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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Archaeology

ARCH54930: Care of Collections (Conservation)

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to F4K507 Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects (Professional Practice)
Tied to F4K707 Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects (Dissertation)

Prerequisites

  • None

Corequisites

  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • ARCH***** - Care of Collections (Museum Studies).

Aims

  • To enable students to gain a working knowledge of key issues in collections care relevant to the effective curation of collections;
  • To acquire a detailed understanding of decay factors in the museum environment that affect the storage and display of museum artefacts;
  • To acquire an understanding of the theory and practice of preventive conservation techniques, including environmental monitoring and control, and collection condition survey.

Content

  • This module introduces the concept of preventative conservation and the issues involved with caring for collections materials. It provides students with a detailed understanding of the environmental factors that cause deterioration and presents ways they can be monitored and mitigated. Students will acquire and understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of preventive conservation, including environmental monitoring and control, integrated pest management and condition surveys

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An understanding of the range of preservation and decay factors in the museum environment affecting the storage and display of museum artefacts.
  • Understand the key issues in collections care relevant to the effective curation of collections, including the theory and practice of preventive conservation.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Observe, identify, monitor, record, evaluate critically and report (in written and graphic form) the nature, environmental protection and condition of, and possible risks to, stored collections of artefacts, using appropriate methods carefully, safely and accurately, and consider a range of potential conservation options for them.
Key Skills:
  • Use computer and information technology (e.g. word processing, databases, graphing and image processing).
  • Access library, museum, archive and World Wide Web resources.
  • Undertake advanced independent study, research and problem solving.
  • Communicate information and arguments effectively, in written, visual and computerised form, to specialist audiences.
  • Take responsibility for personal, professional and ethical development within the museum and cultural heritage sector or within academia, responding actively to critical feedback.
  • Manage time effectively, working to time-tables and meeting deadlines.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Knowledge and understanding of the subject is gained through attending lectures and seminars, reading the books on the reading lists, writing essays, discussions with staff and external speakers.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 18 Weekly 2 hours 36
Practicals 3 Weekly 2 hours 6
Museum Visits 2 Twice 2 hours 4
Preparation & Reading 254
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Survey and Report Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Survey and report 2,000 words 100% 1
Component: Survey and Report Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Survey and report 3,000 words 100% 1
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100% 1

Formative Assessment:

Two sets of homework problems designed to improve understanding of relationship between Temperature and Relative Humidity. Test on technical understanding relating to environmental monitoring.


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University