When assessing a historical object, you will look at material makeup, method of production or artistic techniques used and areas of damage or deterioration. The use of analytical technologies in conservation is needed to understand the object's condition in order to make the most informed choice when deciding on a conservation or restoration process.
Students have the opportunity to work in well-equipped professional workshops and studios with access seven days a week, 8.30am to 9pm. Workshops include specialist equipment and facilities such as the forge, pottery and photography areas.
The laboratory was significantly expanded in 2019, and the facilities have been developed for their application to materials commonly treated in the School of Conservation, for students' use for practical treatments and academic research.
The equipment is used to perform analytical techniques commonly used in the heritage sector, so students will graduate with a familiarity with their general applications.
The dedicated Arts and Conservation Library gives you access to approximately 12,700 books, including e-books and 70 print and digital journals. The library has subscriptions to a number of online databases. The collection covers not only the areas of Arts and Conservation but also relates to teaching and research of the College. Subject and enquiry support is available from the library team and study skill support is also available via a Study Skills tutor.
Also available on the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) is a library homepage which provides access to a range of useful sources of information relating to our service including study skills material. The library offers an inter-library loan service.
"The application of technologies to the wider field of restoration and conservation is game changing in many ways. They allow the understanding and documentation of works to a much higher level than was previously possible. This in turn gives the conservator much more to go on when making decisions of how best to preserve the piece. This is one of the reasons that West Dean College supports the integration of scientific techniques into conservation through its provision of analytical equipment and support from science teaching staff."Dr Eric Nordgren, Science Liaison Officer