Inside the Secret Collections Backstage at the US Museum of Natural History

Birds Collections, National Museum of Natural HistoryIf I had the choice, I would always choose to visit a museum inside out– that is, take a backstage tour of what they don’t display, which in most cases, is much larger than what is actually on display. And i’m not talking about 2 to 3 times larger, we’re talking about secret collections that are 99. 9% larger, hiding behind the museum walls…Entomology Collections, National Museum of Natural HistoryTo give you an idea of how much we’re missing, The Smithsonian team at the National Museum of Natural History has kindly shared their staff photos, giving us a glimpse of what it would be like to raid all those backstage drawers and cabinets. You could say that museums sure do like to hoard things, but of course, it’s not all just sitting there gathering dust. The NMNH’s collections are special resources that allow the museum to make unique contributions to answering significant scientific questions and play a vital role in advancing scientific knowledge, addressing societal issues, and increasing scientific literacy.

AnthropologyAnthropology Collections, Smithsonian Institution's Museum Support Center

Invertebrate ZoologyInvertebrate Zoology Collections, National Museum of Natural History

Mineral SciencesThe Mineral Sciences' "Blue Room," National Museum of Natural History

BotanyBotany Collections, Natural History Building

AnthropologyPod 4 (Oversize Storage) at the Smithsonian's Museum Support Center (MSC)

PaleobiologyPaleobiology Collections, National Museum of Natural History

FishesFish Collections in Alcohol, National Museum of Natural History

MammalsMouse Collections, National Museum of Natural History

Botany – AlgaeBotany Algae Collection, National Museum of Natural History

Mammals – WhaleWhale Skeletons, Museum Support Center

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5 thoughts on “Inside the Secret Collections Backstage at the US Museum of Natural History

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