The Conservation Laboratory
at the Yale Peabody Museum actively supports and promotes the Peabody
Museum’s mission to preserve and protect the collections entrusted to
its care. The care and treatment of specimens in the Museum is guided
by the principle that the integrity of an object should be preserved in
every possible way. Because the Peabody collections are used primarily
for research, our approach to the treatment of the collections is
conservative. We are always aware of the specimen’s research potential
and whenever possible nothing is done to impair or compromise it.
Conservation is concerned with the preservation of all the Museum’s collections. This means that the conservator is involved in all aspects of collections care and handling. How specimens are stored is of as much interest to the conservator as what materials will be in the same exhibit case with them or whether they will travel by truck or airplane to an institution borrowing them for study or exhibition. Conservation work therefore is varied and multi-faceted, involving both active treatment and passive measures, or preventive conservation, as well as the analysis of materials and the development of new treatment techniques.