Museum of Science and Industry


Ahh, who doesn’t love the smell of old books? Well, maybe a lot of people. Old books smell a little funky because they are made of paper and other organic materials – and organic things rot! Preserving or appropriately storing a treasured book can take finding out the composition of its paper – a process which traditionally requires burning it. In order to not have to destroy the very artifacts that we are trying to preserve, scientists based in London and Slovenia have worked together to create equipment able to "sniff" the volatile chemicals released by old paper in order to find out its makeup.

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Museum Hours
  • Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas
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Museum Location
Museum of Science+Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
1 (773) 684-1414
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  • 80 at 80

    See 80 rarely displayed artifacts in an exhibit commemorating the Museum's 80th anniversary.

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