At this end of this eight week Module students will have a basic understanding of the development of the modern conservation profession; they will know what preventive conservation is and know the 10 agents of deterioration. They will have basic skills in monitoring the environment using a variety of equipment. They will have learned about laboratory safety and hav key scientific skills that will help with later laboratory treatments. They will understand why documentation is important and be able to write a basic condition assessment with drawings and/or photographs. They will learn techniques for identification of materials and gain understanding in the need to follow a process of examination, documentation, and testing and discussion before treatment. They will gain computer skills and know how to create a basic PowerPoint presentation. They will learn about the importance of conservation advocacy skills and practice public presentation.
Introduction to Preventive Conservation gives participants an understanding of the goals of the course and introduces them to the international standards, theories and approaches of western conservation and how artifact conservation fits into the broader roles and responsibilities of museums and heritage preservation. This overview is followed by developing an understanding of the ten agents of deterioration and how controlling or blocking the agents of deterioration leads to better preservation.
Technical and Scientific Skills for Conservation introduces basic chemistry and physics topics needed to understand later lectures, teaches basic laboratory skills, and laboratory safety for the conservation laboratory.
Preventive Conservation of Ivory teaches participants how to identify sources of ivory (e.g. elephant, hippo, vegetable etc.), how ivory artifacts are made, how they deteriorate, and how they can be stabilized in the museum as well as the skills to document the artifacts and their condition.
Preventive Conservation of Human Remains introduces ideas of how much information can be gained from fragmentary artifacts and how important good excavation technique and documentation is to preserving archaeological information.
Preventive Conservation in the Field expands on basic field techniques for preservation to teach skills of how to recover and preserve the most fragile artifacts from lifting them in the field, through transportation to the museum and conservation laboratory.
Computer Skills and Advocacy for Conservation is a practical hands-on exposure to basic computer software used in conservation allowing students to improve their skills and also allowing faculty to identify gaps in knowledge among the participants so more focused training can be developed for individual participants. It also introduces ideas of using presentations and posters to develop support for new conservation ideas.