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Conservator Rebecca Newberry examining a puppet made by the Bambara, Mali, West Africa.

The Conservation Department of the Science Museum of Minnesota is committed to the preservation of collections for scientific research and public display. The Department was founded in 1989 and is funded through endowment income derived from a National Endowment for the Humanities matching grant. Prior to 1989, all care and conservation of the museum's collections was carried out by the curators and outside conservators in private practice.

The Conservation Department cares for the entire range of collections, which vary greatly from ethnographic textiles to dinosaurs, from bird skins and eggs to stone tools and metals, and from specimens stored in alcohol to mounted insects. Collections care at the Science Museum focuses on preventing damage to the collections. This entails such things as modifying environmental and physical conditions, improving storage and exhibition techniques, and implementing other procedures to protect the collections. Intervening treatments are done minimally and only when needed. The new facility has improved the Department's ability to care for the collection by providing state-of-the-art environmental and storage systems and a spacious Conservation Lab.

Ever wonder how to protect your treasures from damage? Check out our Agents of Deterioration website.

For more information, email .