Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia

Preventive Conservation



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia


Departamento de Conservação e Restauro



Teacher in charge

Maria Filomena Meireles Abrantes de Macedo Dinis

Weekly hours


Total hours


Teaching language



The goal of these lectures is to give the students the practical and theoretical knowledge that allow them to act in order to retard the main deterioration process and damage of our cultural heritage.


Do not exist

Subject matter

Summary of the theoretical classes:
  1.  Preventive Conservation (PC)
  2. Deterioration agents
  3.  Control of the deterioration agents
  4. Decision making process: a fundamental activity in  PC
  5. Risk assessment for cultural property 
  6. Fisical forces
  7. Fire
  8. Water
  9. Thieves, vandals, displacers
  10. Temperature and humidity
  11. Effects of light on Materials in collections
  12. Main airborne Pollutants
  13. Materials used in Museums
  14. Integrated Pest management
  15. Exposition process
  16. Collections storage
  17. Emergency plan
  18.   Inspection
  19. Monitoring Program
  20. Case studies
Summary of the practical classes: 
  • Risk assessment: determination of the risk magnitude
  • Temperature and measurements methods
  • Relative humidity and measurements methods
  • Light
  •  Anoxic treatments
  • Studied trips
  • Practical Projects
  • Discussion of the Practical Projects


Ashley-Smith, Jonathan (1999). Risk assessment for object conservation. Butterworth-Heinemann, Londres

Camuffo D. (1998). Microclimate for cultural heritage. Developments in Atmospheric Science, 23. EC Elsevier Oxford

Hatchfield P. B. (2002) Pollutants in the Museum Environment. Practical Strategies for problem solving in design, exhibition and storage. Archetype publications

Maekawa S. (1998). Oxygen-Free Museum Cases. Research in conservation. The Getty Conservation Institute.

Schaeffer T T. (2001) Effects of light on Materials in collections. Data on photoflash and related sources. Research in conservation. The Getty Conservation Institute.

Selwitz C. & Maekawa S. (1998). Inert gases in the Control of Museum Insect Pests. Research in conservation. The Getty Conservation Institute.

Tétreault J. (2004). Airborne Pollutants in museums, Galleries, and Archives: Risk Assessment, Control Strategies, and Preservation Management. Canadian Conservation Institute

Thomson, Garry (1986). The Museum Environment. 2nd Edition. Butterworth-Heinemann.  Londres

Vários (1994). Care of Collections. Routledge, London, 1994. KNELL, S. (Ed.)

Vários (1994). Preventive Conservation practice theory and research. Preprints of the Contribution to the Ottawa Congress, 12-16 September 1994. The International Institute for Conservation of historic and artistic Works (IIC) Ashok Roy & Perry Smith (Eds)

Vários (2000). Rational decision making in the preservation of cultural property. Report of the 86th Dahlem Workshop on rational. DahlemUniversity Press Baer & Snickars (Eds)

Vários (2002). Conservation Science 2002. Papers from the Conference Held in Edinburg, Scotland 22-24 May 2002, Townsend JH, Eremin Adriaens A (Eds)

Vários (2002). The Manual of Museum Exhibition. Altamira Press 2002, Oxford, Lord & Lord (Eds)

Waller R. Robert (2003). Cultural Property Risk Analysis Model. Goteborg Studies in Conservation 13. Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis

Teaching method

Lectures, study visits and to draw up a small report.

Evaluation method

This discipline has frequency, that is, a set of conditions to be met by the student to have access to examination; The student will have access to the resource examination provided they do not miss more than 2/3 of the theoretical and practical classes.

This course has a 3 components of continuous evaluation: 2 tests of Theoretical evaluation (T) and a theoretical / practical evaluation (TP)

Theoretical continuous evaluation (T) includes two tests that will be done during the semester, and the final theoretical evaluation will be obtained by the average of 2 tests. It is required minimum grade of 8.0 values in both theoretical tests in order to perform Theoretical evaluation of this course by tests. Those students you can not reach the minimal grade of 8,5 in each of the 2 tests. can do the Theoretical evaluation during the “Exame de Recurso”. The Theoretical final grade is worth 60% of the final grade.

Theoretical / practice (TP), has no minimum score and is performed based on a final group report and the oral presentation of this report. Thus the final score is calculated as follows:

Final Grade = (0.6 * T) + (0.4 * TP)

T = theoretical evaluation (2 tests average or exame grade)

TP = theoretical / practical assessment (written report +oral presentation)

 Admission to examination depends on the frequency of 2/3 of the practical classes, except in legally defined cases.