Course overview

Bowl being packed for transport

This course is an exciting opportunity to look at the ways in which we can improve the care of museum and heritage collections, with the help of 5 experienced specialist conservators. Whilst providing a thorough grounding in the care of all objects and materials, it will also allow delegates to focus on objects from 4 special collections: textiles &costume, metals, paintings & frames and archive documents (including maps, plans, seals, charters and volumes).

Led by Helena Jaeschke, our Conservation Development Officer, the programme will look at:

  • The risks affecting museum and heritage collections
  • Appropriate methods and materials (and where to obtain them)
  • Assessing priorities and planning for the care of collections
  • Simple ways to improve conditions for your collections
  • Discussions about specific issues

Half of each day-long course will focus on general guidelines and good practice for all heritage collections. The other half will take an in-depth look at a specific type of collection. Each session will include special handouts, building up to a comprehensive suite of guidance, as well as practical sessions on handling, examining, packing and displaying museum and heritage objects.

Each delegate will receive a small toolkit of specially chosen tools and materials to support their learning back at their collection.

This is the first in-depth collection care course offered in the southwest and is limited to 20 delegates.

About the sessions:

PART 1: Wednesday 14 September, 10.15 – 16.30, Exeter
How to mitigate and prepare for fire and flood, theft, vandals and displacers, as well as documentation best practice. The afternoon session will cover textiles and costume care.

PART 2: Wednesday 21 September, 10.15 – 16.30, Exeter
How to regulate and control temperature, light and UV, as well as observation best practice. The afternoon session will cover metals care.

PART 3: Wednesday 12 October, 10.15 – 16.30, Exeter
This part includes sessions on pest control, movement and safe handling. The afternoon session will cover archive documents care.

PART 4: Wednesday 5 October, 10.15 – 16.30, Exeter
The course finishes with inherent materials, contaminants, storage and packing, The afternoon session will cover paintings and frames care.

Delegates are welcome to bring specific questions and issues to the session. Delegates are encouraged to read their organisation’s Collection Care & Conservation Policy and Plan in advance of attending the first session.

Who should attend?

This session is suitable for anyone working (paid or volunteer) with a museum or heritage collection, who wants to know how to look after and work with their collection and how to plan for its survival. No previous experience or training is necessary.

The course consists of 4 day-long sessions and delegates are required to attend all 4 sessions across the programme.

Session leaders:

Helena Jaeschke is an accredited conservator with a degree in archaeological conservation and more than 40 years’ experience working with museums and collections in the UK and overseas. She supports museums across the southwest with all aspects of caring for their collections and supporting environmental sustainability.

Morwena Stephens is an accredited textile conservator who works with many collections in the UK, focusing on British, European and World Cultures costume and textiles, and collections care training.

Neil Bollen is an accredited conservator specialising in the conservation of silver and other fine metalwork, clocks and objets d’art.  He has worked with many museums, churches and civic institutions across the southwest, as well as private collectors for over 30 years.

Sophie Brummitt is a Courtauld Institute trained easel paintings conservator specialising in the treatment of a wide range of paintings both on canvas and panel.  From her studio she treats works from museums, the National Trust and private clients.

Deborah Phillips was the Senior Archive Conservator working for DCC Devon Record Office and South West Heritage Trust, spanning 30 years, caring for specifically Devon Documents.  Accredited through ICON and specialising in a wide range of document formats from Medieval deeds to 20thC theatre tickets.  Collection care has been a gratifying part of her career, having close association with local heritage partners and an army of volunteers. Deborah has a long association with the Archives and Records Association conservation training course and served as registrar for 9 years, in support of students and interns for the future of the profession.


This course is subsidised for South West museums delegates by South West Museums Development.

South West Museums delegates £295.00

Other delegates £395.00

Please complete the booking form to reserve your place. An invoice will be sent to you after you have submitted your booking.