Collections Care & Conservation

mount making horizontalThe museum’s collection and archive is the responsibility of the curatorial staff and archivist. They are responsible for evaluating, documenting, and the conservation, or care, of these collections.

Providing object care is called preservation or conservation and  involves thoughtful treatment, preventive care and considerations for the long term safekeeping of historical objects, archival material and structures.

The museum has 20 areas or galleries for exhibiting collections and maintains ten storage areas so striving to provide a stable and secure environment is key. Monitoring  temperature and light levels in both exhibits and storage, proper handling, specialized materials, storage methods and security are essential.storage box of miniature cars

There are times when conservators, professionals who are trained in the advanced care and treatment of objects, are needed to stabilize and preserve something in our collection. Objects are thoughtfully selected for a program that allows everyone to help.  Please read more about Adopt an Object and consider helping us care for our wonderful collections.

The staff wants to help you care for your own collections and treasures. While each object is unique, ask a curator or archivist and we will try to provide guidance. Also, to assist you please access these experts from your desktop!

American Institute for the Conservation of Works of Historic and Artistic Works

National Park Service’s Conserve O Grams

Northeast Document Conservation Center

Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute