Museum Conservation Institute

In makeshift home laboratories, a team of scientists discovered that cotton flannel is the optimal fabric, and their latest study says that the moisture from our breath makes the mask more effective.

How to Build a Better Homemade Face Mask, According to Science

When Covid-19 hit, Smithsonian researchers set up makeshift home laboratories to conduct groundbreaking studies on mask fabric materials

Engineers concluded that the museum building (above: the Assyrian Hall in February 2019) was structurally sound and could be repaired. But much work would need to be done.

Iraq's Cultural Museum in Mosul Is on the Road to Recovery

The arduous process, says the Smithsonian's Richard Kurin, is "a victory over violent extremism"

To keep Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit from degrading, conservators designed a custom mannequin that allows air to circulate inside.

Secretary Lonnie Bunch on the Invisible Work of the Smithsonian's Conservators

From deep cleaning to painstaking repairs, caring for Smithsonian’s 155 million objects requires serious TLC—and steady hands

Having shown that it’s possible to identify whale species from baleen, Solazzo says, “Now we have a new tool to study those collections.”

The Innovative Spirit fy17

These Ancient Whale Baleen Artifacts Can Now Tell New Stories

How an innovative protein analysis technique helped solve a decades-old mystery

The model arrived at the Smithsonian in 1974 lacking most of its lights, and replacements burned hot and gave off damaging ultraviolet light. Specialists Will Lee (left) and David Wilson work on ways to deploy new LEDs, which give off little heat and no UV light.

The Starship Enterprise Is Coming in for a New Landing at the Smithsonian

This artifact in the Air and Space Museum collections boldly returns to public view

The Thomas Jefferson original granite base and obelisk is now complete with a Smithsonian-made reproduction of the marble plaque and on view at the University of Missouri.

Urban Explorations

Bringing Thomas Jefferson's Battered Tombstone Back to Life

The founding father's fragile grave marker has survived for centuries, enduring souveniring, a fire and errant repairs

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