The Conservation Course Syllabus Pages

Course:Preservation of Book, Photographs & Archival Materials
Date Offered:Fall Semester, 1997
Location:Peterborough, Ont. Canada
Instructor:Gayle McIntyre
Institution:Sir Sandford Fleming College


The conservation challenges of library and archival holdings are compounded by the nature of the institutions in which they are housed and the provision of public access for research and study. The philosophy of archival and library conservation will be assessed (preservation of information versus the object) as well as integrated approaches to preventive conservation and the use of new technologies. Building on the knowledge and skill base developed in the Conservation and Material Science of Paper, this applied module includes off site visits to, and assessment of, library and archival collections.

To enable students to identify, assess and treat archival, library and photographic materials.

Course Outcomes
know the scope of collections found in archival and library holdings (prints, maps, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, etc.) and the specific challenges of their form, structure, support, and environmental requirements
understand and manage the special conservation problems resulting from public access to library and archival collections
understand the concept of mass treatments
know the key characteristics of historic photographic process and distinguish between examples

Course Format
This course is scheduled as three hours of contact time per week. The course will be presented through a variety of delivery techniques including: lectures, seminars, special workshops, demonstrations, laboratory exercises and treatments, field trips, and independent learning. Students are requested to remain flexible during the delivery of the content. Classes may be subject to alternate delivery format, or may be rescheduled to accommodate other activities in the Collections Conservation and Management Programme.

NOTE: The course is reduced in length as the materials science component for paper applies to archival holdings also.

Course Content

week 1Labour Day
week 2Site Visit: PCMA
Overview of Mid Sized Archival Collection in a Typical Museum
Archives as a Resource
Getting to Know the Collection
Working with Archival Collections
week 3Conservation as a Small Business
Assigned Readings
Outline of Assignment:
Archival Holdings/Materials
week 4Assigned Readings
Proposed Site Visit: "Archives" - Canadian Canoe Museum Or Trent University Archives
5 Archival Materials:
Environmental Guidelines for Archives
Paper Based Materials
Encapsulation Exercises
Access to Collections/Preservation of Collections
week 6Introduction to Photographs and Related Materials
Photographic I. D. Workshop
Guest Presenter: lona McCraith
Practical Test: value 25%
week 7Thanksgiving
week 8Independent Study Week
week 9Archival Materials:
Photo Albums
Paper Based Collections: Maps, Works of Art on Paper, Newspapers, Drawings
Assignment of Archival Object for Treatment
Assignment: Archival Holdings due. Value: 25%
week 10CCI Box Making Workshop By: David Hannington
week 11Conservation and Preservation of Books
Possible "Dissection" of a Book
Repair Options
Preventive Conservation (Object Treatment)
week 12Archival Materials
Film and Sound Recordings
Cellulose Nitrate, Video, Compact Disc
week 13Policies/Ethics/Access/Attitudes
Towards Archival Holdings
Concept of Mass Treatment
Assessments and Surveys
week 14Proposed Works of Art/Paintings in Collections
Object Treatment Due: Value 20%
week 15Final Test: Value: 25%

Please note that the above is a proposed breakdown. There are still a number of special workshops/seminars awaiting confirmation. Given, this class is scheduled on Mondays, there are several Mondays which will be missed due to holidays and/or other Collections Conservation and Management Programme specific activities. Every reasonable attempt will be made to give students enough lead time to accomodate adjustments in the content delivery as it is outlined above. Thank you in advance for your patience.


ItemDate DueValue
Photographic Identificationweek 6 (Oct. 8)25%
Archival Materialweek 925%
Archival Treatmentweek 1425%
Term Testweek 1525%

Outline of Archival Material Assignment
Select a material or object type found in an archival collection. Write a technical note/bulletin which includes: a description of the materials and the method of manufacture for your material (i.e., history of technology information, composition, characteristics of the material, properties, etc.), the agents of deterioration, care and handling recommendations, environmental requirements, preventive conservation options i.e, basic cleaning and stabilization and a bibliography.
It is hoped that the papers will be prepared in a standard format i.e., type face/font and size, with standard headings for areas of specific content. The format will be decided upon by the group. Each student will address a different type of material found in Archival Collections. Suggested topics include but are not limited to:
Micro film
Motion/moving picture film
Safety film
Cellulose nitrate
Cylinders wax, plastic
Blue prints
Land deeds
Leather bound volumes
Cloth bound volumes
Other: oversized volumes, Bibles, registry books
Union cases
Glass plate negatives
Colour prints
Colour slides
Carbon print
Early Paper
Mass produced paper
etc., etc.
Assignments will be typed or word processed, and 4/5 pages in length.

Mandatory Requirements
All course work must be attempted in order to qualify for a passing grade. Students must abide by the mandatory requirements advertised for the conservation laboratory.

Course Policies
1. Presentation
Written assignments must be:
typed or word-processed
double spaced
proofed for spelling and grammatical errors
enclosed with a single cover sheet which includes student name, title of the assignment and date of submission
stapled in the top left hand corner (unbound)
include a bibliography (where appropriate)
use a recognized method of citation (eg. MLA or Chicago)
2. 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.
3. Penalties for Late Submissions
Completion of Term Work
All assignments must be completed in order for students to achieve a passing grade.
Late Assignments
Late assignments receive the following penalty:
Marks will be deducted at the rate of 10% per day for three days after which assignments are marked at zero.
Faculty are not obliged to provide feedback on assignments marked at zero.
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.
4. Academic Integrity
Plagiarism is a serious breach of academic integrity and the college has a strict policy on this issue (see Academic Regulations).
It is a student's responsibility to ensure that all written submissions include an appropriate method of in text citation as well as an accompanying bibliography.
Seminar and oral presentations should be supported by a bibliography and sources should be referred to during the presentation.
5. Make-up Test
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.
6. Extensions & GDFS
An extension may be granted to an individual student based on need and circumstance. Medical grounds should be substantiated.
The revised due date will be recorded and signed by both parties.
The entire class may be given an extension, at the discretion of faculty.
Incomplete a Grade Deferred marks at the end of the semester must be negotiated between student and faculty (see Academic Regulations). Note: these are a privilege to be granted under special circumstances, not used in order to compensate for poor planning.
7. 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.

Baldwin, Gordon. Lookinq at Photouraphs A Guide to Technical Terms. California: J. Paul Getty Museum. 1991.
Carr, Dawson, and Mark Leonard. Looking at Paintinqs A Guide to Technical Terms. California: J. Paul Getty Museum. 1992.
C.C.I. NOTES. Ottawa: Communications Canada
Goldman, Paul. Lookinq at Prints Drawings and Watercolours A Guide to Technical Terms. California: J. Paul Getty Museum. 1988.
Holben Ellis, Margaret. Care of Prints, Drawinqs and Watercolours. Tennessee: MSLH. (Newest Edition)
Reilly, James. Care and Identification of 19th Century Photographic Prints. Rochester: Eastman Kodak 1986.
---. Conservation of Photographs. Rochester: Eastman Kodak. 1985.

Course Nos. 1380202, 1380207, 1380210, 1380213, 1380203, 1380208, 1380211, 1380214

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