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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!

  • Conserving the Leifr Eiriksson statue

    From the scale of the project to operating that tricky lift, experience all the action directly from our intern Marimar and Senior Objects Conservator Erik's point of view in this video!

  • Bronze Doors Conservation Project

    Conserving the doors is a visible commitment to our purpose as an institution and to the community we strive to serve each day. Watch as our Conservation team devoted many weeks this summer to bringing these icons back to the way the artist intended.

  • Conserving Princess Carolina

    This is a conservation story about Princess Carolina, the oldest surviving North American built merchant vessel. It is a unique ship, built a little differently than most we know.

  • Underwater footage of USS Monitor’s shipwreck

    The entrancing beauty surrounding the wreck site, just off the coast of North Carolina, lies in the notion that it's not just history buried there; instead, Monitor lives again, contributing to a vibrant marine ecosystem, a place that many aquatic species call home.


    Watch how we collaborated with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (MNMS), and the University of West Florida to scan and 3-D model some of Monitor’s recovered artifacts. This helps us put history in the hands of our community!

  • USS Monitor Condenser Tank Removal

    Watch our team remove USS Monitor's condenser tank to make more room in our Batten Conservation Complex!

  • 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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