Museum Monday: Collection Care Speaks – The Knole House Conservation Team Blog

How to cover a 400 year old mattress? Comparing dusts vacuumed from a chair every three years to tell if it is deteriorating? Condition survey of a stone floor, tile by tile? A mummified rat from the attic? That’s a quick romp through the preventive conservation blog of the Conservation Team at Knole House, a UK National Trust property.

Knole House Blog, UK National Trust. http://knolenationaltrust.wordpress.com

Knole House is doing the important work of making preventive conservation visible. Often, museum administrations are hesitant to make visible what has long been seen as “behind the scenes” work. Housekeeping, integrated pest management, art handling, and support making were seen as uninteresting. But little by little, museums are bringing their daily preservation activities to light. It is important we emphasize that traditional ideas about conservation, namely heroic, invasive treatment to repair damage, will never restore authenticity; we will only accomplish this through the routine activities of preventive conservation.

Hats off to the Knole Conservation Team! Check out their blog here.

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.