Sudbury Hall NT

Sudbury Hall NT Blog

Attic 6 project – Week Two

Well we have braved the chilly weather and started the process of mould cleaning on the few objects we noticed needed it. As hard as we try to protect and preserve every object, sometimes we can’t fight Mother Nature.  Each object requires a different method depending on its material, for example we wouldn’t treat fabric the same way we would wood.

When cleaning objects affected with mould it is important that it is carried out in the correct environment, because mo uld is more dangerous to us than it is to the object! This means we have to follow the advice and rules that the National Trust has put in place for our safety and wellbeing.

This involves being in a room, which is well ventilated, as well as being well lit. A photography studio lamp is also used to increase the light level; as it helps us to find the mould spores with greater ease, as the fluffy parts of the mould become visible.  The most important part of this process, for our safety, is being dressed the correct way. As you can see in photograph this involves lab coats, vinyl gloves and a protective mask.

A rocking horse from attic 6 to use as an example to show you how we clean mould.


 We use a special museum vacuum, with the use of a hog’s hair brush to remove the fuzzy part of the mould as well as helping to clean off dust and dirt. The next step is to create our own cotton swabs, by wrapping 100% cotton wool around a chop stick (this sounds silly, but we try to be as inventive as we can). We then dip the cotton wool into a small out of a chemical called IMS which is basically pure alcohol. Then we gently wipe over the entire hard surface, which will clean the object at the same time. 

For a fabric or a painted object we would only use the special museums vacuum and hog’s hair brush.

Once the object is clean, its cover will be washed to stop re-growth, just in case the mould spores have passed onto the cover.

This is a time consuming task, especially when wearing the protective masks as it does get slightly uncomfortable after a while! But it is all worth every minute, as it helps in the conservation of an object.

Well I’m afraid we are going to take a little break for a few weeks, as well as everyone else for Christmas, so I will see you all in the New Year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Sudbury Hall and the National Trust Museum of Childhood


Attic 6 project – Week One

Well, the attic 6 project is up and running, with the first official week of work.

Before we can start doing any re-organisation work, it is important to assess every object within the attic.  This involves making loads of lists (which I will admit I have become very obsessed in making).  We have started organising objects into different categories, so we know what is needed to be done… By doing this it means we can also plan ahead.  These categories are cleaning, photography and indicating if special covers are needed, as well as checking that all the objects are stored in correct attic.

It is Important that we note the individual record number (accession number) of each item, so we can find each object on the collections management system, MODES, which we currently use at Sudbury Hall.  From 2011 we will be using the National Trust’s own cataloguing system CMS, which I will have to get used to!

Many objects are missing photographs or need updated photographs taken.  This, I believe, is the interesting part of the project, as we get to handle all the beautiful objects within the attic, which are all extremely magical and uniquely different. 


 The aim is for each object to have an appropriate sized cover that helps to protect the object, with its individual record number visible and the objects photograph on top. 


 As you’re all aware it is getting very chilly, in fact we have SNOW!  This has slightly hindered the project as the attic stores are just as cold as it is outside.!

Through this cold weather next week, we are still going to begin cleaning objects.  I will also share with you how the National Trust goes about removing mould from the objects.  See you next week and feel free to ask any questions.



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