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Principles of Collections Management

Principles of Collections Management

Camberwell College of Arts
Taught by
Jacqueline Winston-Silk


Join Principles of Collections Management and through practical exercises and curator-led seminars you will learn about the role of the curator and the value of preserving material culture on this intensive course.

You will develop an awareness of collections management procedures and the essentials of collections care. You will also consider a broader range of collections-based activities, such as loan procedures.

Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to consult archive material and access objects from the historic Camberwell ILEA Collection, to enrich subjects of discussion. Through object based learning students will be encouraged to engage critically with the collection, developing essential interrogation skills.

Topics covered

  • The role of the curator
  • Object Based Learning
  • UK documentation standards (acquisition, inventory, cataloguing, location control etc.)
  • Collections care (environment, storage, condition reporting, pest control and common types of deterioration etc.)
  • Loan procedures, digitisation and disposal.

Course outcomes
By the end of the course you will have learnt how, and why, to implement UK documentation standards - making use of SPECTRUM procedures. You will be aware of best practice in the safe handling of three-dimensional objects and preventative conservation by selecting appropriate materials. You will be able to identify common forms of deterioration and be confident in using professional terminology.

Who should attend
Suitable for anyone wishing to pursue a career working with museum special collections. Students, recent graduates or career changers, with little or no prior experience working with collections. An ideal course for existing collections-based volunteers  to enhance their skills. Or as continuing professional development for those already working in museums or heritage environments, in a non-collections focussed role.


Tutor Description

Jacqueline Winston-Silk is a professional curator. In her current role she is responsible for the development, care, and use of object collections within teaching and learning across UAL, including in the University’s Archives and Special Collections Centre. In her previous role as Curator of Art Collections at the University of Reading, she managed the fine art holdings for the University’s Museums and Special Collections Service and was the curator of a public gallery. She holds a MA in Museum Studies from University College London. Jacqueline has also held roles at the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture, The Geffrye Museum, The Design Museum and Tate.


Please bring the following items with you on the first day:

  • Camera – a phone camera will suffice
  • Notebook
  • Pencils
  • Laptop (if desired)

Most materials needed for the short courses are available at the Camberwell College of Arts' Art Shop. Please contact the Art Shop directly for opening hours and availability.

Available dates