1019 Books Cleaned in 90 Hours

6th September 2017
in news

Following a training session on conservation book cleaning with Professional Conservation Cleaner Nettie Cook, a team of 11 volunteers have worked very hard over the summer to clean all the books in William Gaskell’s Study, the Drawing Room and the Dining Room at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. The books were cleaned and their condition noted, a mammoth task that has taken the volunteers around 90 hours to complete during July and August. Rather aptly the last book they cleaned was the ‘Complete Works of Shakespeare’.

Elizabeth Perez, the volunteer who coordinated the cleaning, reported: We have enjoyed the cleaning and although it has been quite arduous it felt mildly therapeutic.  We enjoyed working alongside volunteers who work on different days and who we didn’t know.  We had lively discussions about books ,films, holidays.   Sometimes we had music as we worked.  We extended our knowledge of the parts of books (head, tail, boards, end pages) and the condition (foxing, tanning, shelf wear) and even found time to practise our Roman numerals!”

You can also read Chris Bambers blog about book cleaning

If you are interested in joining the volunteer team at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House click here for more information

We've got a certainly is a beauty...I must try and make the house give as much pleasure to others as I can.’

Elizabeth Gaskell, in a letter to her friend Eliza Fox in 1850.