Housekeeping and Dust with Helen Lloyd

Ref: M1D13594

Location: West Dean
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About this course

Learn about the properties of dust and its impact on historic collections, open and/or closed to the public; explore how rates of dust deposition inform housekeeping routines; and gain an overview of practical methods for control and management of dust for preventive conservation and public benefit. Through lectures and practical exercises you will understand how to develop a sustainable approach to collections care, advocate for resources sufficient to manage perceptions of dustiness, and achieve appropriate frequency of cleaning. You will leave with a summary of key outcomes from the 10-year Dust research project (UEA Environmental Sciences, English Heritage, Historic Royal Palaces and National Trust) and a basis of understanding from which to develop local knowledge and practical applications.

Course Description

This course is ideal continuing professional development for conservators and collections care managers who want to understand more about the impact of dust on the care of furnishings and collections in historic buildings and libraries.  Starting with an explanation of housekeeping and collections care (key elements of preventive conservation), you are introduced to the sources and distribution of dust, the environmental processes which cause dust to stick to surfaces, and how staff and visitors respond to ‘dustiness’.   After exploring methods of monitoring rates of deposition, there will be an opportunity to examine samples of dust using a range of optical equipment.  You will also learn and discuss methods of preventing and managing dust in historic interiors and libraries.  The final presentation illustrates how research outcomes influence the planning of housekeeping and managing collections care.  The day concludes with a practical group exercise, followed by feedback and discussion.

By the end of the course you will have learned: 
- Where dust comes from and how it spreads in historic interiors and libraries;
- What causes dust to stick to surfaces, and how to prevent cementation;
- Methods to monitor deposition rates, examine samples and identify particles;
- How human perceptions of dustiness influence resources for collections care
- Methods of managing dust levels in historic collections and libraries
- How to plan and manage resources to achieve sustainable housekeeping and collections care

The course will summarise key outcomes, providing a basis for you to continue to develop your knowledge, understanding and practice. Practical applications of the day's learnings are outlined in the National Trust Manual of Housekeeping (2006/2011).  


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.


Helen Lloyd

Helen Lloyd is a freelance consultant and adviser on Preventive Conservation, and a member of the Trusted Conservators network.  Until December 2020, she was both National Specialists Manager (Collections & Interiors) and Preventive Conservation Adviser (Housekeeping) at the National Trust for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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