Knowledge bank

Putting the house to bed

The furnishings in the hall get a thorough spring cleaning

The furnishings in the hall get a thorough spring cleaning

Ever wondered why some of our houses shut for the winter, and what happens behind those closed doors?

The need for conservation

Relative humidity

Organic materials are sensitive to humidity, and gain or lose moisture as it changes. Too dry an atmosphere leaves materials like wood, parchment and ivory shrunken, cracked and embrittled.


We've been undertaking scientific research into how dust affects historic surfaces in houses since 1999. Find out more about why this work is so important to the preservation of our places.

Light damage

The fading effect of light on the delicate tints of a watercolour might seem unsurprising, but light can fade even a piece of ebony. Find out more about how we prevent light damage at our places.


  • Bibliography

    Our Bibliography lists over 4,000 books and articles published about our properties and collections, while our Collections Guides provide you with a useful reference to some of our pictures, sculptures and collections at some of our places.

  • Historic Houses & Collections Annual

    The Historic Houses and Collections Annual offers readers and absorbing insight into a variety of stories and the latest curatorial research, including features on architecture, garden and interior design, collections and libraries, along with a selection of some of the most important recent acquisitions.

  • Arts, Buildings & Collections Bulletin

    The Arts, Buildings & Collections Bulletin, or ABC Bulletin, showcases the latest curatorial and conservation news, projects and expertise at the National Trust.

  • Heritage / conservation staff magazine

    For over 25 years, our staff and volunteers have written their own technical magazine covering all aspects of their work, with the occasional article from heritage and conservation professionals and students. The most recent issues have been recreated as PDFs to enable a much wider readership to enjoy them.

  • Oil painting catalogues

    We've produced a series of catalogues of all the oil paintings in our houses across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The six beautifully illustrated volumes are available to buy from our online shop.