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Rick Meyers, Exhibits Preparator, works on a painting titled Gratiot Street Prison, on display in The Civil War in Missouri exhibit. The simplest way to begin the stabilization of paintings or other types of framed artwork is to provide protective layers in the front and back. The front protective layer is referred to as "glazing," which ideally would be a type of Plexiglas that is UV filtering, anti-reflective, and anti-static.

Preparing film for freezer storage at the Missouri History Museum. All film requiring freezer storage is removed from metal cans and reels and placed onto plastic cores. Each roll is tested for vinegar syndrome, wound, and cleaned from head to tail, emulsion in, tails out. Leader is added if needed, and the correct identification written on both the leader and the can. Condition inspection forms for each can are filled out for inventory and cataloging purposes.

In 2011, the Missouri History Museum installed a state-of-the-art freezer for long-term preservation of deteriorating nitrate and acetate films and still photography. Over time, old film bases begin to decay. Frozen storage halts the deterioration process, giving us decades in which to find funding to perform further preservation and duplication of these relics.

Stone human effigy from the Mississippian mound people, ca. 1300s. This stone sculpture is in four pieces and is missing its head. The kneeling figure carved in red stone is bisected down the center, with its arms detached. It may have been used as a focus for rituals, which leads to speculation that it was deliberately broken at some later time—perhaps by a people of an opposing belief system—to destroy its iconic spiritual power. Missouri History Museum

Film cans in the Missouri History Museum’s archives require a professional film archivist or qualified preservationist to identify, document, repair and conserve their contents. Unfortunately, the earliest films were often made with nitrate. Nitrate is a highly flammable compound, which can be explosive. A film can must be loaded onto a fireproof cart and taken outside as a precaution before the film canister can be opened and examined. Learn more: historyhappensher...

In a recent episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, actor Chris O’Donnell visited the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center to see documents relating to his great-great-grandfather, Michael McEnnis. O'Donnell met Dennis Northcott, Associate Archivist for Reference, to read excerpts from a reminiscence written by his great-great-grandfather during the 1849 cholera epidemic in St. Louis. Read more about Dennis' research: historyhappensher...

How do you move an artifact that weighs more than 200 pounds? In order to move a mortar shell for The Civil War in Missouri exhibit, Missouri History Museum staff had to get creative. They used a climbing rope narrow enough to fit inside the metal loops on either side of the shell, but could also bear in excess of 250 pounds. This allowed two staff members to hoist the mortar shell off the wooden base long enough for the base to be moved and replaced by a dolly. ©Missouri History Museum

At the Missouri History Museum, conserving artifacts in our collection ensures that they will be accessible for generations to come.

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Here is General Ulysses S. Grant (center of bench beside tree) on eve of Siege of Petersburg VA, which escalated this month 1864. Photo by Timothy H. O'Sullivan.

The Missouri Woman cover for June 1916: " Votes for Women." The "Missouri Woman" was a monthly magazine published by the St. Louis Equal Suffrage League from 1915-1919. Missouri History Museum

Portrait of Captain Edward Camden: Volusia County, Florida, April 1917. "He put on his Civil War veteran's uniform and tried to register for the draft on the first day of World War I."

A special canvas bag for carrying and distributing literature along the parade route. The 1913 #suffrage parade took place the day before Woodrow Wilson's inauguration. The #suffrage1913 display case opens on Feb. 28. There is a family festival to celebrate the parade's centennial on March 2.

Members of the exhibits team remove the panel of the Flag of the Missouri Guard and switch it to the other side.

On Monday 15 July we will be launching the Relievo collection in HongKong: 3D high-quality reproductions of Van Gogh masterpieces. The Relievo's are on display at the Gallery by the Harbour in HongKong from 16 July to 4 August 2013. More info: www.vangoghmuseum...

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