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May - Dual-Delivery
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This subject examines the physical and chemical causes of deterioration of cultural material, and considers how these can be effectively mitigated. Areas of study include the ten agents of deterioration that include light, incorrect relative humidities, incorrect temperature, physical stresses, biodeterioration, pollutants, pests, fire, criminal activity and dissociation. Students will critically evaluate current theories, international standards and guidelines for the management of museum and cultural collection environments and contexts. The context and opportunities for the implementation of a preventive conservation approach within an overall risk management framework will be emphasised, including environmental impact, budgetary implications, sustainability, and stakeholder management.
It is now readily acknowledged by most commentators that it is culturally preferable as well as financially advantageous to minimise or prevent deterioration of cultural material than to apply remedial conservation intervention after avoidable damage has been sustained. However this is a collective decision-making process embedded in individual, institutional and community needs. As such this subject lays a critical foundation for effective professional practice as a conservator in preventive conservation. Off campus site visits are a regular activity for this subject, which may include visits to conservation laboratories, museums, galleries and art centres.
Intended learning outcomes
Upon completion of this subject students should be able to:
- Identify the main deterioration mechanisms that affect cultural material using the ten agents of deterioration;
- Explain the effects of diverse physical and environmental conditions on cultural materials;
- Apply preventive conservation principles to collection surveys, risk assessments, storage, packing, transport and display methods of cultural material to manage change in diverse contexts;
- Formulate the risks associated in diverse physical and environmental conditions, collection contexts, communities, geographic locations and eco-systems using an evidence-based framework
- Justify and apply sustainable risk management strategies in collection environments
Last updated: 6 July 2021