BONUS: Caring for our Non-Living Collections
Discovery Place Nature
The Kodiak bear, polar bear and black bear you see in this video are housed in our Explore More Collections Lab at Discovery Place Science. These and the other items found in the Explore More Collections Lab are just a small fraction of the Non-Living Collection at Discovery Place.
Our collection is home to over 70,000 items that are carefully monitored and cared for by our Collections team of staff and volunteers. They help ensure that our collection is properly inventoried, handled and stored so that the items are preserved for many years and generations to come.
The regular cleaning of the bears removes dust, mold and possible pests, which can cause irreversible damage to the specimens. Along with regular cleaning, other environmental factors are monitored, including temperature, relative humidity and light exposure. Smaller items can also be inspected under stereoscopes to look for the presence of mold or other damage.
When you are able to come to the Museum again, be sure to look for special monitors called hygrothermographs found in many of our display cases. These track temperature and humidity to ensure that our collection items are kept in the best shape possible. Learn more about the effects of temperature and humidity here.