Press Release: West Dean College announces the appointment of new tutor on the MA in Collections Care and Conservation Management

David Howell, an Icon accredited conservator with over 30 years in the conservation profession has joined West Dean College of Arts and Conservation as a tutor on the MA Collection Care and Conservation Management part-time course. David brings a wealth of experience in the science and practice of conservation having held roles at Historic Royal Palaces, Bodleian Libraries and University of Oxford. He has written extensively on science conservation topics and has a new publication Conservation Research in Libraries (Current Topics in Library and Information Practice) Kindle Edition, which will be published on July 20, 2020.

As a graduate chemist he began his career at Hampton Court Palace as a practicing textile conservator but quickly began to apply his scientific knowledge to textile conservation science. He specialised in studying the degradation of silk and became Principal Researcher in a major European funded project, The Monitoring of Damage to Historic Tapestries. David was Head of Preventive Conservation and later Head of Conservation and Collection Care at Bodleian Libraries. Latterly he was Head of Heritage Science carrying out analysis and research on Bodleian’s amazing Special Collection Material.

David was in the first group of teachers on the RCA/V&A MA in Conservation, a frequent lecturer on conservation summer school, internal and external PhD supervisor, and a PhD assessor at a number of Universities.

On joining the School of Conservation team at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, he comments, “West Dean College has such a long and prestigious reputation and it is an honour to be here. Some of the conservators at Bodleian Libraries were trained here, and I also had the pleasure of working with one of its great icons, Chris Clarkson. I really like the course I am involved with as it concentrates on solving practical problems rather than just learning lots of facts. This is great training for people who want jobs as collection managers or preventive conservators. They will leave West Dean with the confidence to really hit the road running.”

The MA Collections Care and Conservation Management gives those working or volunteering in the sector the opportunity to gain their Masters degree through part-time flexible study alongside their job. Applications are open for September 2020 entry and, importantly, funding opportunities are available to help make study possible for those in the conservation sector.

David joins course Subject Leader Shayne Rivers MA FIIC, a world expert in the conservation of furniture and Asian lacquer who has lectured on conservation internationally and been involved in educating the next generation of conservators throughout her professional career.

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation has an international reputation and is a full partner of the University of Sussex. Students with an interest in studying conservation can find more details on www.westdean.ac.uk.


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Notes to editors:

  • A list of David’s published work is here: https://www.westdean.org.uk/study/tutors/david-howell
  • West Dean College of Arts and Conservation was founded in 1971 by the poet and Surrealist patron, Edward James, recognised by BBC Arts as the ‘the greatest patron of art of the early 20th century’.
  • The College is part of The Edward James Foundation (Charity No. 1126084), also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.


For all media enquiries please contact Rachel Aked:
Email: rachel.aked@westdean.ac.uk
Telephone: 07790 732448

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ