The Textile Conservation Centre


The TCC was founded by Dr Karen Finch in 1975, who was its Principal until her retirement in 1986.  From 1975 to 1999, the TCC a charitable trust based at Hampton Court Palace; in 1998 the TCC became part of the University of Southampton and the Centre relocated to a purpose-designed building on its Winchester campus. The Centre was closed by the University of Southampton on 31st October 2009.

Three decades of work by the TCC's founder, its staff and its graduates have transformed textile conservation internationally. Over 250 textile conservators trained at the TCC as well as 140 curators. Between 1999 and 2009 alone the TCC's staff published nearly 250 books, edited volumes and papers. In that period the staff of the TCC raised millions of pounds for research, including the £948,000 award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (please see the Research section of this website for more information), as well as hundreds of thousands of pounds in bursaries. The TCC has rightly been described by Jerry Podany, President of IIC, as 'national treasure for Britain, a national treasure on which the other national treasures depend' (The World This Weekend, BBC Radio 4, April 19th 2009).

The legacy of Karen's original vision and of the TCC's work over the past 34 years is huge and this section of the website can only capture a tiny amount of it. Here you can find out about the TCC's achievements - in education, research and in conservation practice.   Where possible it gives you links to further information or e-versions of publications.  Several slide shows are included to give an idea of the range of the Centre's work and you can download files of students' dissertation abstracts, MPhil/PhD summaries as well as staff publications.

This website is dedicated to all those who have made the Textile Conservation Centre's work possible:  

  • all of the Centre's staff from 1975 to 2009
  • All of the Trustees of the Centre's supporting trust, the TCC Foundation and also of the Friends of the TCC trust which was merged with the Foundation in 2000.
  • All of the Centre's alumni who continue to make the most extraordinary contribution to the profession around the world.
  • and also the Centre's many funders who made these three decades of archievement possible, most notably The Clothworkers' Foundation.