Mate. Res. Soc. Symposium Proc. Vol. 1319. DOI: 10.1557/opl.2011.780.
  • H. Szczepanowska, (2009) "Space Technology - Vanguard I, Explorer 7 and GRAB" – Materials and Museum Concerns”, Chapter 36, pp.633-656, in: "Handbook of Space Engineering, Archaeology and Heritage", Ann Darrin, Beths L.O’Leary (Eds). Published by CRC Press, Francis & Taylor Group, ISBN 978-1-4200-8431-3
  • H. Szczepanowska, (2009) "CORONA KH-4B Preservation of Reconnaissance Space Artifacts: A Case Study" - Chapter 35, pp.657-678, in: “Handbook of Space Engineering, Archaeology and Heritage; Ann Darrin, Beths L.O’Leary (Eds). Published by CRC Press, Francis & Taylor Group, ISBN 978-1-4200-8431-3.
  • H. Szczepanowska, A. Ralph Cavaliere, (2005) “Tutankhamen tomb – A Closer Look at Biodeterioration, Preliminary Report”, pp.42-47, in: Schimmel –Gefahr fur Mensh und Kultur durch Microorganismen;  Fungi, A threat for People and Cultural Heritage through Micro-Organisms, A.Rauch, S.Miklin-Kniefacz, A.Harmsse (Eds.). Published by Thesis, Verband der Restauratoren, ISBN 3- 8062-1925-7
  • H. Szczepanowska, A. R. Cavaliere, (2003) “Drawings, Prints and Documents–Fungi Eat Them All!” pp.128- 151, in: Art, Biology, and Conservation of Works of Art: Biodeterioration of Works of Art. R. Koestler, V. Koestler, A.E. Charola, F.Nieto-Fernandez (Eds.). Published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, ISBN 1-58839-107-8