One of the tasks involved in preserving our archive collections is ensuring that they are kept as clean as possible. We do this by regular cleaning of our storeroom and shelves and protecting material from the external environment as far as possible by boxing, wrapping in acid free tissue or using melinex sleeves. When necessary, we also clean individual items -a task which is often done by our volunteers.
They don't always get something as exciting as Cardinal Hinsley's death mask but dusting with a soft brush has significantly improved his appearance. We also discovered that the process of creating this must have removed large amounts of the late Cardinal's hair. Our mask has eyelashes, eyebrows and a tiny beard!