Dr Sonia O'Connor

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Sonia O’Connor joined the University of Bradford in 1995 to undertake contract conservation, teaching and research.

She has worked in archaeological conservation since 1976, when she was awarded a Diploma in Archaeological Conservation (with distinction) at the Institute of Archaeology, University of London.

She was Assistant Conservator at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; Assistant Experimental Officer and Conservator for Rescue Archaeology in Wales whilst at the Department of Archaeology, University College Cardiff; and rose to Deputy Head of Conservation at the York Archaeological Trust.

She has experience in project management, archaeological fieldwork, managing conservation laboratories, teaching and training.

She has been the lead conservator on a number of archaeological projects of international importance including the recovery, investigation and conservation of the Ferry Fryston Iron Age chariot and has published extensively on a range of conservation, archaeological and related topics.

Sonia's research areas include the identification, conservation and decay of osseous and keratinous materials, the fabrication of iron mail and radiographic imaging of cultural material. Sonia's research in this area has been utilised widely, in particular within the (American) Society for Historical Archaeology’s Research Resources web pages ‘Conservation FAQs and Facts’.
◾Pictures of bone and antler
◾Pictures of tortoiseshell, horn and plastics

In 2003 Sonia began a five-year research project into the use of X-radiography in the study and conservation of textiles. She was working in collaboration with Mary M Brooks of the Textile Conservation Centre, University of Southampton.

Her work was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Centre for Textile Conservation and Textile Studies; a partnership between the Universities of Southampton, Bradford and Manchester. Sonia and Mary have jointly authored a book on this new field of cultural materials radiography, entitled X-Radiography of Textiles, Dress and Related Objects, which was published by Elsevier (Oxford) in 2007.

Downloadable pdfs

Some of Sonia's publications are available to download as pdf files.

UKIC paper on the identification of bone, ivory, horn etc (O'Connor 1987)

Ferry Fryston Iron Age chariot recovery and conservation (O'Connor 2007)