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  • Scientists at work in the Proteomics Lab
  • Scientist using X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF)
  • Scientist using X-ray Diffraction (XRD)
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Museum Conservation Institute

The Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute (MCI) is the center for specialized technical collection research and conservation for all Smithsonian museums and collections. MCI combines knowledge of materials and the history of technology with state-of-the-art instrumentation and scientific techniques to provide technical research studies and interpretation of artistic, anthropological, biological, and historical objects.

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Introduction to Fundamentals in Heritage Conservation YouTube videos

Introduction to fundamentals in heritage conservation

The Iraqi Institute for Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage in partnership with MCI posted a series of YouTube videos titled Introduction to Fundamentals in Heritage Conservation in English, Arabic and Kurdish. The videos are an adaptation of on-site training the Smithsonian Institution (SI) has been doing at the Iraqi Institute since 2014. When Covid stopped on-site training, SI and the Iraqi Institute coordinated the production of the videos. Over 10 different videos, Iraqi cultural heritage sector colleagues explain what they do at their jobs and SI staff introduce the topics of heritage conservation taught at the Iraqi Institute. 

The project was supported by the SI Office of International Relations and Smithsonian Enterprises with funding from the Getty Foundation.


In the News

MCI's Shared Stewardship and Ethical Returns Statement

Virtual Law Enforcement Workshop Addresses Cultural Property Crime in Central and Eastern Europe, US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 8/30/23

Trafficking in Cultural Property from Southeast Asia Topic of Latest Virtual Law Enforcement Workshop, US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 7/10/23

Piece by Piece: Mosaic Artifacts in Byzantium and the Ancient Americas, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC on May 18-19, 2023: Study Session Speakers are Thomas Lam, Edward Vicenzi, and Keats Webb

Which "Eraser" Reigns Supreme? MCI Postdoctoral Fellow hosts a conservation workshop on the "Dry Cleaning of Soot-Coated Papers" by Tess Cramer, 10/4/22

Katharyn Hanson (MCI Secretary's Scholar and Cultural Heritage Preservation Scholar) was an author and team organizer for the SCRI Ukraine project's newest report Potential Damage to Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Sites and dashboard at the Conflict Observatory Publication Site.

Keats Webb (Imaging Scientist), work with the National Museum of Natural History was referenced in How Indigenous Groups Are Using 3-D Technology to Preserve Ancient Practices by Rachel Parsons, Scientific American, 6/29/22


Previous Topics in Museum Conservation Lectures

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