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Subject: Studentship in the conservation of plastic and rubber

Studentship in the conservation of plastic and rubber

From: Mads Chr. Christensen <bev-mcc>
Date: Wednesday, January 28, 1998
The National Museum of Denmark
Ph.D studentship in the conservation of plastic and rubber

The Conservation Department of the National Museum offers a 3 year
Ph.D. studentship in the conservation of museum objects made of
plastics and rubber. The candidate is expected to start on 1 March
1998, or as soon as possible after that.

The conservation of museum objects made of plastics and rubber is a
growing problem. There are at present few methods and guiding
principles for the conservation and restoration of these materials.
The National Museum has therefore decided to give priority to this
subject in its research plan.

The Ph.D. student will be registered at a university in Denmark or
abroad, but is expected to work mainly at the National Museum's
Conservation Department in Brede, north of Copenhagen.

Qualification: Applicants should have an education in conservation
or a degree in science.

The pay is approximately DKr 225,000 per annum.

Applications including a CV should be sent to:

    The Conservation Department
    National Museum of Denmark
    PO Box 260
    Brede, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark.

The envelope should be marked "Ph.D application". The last date for
receiving applications is Friday, 20 February 1998.

For further information and informal discussion about the project,
contact the Head of the Laboratory, Mads Chr. Christensen, +45 3347
3530, <bev-mcc [at] brede__natmus__min__dk>

The department conserves the collection of the National Museum and
also works for other institutions. There are about 100 staff,
covering most aspects of museum conservation. The department's
organisation and activities are described in its web site:

Project: Museums collect representative products of modern material
culture. These are complicated in structure and in function. The
decay of plastic and rubber objects, both practical and artistic, is
a growing conservation problem which demands unconventional

Objects are seldom registered with an accurate description of their
materials, so one goal of the project is establishing methods for
identifying the artificial materials that are in a collection.

Next, the condition of the materials must be defined: how much they
are threatened by decomposition, and how one should react to the

An important part of the project is to find methods to slow
decomposition, by reducing damaging environmental factors such as
light, moisture, oxygen and heat and also by treating decomposing
objects with inhibitors.

There are very few methods and principles for the conservation and
restoration of decayed plastic and rubber, so research is needed in
this field.

The project can be organised to cover these three aspects:

    a.  A survey of one or more collections to establish the state
        of conservation of objects containing plastics or rubber.

    b.  Development of a preservation concept for plastics and
        rubber in collections

    c.  Development and assessment of conservation methods for
        degraded plastic and rubber.

Attacking these problems requires an understanding of the plastics
industry, polymer chemistry and conservation. A candidate with a
background in conservation will need to become familiar with the
chemistry of polymers, and vice versa for a candidate with a
background in chemistry.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 11:65
                 Distributed: Friday, January 30, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-11-65-016
Received on Wednesday, 28 January, 1998

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