The Conservation Course Syllabus Pages

Course:Material Science III: (Organic materials: Textiles; Paper; Archival Materials)
Date Offered:Fall Semester, 1997
Location:Peterborough, Ont. Canada
Instructor:Angie Misseri
Institution:Sir Sandford Fleming College


Students will examine the structure, composition, characteristics, properties, behaviours and deterioration of textile fibres, paper fibres, parchment and vellum, as well as the decoration, colorants, dyes, pigments and finishes applied to textiles and paper objects. The effects of cleaning solutions on organic materials are also discussed.

Aim and Learning Outcomes
To enable students to:
identify, assess and treat fibres, costumes and textiles
assess and treat paper and parchment including dry and liquid media
use identification and assessment skills to treat archival, library and photographic materials
Learning Outcomes:
Students will have demonstrated the ability to:
know the chemical characteristics, properties and behaviours of animal, vegetable and synthetic fibres
identify animal, vegetable and synthetic fit es using analytical methods
know the chemical characteristics and behaviour of paper and parchment
understand the characteristics of various media including inks, dyes, charcoal and graphite
know the effects of cleaning paper by wet and dry techniques
comprehend the properties of materials found in archival and library holdings (prints, maps, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, etc.) and the specific challenges of their form, structure, support and environmental impacts
demonstrate the differences between historic and contemporary plastics and polymers, including compact discs and video tapes
perceive the concept of deacidification for archival holdings
understand the key characteristics of historic photographic processes and distinguish between examples
use and promote safety skills in a laboratory environment
write laboratory reports using proper scientific methods, data collection and documentation of current research literature
understand laboratory techniques and methods

Course Format
Three hours per week of Applied Material Science. This three hour session per week includes:
(a) Lecture 1 hour 20 minutes
(b) Break 10 minutes
(c) Laboratory 1 hour 30 minutes

Course Content

Week ofLectureChapter
Sept 1Course Intro/General Physical Chemistry
Lab: Lab Safety & Report Layout
4, 5, & 6
Sept 8General Organic Chemistry
Lab: Exp # 1: Functional Group Identification
20, 21
Sept 15Plastics and Polymers I
Lab: Exp # 2: Polymerization: Synthesis of Nylon
Sept 22Plastics and Polymers II
Lab: Exp # 3: Media Tape Analysis
* Assignment One Due
"Sony" Handout
Sept 29Chemical Characteristics of Animal, Vegetable and
Synthetic Fibres
Lab: Exp# 4: Dyes and Dyeing of Fibres
22, 23
Oct 6Identification of Fibres by Analytical Methods
Lab: Exp # 5: Synthesis of Soap I
Oct 13Traditional Paper and Parchment
Lab: Exp # 6: Synthesis of Soap II
* Assignment Two Due
Oct 20Independent Study Week
Oct 27Midterm Test/Mass Produced Paper & Parchment
Lab: Exp # 7: Oxidation of Paper
Nov 3Media Characteristics: inks, dyes,
charcoal & graphite
Lab: Exp # 8: Synthesis of Methyl Orange
Handouts provided
Nov 10Effects of Wet & Dry Techniques
Lab: Exp # 9: Infrared Spectral Analysis
* Assignment Three Due
Handouts provided
Nov 17Collections in Archival and Library Holdings
Lab: Exp #10: Deacidification of Paper
Handouts provided
Nov 24Challenges of Archival HoldingsHandouts provided
Dec 1Historic Photographic Processes
Lab: Exp #11 : Photographics Analysis
* Assignment Four Due
Handouts provided
Dec 8Christmas Test

Students are expected to remain flexible throughout the course for attendance at seminars.

Required Materials:
Hein, M., Best, L.R. and S. Pattison. College Chemistry: An Introduction Publishing Company, California, 1988.
Laboratory Manual for Material Science 111
Additional Materials for Reference:
Science for Conservators Books l, 11 and 111
Molecular Model Kit
Elements of Archaeological Conservation, J.M. Cronyn

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


Assignments (4 - 5% each)20%
Pre-labs (8 - 2% each)16%
Laboratories (8 - 3% each)24%
Midterm test (Week of Oct 27)15%
Christmas test (Week of Dec 5)25%

Students are required to complete all laboratories but may submit eight laboratories for evaluation.

Course Policies
  1. 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.
  2. Tests will cover material from lectures, laboratory exercises, and assigned readings.
  3. A student will be removed from class in the event of inappropriate, unsafe practices during laboratory experiments. (see lab safety & information sheet)
  4. 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.
  5. All components of the course must be completed. Assignments must be submitted in the format outlined by the instructor.

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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