Sign In

Collections Conservation, Year One

​​

​IICAH participants learn how to excavate fragile archaeological artifacts

​​

Introductory Courses: Collections Conservation

The training overseen by the University of Delaware at the Iraqi Institute is divided into two levels: Introductory (Preventive Conservation) and Advanced (Conservation Treatment and Planning). The Introductory course gives a broad understanding of the international standards and skills in the field based on the concept of Preventive Conservation; it is better to stop damage and deterioration before it happens instead of fixing problems later. These ideas and skills can be used no matter what position the Iraqi individuals hold: conservator, collections manager, curator, archaeologist, exhibit specialist, or administrator. The Advanced course, designed for individuals who have passed the Introductory course with identified skills and distinction, focuses more directly on developing the knowledge of people who will work as conservators. These participants are actively treating and improving the condition of individual items as well as expanding skills in preservation of collections. Participants must be invited to attend the second-year Advanced course.

The courses are designed as a series of Modules arranged into one or two week blocks that can be adapted as needed to the exigencies of working in Iraq and with visiting lecturers coming from abroad and so can easily be rescheduled. The scheduled curriculum is augmented by lectures and practical sessions that may be given depending on availability and willingness of heritage professionals visiting Erbil. The final week of the 2012 Course for both the Introductory and Advanced students will be the planning, organization and hosting of an Open House, at which participants will make a public presentation of their work completed throughout the year. This program will bring together the Iraqi Institute participants, staff, Board and Advisory board members, alumni, and program supporters. 

INTRODUCTORY COURSE, MODULE 1: Course Schedule and Descriptions

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.​

INTRODUCTORY COURSE, MODULE 2: Course Schedule and Descriptions

In this module students will gain proficiency with the conservation documentation process:  examination, identification, research and documentation by working with a variety of materials.  The materials will vary depending on the availability of visiting lecturers.  Each student individually will be able to identify materials, write a condition report, suggest further research that will be needed, suggest a treatment and take high quality conservation documentation using both a SLR camera and a point-and-shoot camera.  Students will learn skills in stabilization of materials using specialized storage.  They will begin to understand how to identify stable materials for packing and storage.  They will learn basic methods of cleaning for different types of materials.

Review and Presentation of Practicum Projects gives a chance to review ideas presented into Module 1, and allows the Academic Director to identify areas that need to be readdressed by lecturers as the course continues.

Photography for Conservation teaches participants how to use a digital camera to take high-quality digital images that document the condition of the artifact before, during and after treatment. 

Preventive Conservation of Textiles gives participants a broad understanding of how textiles are made and the materials they are made of, how they deteriorate, and how they can be stored safely and cleaned in the museum as well as the skills to document the artifacts and their condition and carry out basic stabilization processes.  The participants begin to learn how to write condition assessment reports.

Preventive Conservation of Metals gives participants a broad understanding of how metal artifacts are made, how they deteriorate, and how they can be stabilized and cleaned in the museum as well as the skills to document the artifacts and their condition and carry out basic stabilization processes. Participants spend more time examining artifacts, assessing their condition and learning to write clearly about what they see.

Home Practicum is a two-week project carried out in the participant’s home institution giving them another opportunity to put new skills and knowledge directly into practice and to begin to improve preservation of collections in the home institution.

INTRODUCTORY COURSE, MODULE 3: Course Schedule and Descriptions

In this final module of the first year, will improve and perfect skills in the conservation process for a wider variety of materials.  They will gain understanding in the technology of more types of artifact materials.  They will be able to use a wider variety of tools for testing and identifying the materials objects are made of and deterioration processes.  Students will learn about how to ensure preservation of objects on exhibit through choice of good materials, mounts and limiting agents of deterioration.  They will learn how to test materials that will be used in contact with objects during storage and exhibit.  They will focus on creating a portfolio of their projects carried out throughout the year and present these portfolios in a final open house.

Review and Presentation of Practicum Projects gives a chance to review ideas presented into Modules 1, and 2 and allows the Academic Director to identify areas that should be readdressed as the course continues.  In addition to presenting their projects, participants are asked to evaluate successes and failures of the projects – in particular, how their work may help make change in the museum.

Preventive Conservation of Ceramics, Glass and Stone gives participants a broad understanding of how these related inorganic artifacts are made, how they deteriorate, and how they can be stabilized and cleaned in the museum, as well as expanding students skills in documentation and learning how to safely handle and store materials. 

Preventive Conservation on Exhibit.  Using the knowledge and skills the participants have gained through Modules 1, 2 and 3, participants will learn how to ensure that when artifact are selected for exhibit, issues of preservation are still considered.  Advocacy skills, which help conservation professional make preservation as important as presentation for exhibits, will be emphasized.  A focus will be on making incremental improvements in on-going exhibits working with local institutions.

Home Practicum is a final two-week project carried out in the participant’s home institution giving them an opportunity to put new skills and knowledge directly into practice and to begin to improve preservation of collections in the home institution.  This project will include planning for longer-term improvements that can be made beyond the end of the course.

Public Presentations.  At the end of their program participants will return to Erbil to share their new knowledge and experiences in a public program organized and hosted in collaboration with the second year students.

Page Settings and MetaData:
(Not Shown on the Page)
Page Settings
No
MetaData for Search Engine Optimization
Collections Conservation, Year One
 
  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3489
  • art-conservation@udel.edu