Taxidermy Conservation course: Reading University Cole Museum of Zoology, 14th to 16th of May, 2019.

Where: Reading Museum Service Store, 2-4 Darwin Close, Reading RG2 0RB.

When: 14th to 16th of May, 2019.
Local host: Angela Houghton. Email:
Tutor:Simon Moore MIScT, FLS, RScI, ACR, Conservator of Natural Sciences.


Day 1. 10.00 start
. Introductions, local logistics, fire-exits, risks, allergies (please advise Simon Moore prior to course), loos and house Health & Safety rules.

Power-point of course outlines, problems &c this will outline the course, some of the problems you are likely to encounter.
Introduction to projects the idea is that each student should tackle as wide as possible the different techniques involved rather than just settle on one particular specimen/problem.
Look at pest damage as this is the most usual (pests are introduced during the PowerPoint presentation).
How to prevent pest damage basic Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
Ethics of Conservation vs. Restoration how far should one go?
Other deteriorative mechanisms humidity, temperature fluctuation will also be mentioned, along with fading.
How to manage these problems and remedy the resultant damage.

Practical sessions begin.

Practical select suitable specimen for treatment/s.

Tea/coffee break at agreeable time.
Lunch (1 hour) is not provided and you are advised to make own arrangements.

Afternoon continues with practical work until c. 17.00

Likely projects. Replacing unsuitable/missing glass eyes.
Dressing/rehydrating dried areas of skin and other keratins, including claws, beaks (Bollmann Ultra-soft). Treating rusted armatures. Dealing with fat-burnt areas.
Dealing with pest-damaged areas. Quantifying arsenic residues (if present).
Transplanting fur swatches. Straightening bent feathers, repairing broken/damaged feathers. Replacing damaged armature parts.
Use of Japanese tissues to repair/ restore damaged body parts, replacing skin eaten by pests and as a gap-fill.
Cleaning plumage, repairing and attaching detached feathers.
Cleaning fur and mammal specimens.
Neutralising and cleaning away mildew and other moulds.
Repairing dried plants in cases and repairing damage to paintwork and pastel-chalked backgrounds.

Cases (there are plenty available) and you are permitted to bring your one of your own (not too large please!). Opening cases that are sealed with tapes and/or framing beads, resealing cases against pest attack. Repairing case backs that have shrunk, warped and split.

Discussion on permitted pest fumigants (pyrethrum-based Constrain).

Day 2: 09.15 start
Practical sessions, continue working in more advanced problems once the student has required the basic knowledge and skills.

Day 3: 09.15 start
Practical sessions continue leading to a completion of each project. Brief verbal assessment of how students have coped with the course (time permitting).

Please bring with you if possible: lab coat, digital camera /phone, small hair-dryer, dissection instruments (including an old toothbrush) and artist paintbrushes. These will be provided for use but if you can bring some it will be most helpful.
** Please note that lunches are not provided and you will have to buy these yourself or bring your own. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.

Cost for the course is 300.

Simon Moore MIScT, FLS, RScI, ACR Conservator of Natural Sciences.

Terms. Once attendance has been confirmed by e-mail, one third of the course fee will be payable in the event of a no-show or late cancellation. Notice of cancellation can only be accepted 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the course. If a pro-forma invoice is required in advance please advise Simon Moore (

For more details about what we can do for you, or for a quote, please contact:
We are members of the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

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