Caring for Collections

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.

Who uses the specimens?

Why do we want to make specimens last forever?

What damages collections?

How do we make them last?

Preventive conservation at the museum—behind the scenes

Preventive conservation at your home or work