Spotlight on Erddig's collection

Erddig has the second largest collection of items in the whole of the National Trust. With a total of 30,000 to care for, it's no mean feat for the house team of conservators and volunteers. We’re an accredited museum too.

Since April 2013 scores of volunteers have been busy improving Erddig’s digital records. They’ve been working hard on a special project to create a digital inventory known as the Collections Management System (CMS).

The CMS project team has opened drawers and crouched underneath tables, peeked in boxes and unwrapped tissue paper parcels; working in front of visitors and behind-the-scenes to take photographs of every item and record what we see.

A curatorial attitude

Erddig’s 30,000 objects, ranging from magnificent mirrors to homemade Christmas cards, along with the crumbling house, derelict gardens and 1,200-acre estate were entrusted to our care in 1973. It was to be an agreement that took several years for Philip Yorke II to feel comfortable with.

Part of that agreement was to retain every item in the collection, a tricky job for conservators after generations of Yorkes took an almost curatorial attitude to their belongings. But this is what makes a visit to Erddig so special. There is so much crammed into our house and not all of it is on display.

View online

The CMS project team's words and photos can be seen on the new-look National Trust collections website. So far 18,380 of these objects can be viewed by visitors online, aiding identification and research amongst collectors, enthusiasts and hobbyists.

" It’s an opportunity to highlight our conservation work not usually seen by visitors, such as carrying out the Toy Store inventory check earlier this year. I’ll never forget unwrapping all the animals for our Noah’s Ark, or opening up the Attic Storerooms whilst we carried out our documentation process. The CMS volunteers say it’s like Christmas as they never quite know what they’ll find stored away here, and they enjoyed sharing their stories with visitors."
- Heather Vernon, Erddig House Steward