San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature Connection[San Diego Natural History Museum: Collections Care & Conservation]
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Collections Care

Caring for Collections
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We have collections of preserved specimens that are used for exhibits, teaching, and research. More than 99% of the 9.2 million are used for research. We also have small numbers of living specimens as well as rare books and artwork related to natural history.

scan of herbarium specimen of Dudleya variegata

Caring for Collections

[Making it last ...]

Who uses the specimens?

Scientists
Teachers and Museum Docents
Artists
You do!

Why do we want to make specimens last forever?

Because of their value!
Because they are unique--and a limited resource!
Because of the costs involved with acquiring a specimen!

How do we make them last?

First we have to understand what causes specimens to deteriorate.
Then we figure out ways to prevent the causes, or at least decrease the impact of the cause.
We practice preventive conservation.

Preventive conservation at the museum--behind the scenes.

What is it?
Who does it?
Where do we do it?

Preventive conservation at your home or work.

What do you have?
What damage might you see?
What can you do?

For more information . . .

Books, web sites and organizations that can help you learn more.
Website credits

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Developed by Paisley Cato, former Curator of Collections, SDNHM
with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services