MA Collections Care and Conservation Management 2016 - 2018

Emily Kelmendi

Conservator, National Museum of the Royal Navy

What led you to study Collections Care and Conservation Management?

Before studying the CCCM course I studied Conservation of Furniture and Related Objects at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation and graduated 2014 from the postgraduate diploma course.

After graduating I built up a small workshop on the Isle of Wight where I live, and worked freelance for private clients and public institutions. Mainly working with furniture and also using my skills on wooden yachts. Up to then my working knowledge was mainly based on the interventive side of conservation and was very practical based and hands on. I wanted to learn more about preventative side of conservation in order to make more informed decisions during my work.

I choose to study CCCM to intensify my knowledge on preventative conservation and broaden my working prospects.

Studying the CCCM course enabled me to take on work projects which I previously could not have. For example I was commissioned to undertake a condition survey of the historic parliamentary furniture of Westminster Palace in store, which I undertook during a period in 2017-2018. The CCCM course prepared me with all the necessary properties to be able to conduct such as task.

Can you tell us more about your current work?

Now in 2019, I have recently started a new position as conservator on the historic ships team for the National Museum of the Royal Navy. This role includes dealing with conservation issues relating to large historic vessels, such as HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, a number of other vessels and submarines. Studying the CCCM course has prepared me to deal with a variety of issues and make well informed decisions. Properties which I need on a daily basis when working with challenging objects such as HMS Victory.

How has studying at West Dean College prepared you for what you do now?

West Dean College has helped me greatly on my way. It has provided constant support over the years. The tutors are experts in their fields and provide excellent support and guidance.

Do you have any advice to others considering their career or study options?

The arts and culture sector is often the one which suffers from financial cuts and it can be difficult and challenging to make your way in this sector. My advice, if you are passionate about what you are doing try to keep on your way even in difficult times.