A Rare Look Inside The Backroom Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., United States is home to over 126 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, and other priceless historic artifacts such as the Star-Spangled Banner, one of the very first American flags to be manufactured during the Revolutionary War.

As with all museums, a large percentage of the collection is stored behind the walls, with only a small number of items put on public display. These relics are not sitting in some dark basement, gathering dust but are meticulously organized and preserved. Dealing with valuable relics is delicate work. There are tens of thousands of qualified professionals working hard every day to ensure that our past is not forgotten and our treasures stay safe for generations to come.

These incredible photographs taken by photographer Chip Clark provide us a peek into this fascinating collection, unseen by the general public.

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