Contributions to the AICCM National Conference 2013, Adelaide 23-25 October


Fungi play a considerable role in the deterioration of cultural material. Climate change predictions suggest that the future of the environment will exhibit a range of new conditions from increasing temperatures and relative humidity (RH) to rising sea levels. Resultant changes to indoor environments and an unstable thermo hygrometric environment can put organic collections at increased risk of biodeterioration by fungi.

This paper will research the potential of a biocide to remove and control fungal growth from a range of heritage artefacts. Working collaboratively with conservation scientists at the University of Leicester and University College London, and with students from the Courtauld Institute of Art, using a range of sites as case studies, chosen to reflect different indoor environments and a varying range of object types and media. The Historic House, Knole near Sevenoakes in Kent (The National Trust) was chosen as a representative of a typical unheated interior, with substantial mould issues on the wall interiors and highly significant Paintings on Canvas. The Secret War Tunnels at Dover, UK (English Heritage) are a network of chalk-cut tunnels deep beneath the castle, close to the south east coast of Britain, and contain a social history collection including costume, maps, books, furniture and The Underground Hospital. This site was chosen, as the extent of mould growth requires a current, exhaustive and unsustainable cleaning protocol.

Keywords: fungi, mould, mould remediation, environmental controls

AICCM National Conference 2013
Paper author:
Tess Evans