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The material from which an object is made is fundamental to its preservation, and directs how it will change with time. Feathers and fossils, skin and stone are very different in their vulnerability to damage caused by fluctuating environments, light and water exposure, airborne pollutants, mold, insects, or other pests. By correctly characterizing the materials within an object or collection, one can take a more sensitive approach to the decisions required for its care, and the selection of techniques used to protect, rehouse, clean, stabilize, repair, or restore it.
In the pages below you will find research, case studies, and other resources related to the conservation of different materials in our collection at AMNH.