Grant Scheme

Collections Care Stimulus Fund

Award Year


Grant Sum Awarded


Icon Accredited Conservator

Phillippa Mapes ACR


In March 2021 The Novium Museum was awarded a grant of £1250 from the Institute of Conservation to conserve and repackage its wallpaper sample collection to ensure the safe storage and the long term preservation of the collection of samples.

Specialist wallpaper conservator Phillippa Mapes visited the museum on Wednesday 7th April to review the full collection of samples and to discuss those that would most benefit from remedial conservation. At this point 3 of the samples were selected for remedial conservation – CHCDM 9306, CHCDM 930 and CHCDM 9309 – see below for pre-conservation images.

CHCDM 9306 – Wallpaper samples prior to conservation – these were stuck to acid free tissue packaging as a result of the water leak in the museum store.


CHCDM 9309 – Wallpaper sample with severely flaking pigment, prior to conservation treatment.
CHCDM 9308 – Wallpaper sample with ‘tide mark’, prior to conservation resulting from water leak in museum social history store


In addition, Phillippa and the team discussed the packaging needs of the remainder of the collection and agreed that the best course of action would be for Phillippa to run an informal ‘workshop’ with the museum’s collection staff on the day the samples to be conserved were returned. The ‘workshop’ would involve Phillippa explaining and showing the team the best way to safely repackage and store the remaining samples.

On Wednesday 7th July Phillippa returned with the samples which had undergone remedial conservation and provided the museum with conservation reports detailing the work undertaken.

Over the course of the day Amy and Portia from the museum were guided by Phillippa on the repacking of the museums wallpaper collection in custom made corex boxes which had been pre-prepared by the museum team. The remaining wallpaper samples from the Dolphin and Anchor hotel were carefully removed from their polyester sleeves, which were not deemed appropriate due to many of the samples having plaster backing to them, which is very friable and had caused particles to adhere to the inner surface of the polyester sleeve, posing a risk of damaging to the pigmented side of the samples. Once removed from the sleeves Phillippa cleaned the surface of the samples using a smoke sponge, which really brought out the pattern of many of the samples.

Phillippa cleaning one of the wallpaper samples using a smoke sponge.


Samples were wrapped in acid dree tissue and placed on thick archival board to support their weight.

The samples were layered in the box and to ensure a sufficient gap was left between each layer. Card supports were created to support the weight of layer of samples above 

During the repacking process staff had the opportunity to take good quality photographs of each of the samples which have been attached to their museum database record.

Subsequently, to promote the project and the museum’s wallpaper sample collection a small ‘Object in Focus’ display initially featuring two of the museum’s wallpaper samples has been curated. As the samples are light sensitive, to reduce the impact and risk to the samples, the display will be regularly rotated, which will also allow a range of samples to be made accessible in the short term to our museum visitors.

Are you an Accredited conservator?

Submit a request form and build your Upgraded Listing
Submit Request