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Conservation Stories

From the mightiest of marvels to the most minute of mementos, our Conservation team is always doing something fun and unique to care for the stories held within our Collections. Watch some cool footage ranging from recovering USS Monitor‘s iconic turret, to lifting a 20-ton midget sub!

  • 20th Anniversary of USS Monitor’s Turret Recovery

    2022 marks the 20th anniversary of raising the famous ironclad’s gun turret off the ocean floor, where it sat for 140 years. Just like the innovative weapon, this feat was revolutionary. The divers, archaeologists, engineers - the US Navy, NOAA, and countless others, worked together to accomplish this mission. This video celebrates all of these people who made this happen!

  • Come see our new Clean Lab Observation Area 👩‍🔬🔬

    If you've ever wondered what exactly goes on behind closed doors at a Museum, now is your chance to cure that curiosity!

  • Lifting and flipping USS Monitor’s Condenser 🏗️💦

    For the first time in 160 years, USS Monitor's condenser bed is right-side up! In this video series, you can watch our Conservation team separating the condenser and its support bed, flipping the bed, and lifting both elements into their new treatment tank.

  • USS Monitor Skeg Elements Move

    Watch our Conservation team move USS Monitor's skeg elements out of their treatment tanks and over to our tank farm where they will undergo dry-ice cleaning.

  • Conserving the Samuel Hartt Pook Papers

    These documents outline, firsthand, the career of Naval Architect Samuel Hartt Pook. These historic papers highlight one of the most significant advancements in American Naval history. At the onset of the Civil War, Pook and his father (also a naval architect) aided the transition of the US fleet from wooden to iron and steel-hulled warships.

  • Boring USS Monitor’s Dahlgren Guns

    Monitor’s guns are the largest guns to ever be bored, giving this significant conservation step its own mark in history. The removal of the marine material was the final mechanical cleaning step before the guns can be dried and put on display.

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