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To clean, or not to clean?

Thursday 1st December, 2016

Hackney Museum


About the day:

Want to learn more about caring for social history collections?

This is the seminar for you. The day will concentrate on the practical aspects of caring for a wide range of social history objects, with a mix of talks, discussions and practical activities.

Building on the principles of Collection Care, you will learn how to examine a range of social history objects and decide what can (and should) be done (or not done) to them. You will try out a variety of practical techniques for cleaning and care of different materials including wet and dry cleaning. You will also learn where to get the materials for looking after your social history collection and how to access specialist help when needed.

Refreshments will be provided, however to keep costs down, Lunch is not provided. You are welcome to bring your own and/or there are lunch options available nearby.

There will be an option to look around the museum at lunchtime or at the end of the day. Hackney museum is open until 8pm on Thursdays.

Session Leader: The day will be run by Libby Finney ACR, Regional Collection Care Development Officer for London, based at the Museum of London.


  • 9:45 - 10:00 Arrival & refreshments
  • 10:00 - 10:05 Welcome & Housekeeping
  • 10:05 – 10.45 To clean or not to clean – ethics and practicalities
  • 10.45 – 11.45 Cleaning techniques, tools, materials and equipment
  • 11.45 – 12.30 Understanding the condition of objects and how to describe it
  • 12:30 - 1:15 Lunch (not provided)
  • 1:15 - 2:30 Dry cleaning – practical session
  • 2.30 - 2:50 Refreshments
  • 2:50 - 4:00 Wet cleaning glass and ceramics - practical
  • 4:00 – 4:30 Summary- Q&A wrap up & close

Please Note: Although this course will be using no solvents other than water, it will be looking at solvent based polishes and waxes and cleaning dusty objects so this course is not suitable people with compromised immune systems, asthma or allergies to dust / solvents.

All timings are approximate.

Materials and tools will be provided for your use on the day.

The Venue: Hackney Museum, Technology & learning Centre, 1 Reading Lane, E8 1GQ

Telephone:020 8356 2509

The museum is on the ground floor, and is fully level, with level access.

More details about how to get to the venue will be sent out in the delegate pack.


£5 SHCG members

£10 Non SHCG Members

Please note, Lunch is not included.


Places are limited & we would encourage members to reserve their space asap. Bookings will be opened to SHCG members first, and then opened up to non-members on the 10th November, if spaces are still available.

Places will be allocated first come, first served & a waiting list will be created if needed. Payments will be taken once reserved places are confirmed and you will have a set time to pay, failure to do so in that time will lead to your place being given to someone else. Please make sure you read the SHCG cancellation policy HERE

Please download & fill in the form below & send back to  by 5pm on Friday 18th November.