The Department of Conservation and Scientific Research works alongside other departments in the Museum to conserve (to care for and preserve) and investigate the collection for the benefit of present and future generations.

The Museum has one of the oldest and largest conservation facilities in the world. The team of conservators works to clean, repair and stabilise objects in the collection. The study of objects while they are being conserved contributes to a better understanding of the collections and the mechanisms by which they deteriorate. This information is important to the development of new conservation techniques and allows advice to be given on the best conditions for the display and storage of objects to prevent further decay.

Scientists in the department provide insights into the past through research on the collection. Using both traditional and the very latest methods and equipment they are able to answer questions that help with the interpretation and understanding of the collection including:

  • How old is it?
  • Where does it come from?
  • What is it made of?
  • How was it made?
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