Conservation Learning Series

How to document Collections

Gain an understanding of how to use best-practice collections record keeping procedures to document your collection items.

  • Launching in November 2021
  • Delivery mode: Online and one live group zoom session
  • Includes: 3 learning modules
  • Duration: 2 hours and 50 minutes

What you will learn

Gain contemporary skills and knowledge from leading conservators.

This short course is ideal for people working with collections – including museums, galleries, keeping places, historic societies, community and private collections – seeking an understanding of best-practice conservation principles.

Professional conservators will take you through examples of how to examine and document a range of items and suggest practical ways you can improve your collection record keeping.

This series is delivered by the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, drawing upon the Centre's world-leading research, teaching and professional industry expertise. It is designed to provide an understanding of applied collection documentation techniques, and an opportunity to discuss your needs directly with a professional conservator through an online group session.

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Introduction to conservation 3

Introduction to conservation

The artwork and objects in our collections are not simply possessions. They embody our cultural identity and can be preserved for future generations through careful conservation. Conservators are trained in specialised techniques to slow and even reverse damage or deterioration. Discover how conservators work to preserve objects into the future.

Preview the video trailer.

Caring for collections

Safe object handling

Objects are most vulnerable to damage when they are being moved. Understanding the principles of safe handling will reduce the chance of accidents happening. To safely handle objects and artworks, it is important to carefully follow a few basic principles.

Preview the video trailer.

How to document collections

Record keeping and documentation

Good documentation and record keeping allow us to better understand an object and help researchers discover more information about your collection.

Records can tell us many things. They can help identify people featured in an old photograph, the materials used by an artist, or even the condition of an object when it was purchased.

Preview the video trailer.

How to document collections 2

Resources

Reading resources are provided to supplement the online experience.

  • Who you will learn from 

    Learn from skilled academic and professional conservation experts who will share invaluable knowledge you can apply immediately.

    Vanessa Kowalski

    Conservation specialist

    Vanessa is a senior paintings conservator. She has specialist experience in authentication and documentation, collections care, conservation, and community learning and engagement.

    Peter Mitchelson

    Conservation specialist

    Peter is a paper and book conservator with specialist experience in academic teaching, collection care, and community learning.

    Lisa Yeats

    Conservation specialist

    Lisa is an object and textile conservator with professional experience in record keeping and documentation, collections care and storage, and conservation best-practice.

    Jordi Casasayas

    Technical specialist

    Jordi is a storage and frame conservation specialist with over 18 years experience in best-practice storage solutions, object transportation, frame construction and conservation.

  • Workload

    This course is available online and includes 1 hour and 50 minutes of independent learning and a one-hour live group zoom with a conservation professional.

    Your total time commitment is 2 hours and 50 minutes, which includes:

    • 50 minutes of guided online learning
    • 1 hour of live online learning with a professional conservator
    • 1 hour of reading
  • Digital certificate

    Once you've successfully completed this course, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

  • More from this series

    Take multiple short courses to deepen your knowledge on collection care.

    Disaster preparedness for collections

    This series is delivered by the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, drawing upon the Centre's world-leading research, teaching and professional industry expertise. It is designed to provide an understanding of what disasters can impact collections and the active steps you can take to prevent them, and an opportunity to discuss your needs directly with a professional conservator through an online group session.

    The Conservation Series includes:

    • Disaster preparedness for collections
    • Storing collections properly
    • How to document collections
    • Caring for your collection – the complete Conservation Series
  • Pathways for further study

    How to Document Collections can be taken as a stand-alone course or complemented with any other short course in our Conservation series to deepen your knowledge and skills.

    This course does not offer a pathway – otherwise known as advanced standing – into the Masters of Cultural Materials Conservation. For more information on the entry requirements for the Masters of Cultural Materials Conservation can be found here.

    To advance your knowledge in conservation, choose another short course from our Conservation Series.

    The Conservation Series includes:

    • Disaster preparedness for collections
    • Storing collections properly
    • How to document collections
    • Caring for your collection – the complete Conservation Series

Contact us

Have a question about the Conservation Learning Series? Get in touch.

Contact us