Conservation and Collection Care Service
Boxes  ·  Contacts  ·  Home  ·  Information  ·  Services  ·  Suppliers  ·  Training











{mould on cloth case bindings}

Mould infestations can be severely disruptive and hazardous to health. Mould can weaken, stain, and disfigure paper and photographic material. It is generaly recognised that ‘foxing’ may be attributable to mould reacting with trace elements in paper. Cloth, leather, vellum, and certain adhesives are also affected by mould.

Fungi, mildew and mould

  • Fungi is the umbrella term for mould, mildew, mushrooms, yeasts, and puffballs. Fungi have a kingdom all to themselves, like plants and animals. What all fungi have in common is that they are non-chlorophyllic and so cannot produce their own carbohydrates like most plants. Fungi absorb nutrients from dead or living organic matter. There are over 100,000 known living species of fungus and mycologists estimate that there may be as many as 200,000 more unidentified species.
  • Mildew is a type of fungus, similar in structure to mould, but distinct as one species of fungus is distinct from another, such as yeasts, rusts, and mushrooms. The terms 'mildew' and 'mould' are most often used as the common names of various fungi, but they are not interchangeable. Mycologists use the word mildew to classify the fungi that feed on plants.
  • Mould is another type of fungus. The fungi that grow on the surfaces of library material and produce mould are conidial fungi.


© 2005 University of Oxford  ·   Training/Mould/Introduction page  ·  Modified by EpA  ·