MIT Libraries logo MIT Libraries

MIT logo

Wunsch Conservation Lab


The mission of the MIT Wunsch Conservation Laboratory is to preserve cultural heritage through thoughtful collaboration, innovation, research, and discovery.


  • Our daily practice includes conserving the integrity of cultural heritage for our community to have access and to feel connected to our collections.
  • We create resources and programming to help all to understand why the preservation of cultural heritage is vital for humankind to connect to the past as we prepare for our future.
  • We support the mission of MIT and our Libraries to preserve information. We practice our Institute’s motto, “To learn by doing”, with kindness, equity, and inclusivity, with the intent to inspire and to engage others to do the same.

Wunsch Lab - teaching session

Our work

We realize our mission through a variety of activities and programs. Distinctive Collections conservation intersects with innovation, teaching, research, and exhibitions. Our conservators are hand bookbinders and draw on their training to develop sustainable practices and engaging workshops.

Our team advocates for preserving the integrity of original collections for direct access. Students join our team as undergrads, grads, student workers, or UROPs to learn conservation skills. We also partner all over the world and on campus with colleagues in CSAIL, DMSE, and SHASS.


We continue to build our teaching collection which includes tools and materials, old and new. Professors may inquire about our hands-on instruction. In our Lab, students may experiment with traditional techniques to bind a book, form a sheet of papyrus, or lock a letter. Class visits to the Lab are by appointment only and may be scheduled using our class request form

For questions or to contact the lab, please email