Collections care

Collecting, caring for, and conserving things together comprise the most important and defining role of any responsible museum, archive, or library.


According to the American Association of Museum’s Code of Ethics, good museum care ensures “that collections in custody are lawfully held, protected, secured, unencumbered, cared for, and preserved.”  

In the Regenstein Pacific Laboratory, conservators and collections managers stabilize and work to protect the Museum's collections.

Here also research is done on how the numerous and sometimes quite exotic materials used to make things throughout the world change and often deteriorate with age. The goal is to devise new or more fully successful ways to slow down and if possible, prevent deterior-ation.


In our new below-ground 180,000 sq. ft. Collections Resource Center (CRC), Anthropology Department registrars, collection managers, conservators, and others document, catalog, and safeguard not only the Museum’s Pacific collections, but also those from North America, Africa, Indonesia, and elsewhere.

Pacific conservation in the Regenstein Lab

Catherine Hargreaves conserves boar tusks on a breast ornament from Paupa (© 2008, Dale F. Simpson Jr.)