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ISAAC - Mobile laboratory

Unit(s) of assessment: General Engineering

Research theme: Global Heritage: Science, Management and Development

School: School of Science and Technology


British Museum - ISAAC Mobile Laboratory

The Imaging & Sensing for Archaeology, Art History & Conservation (ISAAC) mobile laboratory was established in 2006 at Nottingham Trent University to further develop the use of optical imaging and sensing instruments in archaeology, art, history and conservation.

Our mobile laboratory gives access to:

  • state of the art and bespoke instruments for art conservation, history and archaeology communities, around the world;
  • a unique in-house developed portable imaging and spectroscopy instruments (funded by UK Research Council grants); and
  • commercial instruments that complement the above.

Find out more about the ISAAC group research.

How can the ISAAC mobile lab help your organisation?

ISAAC has a mobile laboratory which gives heritage organisations access to unique instruments and a range of complementary techniques to use in situ. We specialise in interdisciplinary research at the interface between science and heritage and in interpretation of the analytical results obtained by the multiple techniques. If you want to find out more about a cultural object or a collection using mobile non-invasive tools to perform in situ analysis, then ISAAC could help.

Available Analytical Techniques

ISAAC mobile laboratory provides access to state of the art technology, developed in-house which gives heritage organisations access to unique instruments and a range of complementary commercial instruments to use on site. The available techniques cover a wide range, from optical imaging to spectral imaging and spectroscopy.

For more information on our techniques at the mobile laboratory visit our page.


ISAAC’s projects takes the research team to museums, galleries and heritage sites across the World. We have visited numerous national and international organisations, applying our multimodal analysis for the examination of various artworks of different type and style.

View a list of our projects in collaboration with national and international organisations.

How to Apply

Access to the ISAAC mobile laboratory is provided at a non-profit basis to charities and public organisations. A short application is required, providing the background, aims and objectives of the project. You will then be contacted by a member of the ISAAC team to discuss the technical feasibility and to suggest instruments and techniques to apply.

Contact us

If you would like to find out more about ISAAC or talk to us about accessing our mobile laboratory, then please email us:


ISTeC 003
Nottingham Trent University
Clifton Campus, Nottingham
NG11 8NS


The ISAAC Mobile Lab has collaborated with several national and international organisations, including:

National organisations

  • The British Museum
  • The National Gallery
  • Tate
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • English Heritage
  • Historic England
  • National Trust
  • Science Museum
  • Nottingham Castle Museum
  • Birmingham Museum and Gallery
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • Historic Royal Palaces
  • Fitzwilliam Museum
  • Bodleian Library
  • Peterborough Cathedral
  • National Museum of Ireland

International organisations

  • Louvre Museum and C2RMF (France)
  • LRMH (France)
  • National Museum of China
  • Dunhuang Academy (China)
  • Shaan Xi History Museum (China)
  • Getty Conservation Institution (USA)
  • Brooklyn Museum (USA)
  • Museums of New Mexico (USA)
  • Museum of International Folk Art (USA)
  • Fondation Beyeler (Switzerland)