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The Willard Conservation Prize at West Dean College

We are delighted to give our congratulations to Gillian Cochrane who is the recipient of the ‘ Willard Conservation Prize ’ at the West Dean Student Prize Ceremony just last month. This prize is given in recognition of new techniques found that pushes the world of conservation forward using faster and more effective approaches. 

Studying for her Collections Care and Conservation Management MA, Gillian’s research was about assessing the effectiveness of cleaning methods for textiles on open display. She found that a new method – using a microfibre pad – was both more effective than the previous approach of brushes and a vacuum cleaner, that it probably does less damage to the textiles being cleaned (this needs to be confirmed by conclusive research) and that it was three times faster. She won the Willard prize because it is likely that this new knowledge will change how textiles on open display are cleaned. Faster and more effective, she will change a part of collections care around the world. It is a great example of the impact a well-executed piece of research can have.

Pictured, you will see Gillian Cochrane, receiving her prize from David Dorning, Head of School of Conservation. This industry endorsement is testament to the work she has put into her MA studies and the team at Willard Conservation wish her all the best in her conservation career.


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