Natural Science Collections Conservation

The AMNH Natural Sciences Conservation lab was founded in 2001 under the direction of the Office of the Associate Dean of Science for Collections. The lab’s staff provides oversight for natural science collections conservation.

Natural science collections are a shared legacy and, at all educational levels, provide the basis for much of what we know about this planet and our place on it. The data held in natural science collections is infinite and new information is discovered with each new technology. Appropriate collection care is critical so as new techniques emerge, intact and well-preserved collections are available upon which to use them. Much remains to be learned from even the most studied specimen. 

A Resource for Conserving and Preserving Natural History Collections 

The information presented here applies to collections, no matter what their size. While there will always be a need for remedial conservation treatment for specific specimens, the focus of this site is preventive care, which provides the most strategic approach to applying resources that will maximize the life of collections and, hopefully, ensure that they provide the basis for research, learning, and education for generations to come. 

For more general information on the power and importance of natural science collections, see the Natural Science Collections Alliance booklet, Collective Knowledge.

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Blog Post Restoring Iconic Dioramas in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals After a painstaking, yearlong process of restoration, the spectacular dioramas in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals... January 24, 2013 Blog Post North American Mammals: Cougars Get New "Whiskers" The dioramas in the newly renovated Hall of North American Mammals look better than ever. February 1, 2013 Blog Post Remaking True-to-Life Snow in the Lynx Diorama How Museum artists re-created snow for several dioramas, including the Canada Lynx and Varying Hare's. December 27, 2012 Blog Post Creating a True-to-Life Butterfly for the Coyote Diorama A multi-video series about the restoration of the dioramas in the Jill and Lewis Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. December 18, 2012 Blog Post Permanent Midnight: Wolf Diorama Gets New "Moon Shadows" Museum artist Stephen C. Quinn describes how a team re-created the evocative blue moonlight over snow in the wolf diorama. February 6, 2013 Blog Post Videos: Restoration of the Hall of North American Mammals After a painstaking restoration, the Hall of North American Mammals looks better than ever November 29, 2012 Article Lonesome George at the Museum Museum scientists worked closely with taxidermy experts to preserve Lonesome George as he appeared in life. Video Museum Helps Preserve Iconic Tortoise Lonesome George Lonesome George will be on display this winter. Video Fixing Bubbles in Dioramas Paintings conservator Harriet Irgang explains how she repaired the background paintings in three habitat dioramas. Video Restoring the Bison's Nose Restoring the nose of a male American bison in the Hall of North American Mammals.