An unofficial blog about the National Museum of Health and Medicine (nee the Army Medical Museum) in Silver Spring, MD. Visit for news about the museum, new projects, musing on the history of medicine and neat pictures.
The last time I was In DC I got to spend a few hours in the cavernous building the National Parks Service uses to house its overflow from all the sites it has in the area. Standing in the storage room made me feel like I was in the last scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. But I assume you don't have such a facility for the Museum of Health and Medicine?So- how do you handle your storage problems at the museum?
Yeah. We do. It's in a secret secure location. Well, actually it's in Gaithersburg, MD and contains our large pieces of equipment, overflow research collections and large archival collections including most of the audiovisual ones. So if you call to do research, you may be brought up there or told you have to wait until we can bring something back to DC. The Smithsonian has a complex in Suitland, MD by the way. Much bigger than ours.
Boy, do we have storage problems! Yes, we do have an "overflow" facility, not quite as exotic as Raiders of the Lost Ark, but a warehouse nonetheless. Speaking for the archives alone, there are 4000 bankers' boxes - more or less - of Medical Illustration Service photographs alone; thousands of audio and video tapes of the playable and nonplayable variety (due to age/condition and/or not having the equipment that can do it); a couple of hundred boxes of a World War 1 collection (part of which is housed at the museum) and... Mike, what else? This is not to mention what the other collecting departments of the museum have there.
Oh, you all would look with dismay on the theater The San Diego Historical Society has filled with artifacts, boxes, sculpture, et al.
Nah, it's part and parcel of being a museum. One would prefer to have everything properly catalogued and shelved, of course.
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