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Museums, Objects and Environment - 40 credits (HST310)

Conservation is all about the decay of objects and how to slow it down. This module provides an introduction to factors, such as light, incorrect relative humidity and pollutants that cause deterioration of museum objects. The structure of a wide range of inorganic and organic materials used in conservation (including resins and adhesives) is discussed and students look at basic interactions of these materials with their surroundings. Students learn how to make an informed choice about best storage conditions for an object and how to decide when active conservation treatment is required. This requires an understanding of the structure of materials, decay processes, factors influencing decay and methods of environmental monitoring and control. Assessment of the environment and development of methodology for minimising the decay of artefacts by controlling environmental factors is discussed along with aspects of the museum building, building services, project planning and management that affect collections care.

See also HST315 Museums, Objects and Environment.