As a visitor to Chatsworth you will experience many highlights of the Devonshire Collections presented in our historic interiors. In order to safeguard the objects for the future, whilst they continue to be enjoyed in the present, the Collections team employ a variety of monitoring and maintenance programmes.
Each morning the Daily clean is carried out using soft brushes, cloths and vacuums. A cleaning frequency record is kept to ensure a balance is struck between over-cleaning and under-cleaning. Over-cleaning objects can lead to deterioration of surfaces; however under-cleaning allows dirt and debris to accumulate on an object which can be equally as damaging.
Visual checks of the visitor route are carried out weekly. It’s important to us that each visitor sees Chatsworth House at its best. We scrutinise display positioning and scheme lighting, as well as general tidiness – and always keep an eye out for any damage.
Light is important to the experience of your visit- sufficient light levels are important in order to appreciate the objects on display, however too much light poses a threat to the very fabric of an object. Light sources such as windows and room lighting are controlled to meet the optimum balance. One way of doing this is with sun blinds and UV blocking film at each window. We then carry out light readings twice a week to ensure our control measures are adequate.
Temperature and humidity are monitored in the house by small sensors placed in each room. Objects can be greatly affected by fluctuations in either of these, so we try to keep the environment as steady as we are able to within an historic building.
Our programmes of collections care are a constant undertaking that requires the involvement of many. We work together to make sure the objects are displayed in the best conditions, and that our visitors have the best experience.