Collections Conservation Advice and Guidance
Our collections conservation guidance notes and technical papers are informed by science-based evidence and our practical experience. They are freely available to download below. Technical papers can be found beneath the guidance notes, which are listed by subject.
- Insect Pests Found in Historic Houses
A poster illustrating a selection of insect pests most commonly found in historic houses and museums in the UK
To best identify the pests it is recommended that you order a hard copy of the poster from English Heritage Customer Services (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0370 333 1181). If the poster is downloaded and printed in A4 or A3 size, the insects will be the wrong size.
- Insectes ravageurs trouvés dans les monuments historiques et les musées
French version of the poster
- Insect Pest Management in Historic Properties
Guidelines for managing insect pests in English Heritage historic properties
- Freezing Guidelines for Controlling Insect Pest Infestation
- Top Ten Tips for Preventing Clothes Moth Infestations
- Clothes moth prevention & control guidelines
- The Exosex Clothes Moth System and English Heritage
- House Mice and Rodents in Historic Buildings and Museums
- Varied carpet beetle - fact sheet 1
- Cluster flies - fact sheet 6
- Spider beetles - fact sheet 10
- Biscuit beetle - fact sheet 7 2017
- Booklice - fact file 9
- Case-bearing clothes moth - fact sheet 5
- Death watch beetle - fact sheet 3
- Feral Pigeons - fact sheet 13
- Furniture beetle - fact sheet 2
- Guernsey carpet beetle - fact sheet 12
- Indian meal moth - fact sheet 14
- Rodents - fact sheet 15
- Silverfish and grey silverfish - fact file 8
- Two spot carpet beetle and Vodka beetle - fact sheet 11
- Webbing Clothes Moth - fact sheet 4
Hospitality Events in Historic Houses
Risk Assessment Tools
Care of Archaeological Metalwork
- Guidelines for the Storage and Display of Archaeological Metalwork
- Instruction for Using Low Relative Humidity Showcase Silica Gel Lifetime Spreadsheet
- Calculating Lifetime of Silica Gel in Low RH Showcases (15 minute data intervals)
- Calculating Lifetime of Silica Gel in Low RH Showcases (30 minute data intervals)
- Calculating Lifetime of Silica Gel in Low RH Showcases (60 minute data intervals)
Collections Management Planning
- Historic House Collections: Drawing up a Collections Management Plan
Hard copies can be obtained from Historic England.
These publications cover aspects of preventive conservation and science research which have been carried out in association with English Heritage artefact collections and interiors. Additional project work by external heritage science researchers can also be found here.
- Heritage Collections at Risk: English Heritage Collections Risk and Condition Audit
- Conserving and Presenting Brodsworth Hall: New Approaches for a Sustainable Future
- Glitter and Gunge: Preserving the Future of JW Evans
- Presentation in Original Contexts via Microclimates
- Retrofitting Old Display Cases
- Development of Showcases for Archaeological Metals in Aggressive Environments
- The Effect of Air Tightness on RH Buffering and Control
- Air Exchange Rate – the Dominant Parameter for Preventive Conservation?
- Simple Methods to Measure Air Exchange Rates and Detect Leaks in Display and Storage Enclosures
- Designing Accelerated Ageing Experiments to Study Silk Deterioration in Historic Houses
- Non-destructive Testing of Silk: Problems and Possibilities
- Applying Preventive Conservation Recommendations for Silk in Historic Houses
- Preserving Silk: Reassessing Deterioration Factors for Historic Silk Artefacts
- Determining the Stability and Durability of Archaeological Materials
- Reducing the Risk of Open Display: Optimising the Preventive Conservation of Historic Silks
Libraries and Archives
CEN TC 346 STANDARDS
The European Committee for Standardisation Technical Committee 346 (CEN TC 346) is developing European Standards (ENs) for conservation. Four working groups are developing standards that impact on preventive conservation.
- WG4: Protection of collections
- WG6: Exhibition lighting of cultural heritage – Joint working group between TC 346 and TC 169
- WG7: Specifying and measuring indoor/outdoor climate
- WG8: Energy efficiency of historic buildings
- EN 15757: Specifications for temperature and relative humidity to limit climate- induced mechanical damage in organic hygroscopic materials.
- EN 15758: Procedures and instruments for measuring temperatures of the air and the surfaces of objects.
- EN 15759-1: Indoor climate, Part 1: Guidelines for heating churches, chapels and other places of worship.
- EN 16242: Procedures and instruments for measuring humidity in the air and moisture exchanges between air and cultural property.
The standards can be purchased from any member organisation of the British Standards Institute (BSI) in the UK.
Standards under Preparation
- prEN 15999-1 Conservation of cultural heritage: Guidelines for management of environmental conditions – Recommendations for showcases used for exhibition and preservation of cultural property, Part 1: General requirements