The National Air and Space Museum is responsible for a collection of over 70,000 artifacts — many on display but even more on loan or in safe storage at Smithsonian facilities. An important part of the contributions made by Museum staff is care for our collections. Collections care, known as collections stewardship, encompasses all the responsibilities required to ensure the preservation and responsible utilization of artifacts held by the National Air and Space Museum for the public trust. These responsibilities include the management of artifacts by providing appropriate physical storage, records management, documentation, scientific analysis, artifact condition examinations, and the development of appropriate treatment plans. The overriding goal of collections stewardship is to advance the Museum’s mission to educate, inspire, and serve the public by employing the highest standards of care to ensure that artifacts remain stable and accessible now and well into the future.
Watch Us at Work
Curious about what we do? From a glassed-in mezzanine of the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, visitors can view behind-the-scenes work previously unseen by the public.
The Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar is spacious enough to accommodate several large artifact projects at one time. The facility gives our collections specialists the room and equipment required to reconstruct, repair, and preserve artifacts.