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The National Museum of Natural History has been utilizing custom fit padded jackets for over 10 years and they have worked well. In addition to protecting the specimens, it is easier to find specific individuals because of the large specimen numbers printed on the sides of the jackets. As a matter of continued safety of the collections, an institution that elects to use any type of conservation jacket should develop protocols for the handling of specimens while in their jackets, and for handling the jackets themselves. Instances of specimens being pried out of their jackets and breaking are not uncommon. The jacket handles are only for lifting that side of the jacket off and not for lifting the entire specimen; the jacket should be gripped at the flanges if it is to be moved. And while storage space may not be significantly saved by the use of support jackets, it is space that is being put to better use. Innovative designs of the jackets can make them ‘nest’ better without risk to the fossils. Specimens originally stored upright can be stored flat and take up less vertical space, possibly increasing the number of shelves in a rack.





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