£180 early bird rate until 31st January 2020, £200 from 1st February 2020. Students and unwaged £150.
Event information


£180 early bird rate until 31st January 2020, £200 from 1st February 2020. Students and unwaged £150.

The Charles Babbage Lecture Theatre

New Museums Site

Downing Street


There has been a lot of publicity recently about the problem of persistent plastics in the environment, but in museums we have the opposite problem.  Some plastic artefacts are highly unstable, particularly mass produced items found in scientific, industrial and social history collections.

This three-day conference for conservation professionals focuses on practical solutions. Speakers include conservation specialists from Harvard Art Museums, the Deutsches Museum in Munich and the University of Cambridge Museums. 

Conference Overview

Day 1 Collections Management, Identification and Storage including papers on preservation strategies for plastics in multi-disciplinary collections; tools for identifying plastic in your collection and dealing with self-destructive plastic.

Day 2 Analysis, Treatment Techniques and Treatment Options including decision making in plastic conservation; and approaches to the cleaning and preservation of plastic, from the plastic bag in contemporary art to the soles of football boots.

Day 3 Tour Programme (optional). Tours of three local museums with plastic heritage - Cambridge Museum of Technology, The Centre for Computing History and IWM Duxford.

Full conference programme here

Book your place now  and take advantage of our early bird rate of £180 until 31 January 2020.

If you are unable to book online and would like to book via Purchase Order or require invoice arrangements, please download, complete and return this booking formBooking closes 9 March 2019.

Conference Bursaries

The University of Cambridge Museums is delighted to offer a minimum of four bursaries for the full conference, plus travel and accommodation. Priority will be given to UK-based early career conservators. In return you will be required to write a short blog post of up to 300 words for the University of Cambridge Museums about your experience of the conference, by 31 March 2020.

To apply for a bursary Please download, complete and return this bursary application form by Friday 17 January 2020. If you have any queries please get in touch at collectionscarecourses@museums.cam.ac.uk

Accommodation in Cambridge 

We recommend you book your accommodation early. Please find a range of accommodation options here.

Visiting Cambridge 

Cambridge is one of the best small cities in the UK, just 60 miles north of London. To find out more about things to do during your stay go to Visit Cambridge 


The Charles Babbage Lecture Theatre and the museums on the tour programme are all fully wheelchair accessible. Please let us know any access requirements at the time of booking.

Terms and Conditions 

Tickets are non-refundable. If you need to cancel your booking, please inform us by email as soon as possible at collectionscarecourses@museums.cam.ac.ukNo ticket may be resold or transferred. We ask that you let us know at time of booking of any allergy or food intolerance, and any dietary requirements.

University of Cambridge Museums reserves the right to alter any part of the programme if necessary. We will only cancel conferences after careful consideration, but reserve the right to do so under exceptional circumstances. In the event of a cancellation, participants will be informed in writing as soon as possible and conference fees will be refunded in full. Please email collectionscarecourses@museums.cam.ac.uk with any enquiries.