The Conservation Course Syllabus Pages

Course:Material Science II: Organic Materials: Wood, Leather
Date Offered:WinterSemester, 1998
Location:Peterborough, Ont. Canada
Instructor:Angie Misseri
Institution:Sir Sandford Fleming College


Material Science II is designed as an introduction to the study of organic materials. The structure, composition, properties, characteristics, behaviours and the deterioration of wood, leather, skin, fur, bone, antler, horn, ivory, tortoise shell, feather, quills and the finishes and decoration applied to these materials are addressed through a variety of delivery techniques including lectures, practical experiments, applied projects, seminars and self-directed learning.

Aim and Learning Outcomes
To provide the student with information regarding the basic chemical structure of wood, leather and proteinaceous material, which will then establish a basis to understand how and why these objects deteriorate under varying environmental influences.
Learning Outcomes:
Students will have demonstrated the ability to:
demonstrate safe work practices in a laboratory environment (handling, use, disposal, WHMIS, etc).
manage and maintain work spaces, tools and equipment.
demonstrate and understand laboratory techniques and methods including solution preparation, pH measurement, microscopic analysis and sampling.
write laboratory reports using proper scientific methods including data collection and documentation with current research literature.
understand the chemical structure of wood, leather, and various proteinaceous material and the effects of varied environmental conditions.
recognize the microscopic appearance of the cellular structure of wood and demonstrate an understanding of cellular components and function in wood.
identify the types of wood available and know the variety of wood finishes and decoration applied to wooden surfaces.
know the chemical characteristics, properties and causes of deterioration of collagenous and proteinaceous materials commonly found in museum collections.
understand historic and contemporary curing, tanning and processing techniques applied to leather.
be knowledgeable of the chemical characteristics and properties of functional groups and their classic reactions in organic chemistry.

Course Format
Three hours of applied material science per week. This three hour session per week includes:
a. lecture: 1 hour, 20 minutes
b. break: 10 minutes
c. Iaboratory: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Course Content

Week/DateTopicsChapter Readings
Jan. 5
Lecture: Organic Chemistry I:
Characteristics & Properties of Functional Groups
Lab: MSDS Group Work
Ouellette, Ch. 14 & 15
Jan. 12Lecture: Organic Chemistry II:
Classic Functional Group Reactions
Lab: MSDS Group Work
Ouellette, 16 & 17
Jan. 19Lecture: Introduction to Gymnosperms as Seed Bearing Woody Trees
Lab: Distillation of Wood
Ouellette, Ch. 18
Jan. 26Lecture: Early Development & Primary Growth of Woody Plants
Lab: Investigation of Cellular Structures in Wood by Microscopy I
Handouts provided
Feb. 2Lecture: Cells and Tissues Involved in Secondary Growth of Woody Plants
Lab: Investigation of Cellular Structures in Wood by Microscopy II
Handouts Provided
Feb. 9Lecture: Cellulosic Properties & Carbohydrate Chemistry of Wood
Lab: MSDS Group Work
Ouellette, Ch. 20 & 21
Lecture: Wood Finishes and Decoration
Science for Conservators Book 3: Ch. 6
Mar. 2Lecture: Wood Fillers & the Toxicity of Wood
Lab: Classification of Wood and Finishes
Science for Conservators Book 3: Ch. 3
Mar. 9Lecture: Chemical Characteristics of Amines and Amides as Building Blocks for Proteins
Lab: MSDS Group Work
Ouellette, Ch. 19
Mar. 16Lecture: Biochemistry of Amino Acids & Proteins
Lab: MSDS Group Work
Ouellette, Ch. 23
Lecture: Tanning Processes of Leather
Lab: Shrinkage Temperature Testing with Leather
Hodges, Ch.11
Mar. 30Lecture: Characteristics of Fur, Feathers, Hair, Quill & Silk
Lab: Carbohydrate & Protein Identification by Chemical Analysis
Handouts provided
Apr. 6Lecture: Properties of Bone, Antler, Horn, Ivory, Tortoise Shell and Mother of Pearl
Lab: Tutorial
Hodges, Ch. 12



AssessmentIndividual MarkTotal Mark
Laboratories (total of 5)5% each25%
Pre-labs (total of 5)2% each10%
MSDS Project--30%
Midterm Test (week of Feb. 16)--15%
Final Test (week of Apr. 13)--20%

Course Policies
Tests will be written during class times. Makeup tests are normally not allowed (see student rights and responsibilities), however a makeup test may be scheduled in the event of documented illness or if personal circumstances prohibit the student from writing a scheduled test.
Tests will cover material from lectures and laboratory exercises.
A student will be removed from class in the event of inappropriate, unsafe practices during laboratory experiments. (see lab safety & information sheet).
Students work in pairs, unless directed otherwise, to perform lab experiments. No one is permitted to perform an experiment unless supervised by a staff member.
All components of the course must be completed. Assignments must be submitted in the format outlined by the instructor.

Ouellette, R.J. Introduction to General, Ornanic and Biological Chemistry, 4th Edition, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, 1997.
Laboratory Manual for Material Science II.
Science for Conservators Book l: An Introduction to Materials
Science for Conservators Book 11: Cleaning
Science for Conservators Book 111: Adhesives and Coatings
Cronyn, J.M. Elements of Archaeological Conservation
Organic Chemistry Molecular Model Kit
Hodges, H. Artifacts: An Introduction to Eariv Materials and Technology, Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd., London, 1989.

Course Nos. 1380202, 1380207, 1380210, 1380213

Academic 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 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.
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.

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