Object and materials conservation

Managing Environmental Monitoring with Jane Henderson

Ref: M3D08216


About this course

Preventative conservation, the act of caring for objects has always been embedded within conservation. Whilst some in conservation engage with the material qualities of the objects to return them to stability, preventive conservation engages with the environment and context in which an object is used to create conditions to enable its use over the long term. Understanding the impact of environmental parameters such as light, humidity or temperature on the stability of materials helps those responsible for collections care to make judgements about how best to use those objects whilst retaining their value into the future.

This course will provide an introduction to agents that cause deterioration of museum and cultural heritage objects. Students will examine a range of strategies, from technical to managerial, to understand and modify conditions to create acceptable levels of care for collections.

The course will consider the process of environmental management from the identification of environmental factors to be considered, targets, monitoring conditions and data capture to the interpretation of results with subsequent action.

Delegates will work on targets for light, ultraviolet light, temperature and humidity for their organisations. There will be a discussion of other targets such as pollution, pests and emergency preparedness and about how to integrate these concepts into the collection management plan.

The course will complete the cycle by discussing how to respond to and report on the findings of the data. Simple reporting and action plans will be discussed followed by a short session on making your recommendations not only accurate but influential.

Delegates who have started to monitor the environment in their own organisations can bring data outputs with them for the course for discussion on the course. All delegates should bring the mission statement of an organisation that they work with. Course participants who wish to prepare for the course are encouraged to read the agents of deterioration website , details of which can be obtained from the Course Organiser.

For further information about the course, please contact the Course Organiser: +44 (0)1243 818219 or cpd@westdean.org.uk


Jane Henderson

Jane Henderson is Senior Lecturer in Conservation at the University of Cardiff. She is an accredited member of Icon and has been working in and studying in conservation and collections care in Wales since 1984. Jane has a BSc in Archaeological Conservation and an MSc in Collections Care and Conservation Practice. She has worked in conservation in both the public and private sectors including acting as Conservation Manager for the Council of Museums in Wales. Jane now teaches on Cardiff University's BSc in Conservation and the MScs in Collections Care and in Conservation Practice.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.