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Preventive Conservation Preventive

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​Preventive conservation major, Melissa King (WUDPAC 2020) prepares Oddy Tests to test the suitability of commercial materials for exhibitions and Natalya Swanson (WUDPAC 2020) works on housing for a Roman glass vessel from the Penn Museum with preventive conservator William Donnelly.

Preventive Conservation

Preventive conservation is an important segment of our master's-level first-year curriculum. It is the focus of the first and last block of the year and is included as a foundational parameter in all other blocks.

The following topics are addressed: environmental conditions and management; light; building systems; packing, shipping, exhibition and storage; integrated pest management and housekeeping; emergency preparedness, mitigation and response; surveys and assessments; monitoring, reporting and communication.

Since 2002 it has been possible for students to minor in preventive conservation during their second year of study. This is achieved through and independent research project, participation in Winterthur’s Preventive Conservation Team, seminars and field trips, and a summer work project that is, in part, focused on preventive conservation and collections care.

2016 saw WUDPAC's commitment to offer preventive conservation as a major area of study. This development now makes it possible for students to select preventive conservation as a primary focus. The major guides students through the development of technical, soft, and research skills necessary to lead institutions large and small in the preventive care of their collections.

Joelle Wickens and William Donnelly supervise this area of the curriculum.

Preventive Conservation Resources 

WUDPAC Preventive Conservation Course Syllabi 

  • Fall (PDF) 

  • Spring (PDF) 

Preventive Conservation Student Projects

Preventive Conservation Bibliography


Key Online Resources for Preventive Conservation  

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Preventive Conservation
  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3489