The Conservation Course Syllabus Pages

Course Material Science 3: Organic Materials (Paper, Textiles, Archival Materials)
Date offered Fall, 1998
Location Ontario, CA
Instructor Dr. Maja R. Solajic
Institution Sir Sandford Fleming College


(Paper, Textiles, Archival Materials)

Course Outline

Course Number: 1280204

Fall Semester, 1998 Sir Sandford Fleming College

Collections Conservation & Management Program

Centre for Community Development & Health

Course Format: Three hours per week of Applied Material Science


a) lecture - 1 hour 20 minutes

b) break - 10 minutes

c) laboratory - 1 hour 30 minutes

Faculty: Dr. Maja R.Solajic, Office # 371D
Office Hours: TBA
e-mail address: *

Vocational Outcomes:

This course has been designed to comply with professional standards and ethics for practice as prescribed by I.I.C.-C.G. (C.A.C.), C.A.P.C., and I.C.O.M. committee for Professional Museum Training.

Generic Skills Outcomes:

As per Ministry of Education and Training Program Standards:

Math Skills:

Apply a wide variety of mathematical techniques with the degree of accuracy required to solve problems and make decisions.


1. Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken, and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

2. Represent her or his skills, knowledge and experiences realistically for personal and employment purposes.

Computer Literacy:

3. Use a variety of computer hardware and software and other technological tools appropriate and necessary to the performance of tasks.

Interpersonal Skills:

4. Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

5. Manage use of time and other resources to attain personal and/or project related goals.

6. Take responsibility for his or her own actions and decisions.

Analytical Skills:

7. Evaluate his or her own thinking throughout the steps and processes used in problem solving and decision making.

8. Collect, analyze and organize relevant and necessary information from a variety of sources.

9. Create innovative strategies and/or products that meet identified needs.

10. Adapt to new situations and demands by applying and/or updating her or his knowledge and skills.

General Education Goal Area:


Course Description:

Material Science III provides an introduction to organic materials in museum collections, archives and libraries including: textiles, paper, parchment and information media. The chemical composition, structure, deterioration as well as the applied decoration, using dyes, pigments and finishes are elaborated. A variety of scientific techniques and conservation treatments are presented. The effects of cleaning techniques are also discussed.


1380202, 1380207, 1380210, 1380213, 1380203, 1380208, 1380211, 1380214


Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the course, the learner has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

Learning Sequence:



Topic, Resources, Learning Activities Learning Outcomes Assessment
Week 2

Sept. 18

Lecture: Course Intro/ Basic Organic Chemistry

resource: Ch. 3 (qulette), Ch. 1 (Mills)

1, 2  
  Lab: Lab Safety, Chemical Hazards in Conservation & Report Layout 3 Labs
Week 3


Lecture: Organic Materials of Museum Objects

Resource: Ch. 3,6,7 (Mills)

  Lab: Experiment 1 - Functional Group identification   Pre-Lab/Lab
Week 4

Oct. 2

Lecture: Polymer Chemistry I

Resource: Ch. 15.6 (Oulette); Ch.9 (Mills)

1 Assignement1 Due
  Lab: Experiment 2 - Polymerisation: Synthesis of Nylon 1  
Week 5

Oct. 9

Lecture: Polymer Chemistry II 1, 4  
  Lab: Experiment 3 - Media Tape Analysis   Pre-lab/Lab
  Resource: "Sony" Handout    
Week 6

Oct. 16

Lecture: Traditional and Mass Produced Paper & Parchment 6 Assignment 3 Due
  Resource: Ch. 22, 24 (Kühn)    
  Lab: Experiment 7 - Oxidation of Paper 1  
Week 7

Oct. 23

Lecture: Media Characteristics: inks, dyes, charcoal & graphite

Resource: Ch. 4 (Kühn); hand-outs provided

  Lab: Experiment 8 - Synthesis of Methyl Orange   Pre-lab/Lab
Week 8

Oct 30

Independent Study Week    
Week 9

Nov. 6




Nov. 13

Lecture: Effects of Wet & Dry Cleaning Techniques

Resource: Handouts provided

  Lab: Experiment 9 - Infrared Spectral Analysis 1 Pre-lab/Lab
Week 11

Nov. 20

Lecture: Collections in Archival and Library Holdings

Handouts provided

8 Assignment 4 Due
  Lab: Experiment 10- Deacidification of Paper 9  
Week 12

Nov. 27

Lecture: Historic Photographic Processes 10  
  Resource: Hand-outs provided    
  Lab: Experiment 11 - Analysis of Photographic Materials 10 Pre-lab/Lab
Week 13

Dec. 4

Lecture: Chemical Characteristics of Animal, Vegetable and Synthetic Textile Fibres and Dyes

Resource: Ch. 28, 18 (Kuhn) Ch 10 (Mills)

  Lab: Experiment 4 : Dyes and Dyeing of Fibres   Pre-lab/Lab
Week 14

Dec. 11

Lecture: Identification of Fibres by Analytical Methods 5 Assignment 2 Due
  Resource: Ch 28 (Kuhn)    
  Lab: Experiment 5 & 6: Synthesis of Soap 1 & 2 1  
Week 15


    Christmas Test

Learning Resources:

Required Materials:

R.J. Ouellette Introduction to General, Organic and Biological Chemistry 4th ed. Prentice-Hall, New Jersey 1997.

Laboratory Manual for Material Science III

Additional Materials for Reference:

J.S. Mills, R.White. The Organic Chemistry of Museum Objects 2nd ed. Butterworth-Heinemann, London 1994.

H. Kühn. Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities. Butterworths, London 1986.

J.M. Cronyn The Elements of Archaeological Conservation Routledge, London 1990.

H. Hodges Artifacts, An Introduction to Early Materials and Technology Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands N.J. 1981.

5. Crafts Council (Corporate Author) Science for Conservators
Volume 1: an introduction to materials
Volume 2: cleaning
Volume 3: adhesives and coatings
Museums and Galleries Commission, London 1992.

Molecular Model Kit

Assessment Plan:

Assessment Individual Mark Total Mark
Assignments 4 5% each 20%
Pre-labs (total of 8) 2% each 16%
Laboratories (choose 8 out of 11 labs)* 3% each 24%
Midterm Test (Nov.6) -- 15%
Christmas Test (Dec.18) -- 25%

Students are required to complete all laboratory experiments but may submit eight lab assignments for evaluation.

PLA options and contact for this course:

Contact Gayle McIntyre

Academic Responsibilities:

1. Course Policies

2. Presentation

Written assignments must be:

3. Re-writes

Faculty may request a re-write of a submission if the criteria for assessment have not been met. Late penalties will apply if the assignment is not re-submitted the following day.

4. Penalties for Late Submissions

Completion of Term Work

Late Assignments

Late assignments receive the following penalty:

Oral Presentations

Oral presentations and/or practical test or projects for evaluation must be delivered on the day scheduled. A "no-show" will be graded at zero, unless adequate explanation is provided.

5. Academic Integrity

Plagiarism is a serious breach of academic integrity and the college has a strict policy on this issue (see Academic Regulations).

6. Make-up Tests

In valid circumstances (ill-health, personal crisis), a student may be given a make-up test to compensate for one missed in class-time. Students must contact the instructor within seven days of the original test in order to request a make-up.

7. Extensions & GDFS

8. Site Work

Students must agree to work within the parameters of the guidelines established for site work.

Failure to comply may result in the termination of project and suspension of the privilege of access.

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