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Firearms, weapons, and other military items are functional objects that are often well used before they become heirlooms or museum objects. These objects can be made from many different materials, both inorganic and organic, including metals, wood, ivory, bone, fabric, leather, etc.. They are cared for by objects conservators or textiles conservators (for uniforms and flags). When in doubt, an objects conservator can help you determine who would be the most appropriate professional for advice and conservation.


  • Wear gloves when handling.
  • Clean, and then apply paste wax.
  • Relative humidity below 45%.
  • Store barrel down if stock is weak or damaged.
  • Clean off excess oils.

Antique Firearms

More Resources (pdf)
Caring for Firearms


If you have any questions, .


Preservation Principles

Types of Material

Types of Objects
   Books / Bibles / Scrapbooks
   Works of Art

   Textiles / Clothing / Uniforms
   Tools / Mechanical / Instruments
   Dishes / Glassware / Silverware
   Native American Items
   Natural History Specimens

More Resources
   Preservation Documents  (pdfs)
   Glossary of Terms
   See what we've done

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