Medical museum is on the move

Monday - 3/21/2011, 9:31am EDT

Tim Clarke, Deputy Director of Communications, National Museum of Health and Medicine

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

The National Museum of Health and Medicine is moving! All the exhibits on the campus at Walter Reed Army Medical Center will be packed up and painstakingly moved to the museum's new home in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Tim Clarke, Deputy Director of Communications for the museum, told Federal News Radio the varied cargo will "include the bullet that killed Abraham Lincoln, and a series of microscopes dating back to the 17th century, and a very big piece of an Air Force hospital from Iraq used between 2003 and 2007, so it's very fair to say it's going to be a painstaking process to carefully and transport these national treasures."

Being "the museum that contains a fairly substantial anatomical and pathological collection," said Clarke, workers are especially aware and "respectful of the human remains in our care". Clarke said resident experts "make sure we're that we are doing everything in our power to make sure that these collections stay as they are today and are available to us and to the public in the future."

Clarke told the Federal Drive that availability will be "one of a kind" in the new facility, "where you'll be able to not only stand in the exhibits and see what we've prepared for display, but we've also made sure that you can actually see into the storage area, to see the work that goes on behind the scenes, to see staff and collections managers and technicians working with the bone collections, working with the microscope collection. We really want to connect the public to their National Historic Landmark collection."

And if that's not enough to get excited about, Clarke said the entire staff sees the move as a tremendous opportunity. "We're also looking forward to the energy and the momentum that comes from any sort of activity like this, where we're going to be doing things (like) lectures and other programs in community buildings and maybe in spaces in downtown Silver Spring. We're trying to get ourselves into the community in a different variety of ways and a lot of that is spurred by the vitality of the move itself."

Expect the move to be completed in the early Fall, said Clarke. "Our move is a BRAC move, a Base Realignment and Closure Act directed move, and so we are obligated to finish that move by the same time everyone is supposed to be finished in early September."

Until then, you can visit the Museum through April 3rd.