Plastics SSN

PSSN logo

The Plastics SSN, founded in 2006, is an Arts Council England recognised Subject Specialist Network.

It aims to share expertise in the history, development, care and interpretation of plastics within and beyond the museum community, in order to enhance understanding of and engage varied audiences with the key role played by plastics in modern society.

In particular members wish to:

  • Facilitate and disseminate dialogue and debate on research methodologies in relation to plastics.
  • Increase use of plastics collections with an emphasis on learning and teaching.
  • Reach new audiences for plastics collections.
  • Collaborate on out-come based projects.
  • Learn from and involve the plastics and design industries in plastics' collections.

The Plastics SSN is managed by the Museum of Design in Plastics (MoDiP), Arts University Bournemouth, working to a Steering Group. Its members are:

  • Ray Bush, Society of Plastics Engineers
  • Brenda Keneghan, Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Susan Lambert, Museum of Design in Plastics, Arts University Bournemouth (convener)
  • Diane Lees, Imperial War Museum, London (chair)
  • Susan Mossman, Science Museum, London
  • Derek Pullen, Independent conservator (formerly Tate), London
  • Jacqui Ready, Hampshire County Council Museum and Archives Service
  • Mark Suggitt, Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

Membership is open to all collections of plastics, public and private; to archives with material relevant to plastics; and to societies in the plastics subject areas.

The inaugural meeting was held on 13 December 2006 at the Design Museum, London. Activity is dependent on project funding. To date the Plastics SSN has made three resources:

The first two are offered as useful guides on the Collections Trust website. The third is an ongoing project of five years duration.

A survey of our members has shown that the most pressing subject not yet addressed by the SSN is synthetic textiles. It is hoped that funding to make the creation of such a resource will be forthcoming in due course.

If you would like to contact the Plastics SSN please email