Conservation Learning Series

Caring for Collections: the complete Conservation Series

Gain a complete understanding of best-practice collection care activities including safe object handling, collection environments, documentation, storage and packing, and disaster preparedness.

  • Launching in 2022
  • Delivery mode: Online and one live group zoom session with a conservator
  • Includes: 6 learning modules
  • Duration: 5 hours

What you will learn

Gain contemporary skills and knowledge from leading conservators.

This complete 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 you can care for your collection.

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 professional collection care 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.

Managing your environment 2

Managing your environment 

Our environment can impact collections. Changes in temperature, humidity, light, and contaminants can create conditions that accelerate deterioration. But if managed properly we can reduce the risk of irreversible damage occurring.

Preview the video trailer.

Storage and packing 4

Storage and packing 

As owners or caretakers of special items we want to ensure that we minimise deterioration, so correct packaging and storing of your collection is vital to its preservation.

Preview the video trailer.

Disaster preparedness 3

Disaster preparedness 

Sometimes, unexpected things can happen which have a devastating effect on your collection. Items can get wet from flooding or water leaks, and mould can begin to grow. Pest infestations can damage precious items, and fire can burn or cover items with contaminants such as soot. But preparation can avert these disasters from occurring or mitigate their long-term effects.

Preview the video trailer.

How to document collections 2


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.

    Marica Mucic

    Conservation specialist

    Marica is an object conservator with professional experience in record keeping and documentation, collections care, 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 4 hours of independent learning and a one-hour live group zoom with a conservation professional.

    Your total time commitment is 5 hours, which includes:

    • 1 hour of self-guided online learning
    • 1 hour of live, online learning with a professional conservator
    • 3 hours of reading
  • Digital certificate

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

  • Pathways to further study

    Caring for collections includes all modules from our Conservation Series.

    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.

Contact us

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

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