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Smithsonian Announces Cosmetics and Personal Care Web Project

May 12, 2016 | Contact Author | By: Jo-El Grossman
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Keywords: Smithsonian | National Museum of American History | cosmetics | personal care | Kiehl’s Since 1851 | formulas

Abstract: Made possible with the support of Kiehl’s Since 1851, the project will allow the museum’s collection of cosmetics and personal care products to be accessed online for education and research around the world.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will launch its Cosmetics and Personal Care Collections Digitization Project, thanks to the support of Kiehl’s Since 1851 and donations made by the company.

The museum’s Division of Medicine and Science documents the advances and changes made in health and wellness throughout American history. It has approximately 90,000 artifacts, including a collection of 2,000 personal care and beauty products.

This collection, in particular, highlights the interplay between medicinal and cosmetic products, and documents America's ever-changing conceptions of health, beauty and well-being.

The museum's collection currently includes a number of Kiehl’s products, as well as archival collections, such as original formulas for many of Kiehl’s earlier herbal products. The collection reflects the use of botanicals and natural ingredients within cosmetic products and how Americans have perceived connections between health and beauty.

The National Museum of American History plans to extend the collection to the web through the Cosmetics and Personal Care Collections Digitization Project. The project will allow the museum's collection of cosmetics and personal care products to be accessed online for education and research around the world.