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Molly McGath

The Mariners' Museum and Park
Conservation Scientist
Newport News, VA
Molly K. McGath is the Analytical Chemist at The Mariners' Museum and Park. McGath received her doctorate from the University of Arizona in Materials Science and Engineering with a focus in Conservation Science.
Her current research includes studying the deterioration mechanisms of materials found in cultural heritage objects, evaluating the impact of conservation treatments on historic archaeological materials excavated from marine environments, and the chemical characterization of cultural heritage objects.
McGath has conducted research in a variety of conservation science areas. At Johns Hopkins University she focused on paper deterioration, cellulose acetate lamination, and replicability of environmental testing methods, among other projects. At the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer|Sackler she worked with Py-GC/MS studying Asian lacquers, evaluated silica gel as a VOC sink, and studied Asian art materials. At the National Gallery of Art, McGath gained experience with microfade testing and applied this technique to photography and textiles as well as works of art on paper. At the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Conservation Institute McGath characterized plastics and worked on her doctorate studying the deterioration mechanism of cellulose acetate in the presence of different plasticizers. McGath worked as fellow at the Library of Congress and an intern at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. She was a research assistant at the Arizona State Museum as a graduate student.