Through our research programs we have amassed a scientific and heritage collection* that includes
- 10,000 birds
- 6,500 plants
- 3,700 mammals
- 300 fish
- 500 reptiles
- 250,000 insects
- 4,000 arachnids
- 37,500 fossils
- 3 million archaeological artifacts
These collections are a part of Saskatchewan's heritage. The specimens help the scientists from around the world, make new discoveries and better understand the world around us.
Keeping these objects and specimens in good condition for future generations is the job of the Conservator. The objects in the collection are sensitive to their environment. If the temperature or humidity is too low or too high, the materials can dry out or grow mould. The RSM conservator must monitor and adjust the environment to keep these conditions optimal and stable.
The challenge is to find a comfort zone for both the people and the collections! Temperature and humidity aren't the only concerns of conservators; controlling the environment also involves reducing light levels to minimize light damage, keeping insects away from things like moccasins, blankets, and natural history specimens, decreasing indoor air pollution, and educating the staff and visitors about the effects they may have on the collections when they touch or handle extremely sensitive materials.
*Our collections are digitized but they are not currently available online. If you have any inquiries regarding our collections, please contact our curators directly.