Facilities

You will have the opportunity to work in well-equipped professional workshops and studios with access seven days a week, 7am to 10pm. Workshops includes specialist equipment and facilities such as the forge, pottery and photography areas.

Library

The dedicated Art and Conservation Library gives you access to over 10,000 books, journals and DVDs. There is a local interest section and a general reference area. The online catalogue is available throughout the workshops, computer suite and the library itself.

Also available is a library homepage which provides access to a number of online databases, archives and other useful sources. An Inter-Library loan service is offered for any material that is not available in the library and students also have access to the University of Chichester Library and Chichester Library alongside other specialist libraries in the area.

Analytical Laboratory

The following items haves been chosen for their application to materials commonly treated in the School of Conservation. They all perform analytical techniques commonly used in the heritage sector, so students will graduate with a familiarity with their general applications.

  • The FTIR spectrometer is a top range tool applicable to both organic and inorganic material, often the first choice for identification of the generic type of a sample.
  • Portable X-ray Fluorescence (PXRF) enables identification of the majority of elements, and is particularly useful for establishing components of metals, alloys, pigments, and impurities in organic materials.
  • The Fluorescence Microscope enables optical identification of components of small cross-sections, through selective illumination and reflectance, and also has a polarising function and digital image capture facility.
  • The Visible Light Spectrophotometer gives an industry-standard measure of the reflected colour of a surface, and is particularly useful for comparing and quantifying colour changes in ageing and degradation studies. The UV-visible spectrometer measures absorbance of both ultraviolet and visible radiation; changes in absorbance in this region can be used to monitor and predict degradation of materials and its rate.

These instruments have uses both in practical treatments and academic research.

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West Dean is part of a registered charity and relies on the support of generous donors, friends, legacies to help us deliver world-class education in conservation and the creative arts and maintain our award-winning gardens.

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