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Subject: New training program at Cardiff University

New training program at Cardiff University

From: Phil Parkes <shapp>
Date: Wednesday, December 2, 1998
Care of Collections--a new MSc at Cardiff University

Cardiff have a established reputation for providing training in
conservation to high professional standards. The MSc in Care of
Collections is a new scheme, developed to meet the demand for a
specialist course which addresses both the needs of collections and
those who use collections.

Museums and other collecting bodies are increasingly striving for a
sustainable way to balance access to collections with their role as
custodians. Priorities and policies must be made with as complete a
knowledge as possible of the risks to which the collection is
exposed. Until now there have been few training courses designed to
address these issues which are directed at students who may enter
the museum profession from a range of disciplines .

This one year course is open to both those with and without a
background in conservation. It examines the wide range of issues
which impact on the survival of collections and will extend the
scope and use of research in collections care. For those pursuing
careers as curators, conservators, consultants and researchers, the
course will improve their understanding of care issues. A flexible
course design allows the student to build on existing skills and
experience in developing a fuller understanding of the needs of
collections while allowing individuals to tailor the course to their
own interests and specialisms.

Developing and building on an in-depth understanding of the factors
which affect materials, the course will explore the context in which
collections exist. Assessment of the environment and of the
collection itself are fundamental in developing criteria for
establishing the requirements of the collection and for prioritising
resources for its care.

The course takes a broad view of care; examining aspects of climate,
building design and construction, building services, organisational
structures and management issues which impact on collection
survival. Emphasis will be placed on the those improvements for care
which can be made without compromising the functions which
collections fulfil.

Significant prominence within the course is placed on the
preparation of a thesis which will focus on a project within the
sphere of collections care. Work leading to the thesis takes place
from June to September and students will be given the opportunity to
conduct this work at a museum or similar organisation. The project
may focus on areas which would normally be difficult to address
within the ongoing work of the organisation and, it is hoped, will
make a valuable contribution to the work of the host institution.

The course is open to those  who have an upper second class
undergraduate degree (UK) or its equivalent.  A part time option,
taken over two years, is also available. It will be of particular
interest to those wishing to pursue careers within the heritage
sector but will also provide the student with an academic background
and transferable skills which will be appropriate to further
research or to other professions.

If you would like further details about this course, the BSc in
Archaeological Conservation or the MSc in Conservation taught at
Cardiff or if you have a suitable project and are interested in
hosting a student please contact <StevensonSA [at] cardiff__ac__uk> or see
<URL:http://www.cf.ac.uk/uwc/hisar/conservation/>

Phil Parkes
School of History and Archaeology
Cardiff University
PO Box 909
Cardiff CF1 3XU
Wales

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:49
                Distributed: Wednesday, December 2, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-49-006
                                  ***
Received on Wednesday, 2 December, 1998

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