The Brooklyn Children's Museum is located at 145 Brooklyn Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11213.
The Brooklyn Children's Museum was established as a branch museum of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences in 1899. Its object is to interest children in nature and to offer encouragement and practical assistance to young people engaged in nature study.
To this end it exhibits a great variety of carefully selected and prepared specimens and models illustrative of the various departments of science; operates a Wireless Telegraph Station; maintains a Nature Reference Library of about 7,500 volumes; conducts free courses of illustrated lectures; lends natural history specimens to schools; sup-plies continuous docent service, and encourages the activities of children's nature clubs and societies.
The Brooklyn Children's Museum occupies a well preserved mansion, owned by the City and leased by the Brooklyn Institute for an indefinite period. It is located in Bedford Park, near Brooklyn Avenue, between Prospect Place and Park Place, and may be reached from New York by subway to Atlantic Avenue station and thence by St. John's Place cars to Brooklyn Avenue, or from Brooklyn Bridge by Fulton Street or Bergen Street surface cars to Brooklyn Avenue, or by Fulton Street elevated to Tompkins Avenue station, or from Williamsburg Bridge by Nostrand Avenue and Tompkins Avenue cars to Prospect Place.
Although managed and controlled by the Trustees of the Brooklyn Institute, the Brooklyn Children's Museum is supported in part by optional annual grants from the City of New York and in part by the contributions of friends.
The Brooklyn Children's Museum collections illustrate Zoology, Botany, Mineralogy and United States History.
In the north entrance hallway is a Botanical Exhibit consisting of a series of dissectible models, on a highly enlarged scale, showing successive stages in the germination and growth of common plants such as the bean and wheat. In the rooms at the right are the Birds of Prospect Park, grouped according to seasons into regular spring, summer, autumn and winter visitors; the occasional and rare visitors, and the permanent residents. At the south end of the building is the Zoological Type Collection, comprising a series of animals in an ascending scale from the lowest orders up to man. Across the hall in the Insect Room one may see those specimens of insects found in the vicinity of New York City; life histories of insects including the silk worm; brilliant tropical species, and groups of specimens dealing with biological relationships. Adjoining is the Mineral Room with its showy models of gold and platinum nuggets; its models of historical diamonds; its displays of ornamental stones cut and polished; its uncut gems; its birthday stones, and the specimens of crystals, minerals and ores which open up the subject of Mineralogy in its broader aspects.
On this floor will be found the Room of Animal Homes, containing adult and young animals in or near their nests, the object of this collection being to emphasize the fact that many animals prepare nests and care for their young; the Shell Collection, containing many brightly colored tropical specimens; the Historical Room, special features of which are the series of miniature model groups depicting scenes in colonial life and illustrating important political, military and naval events in the history of the United States, and the Geography Room, where primitive races from the different zone belts of the world are portrayed, in miniature, occupying their natural habitats and engaged in their customary occupations. In this room a child may, within the space of an hour, make a world tour, beginning with a hunting trip in a Brazilian jungle, continuing with surf riding in the South Sea Islands, pausing among the Bedouin Arabs in an Oasis of the Sahara Desert, and ending with a walrus hunt among the Smith Sound Eskimo on the shores of Greenland by the light of the Aurora Borealis.
A special feature of the Brooklyn Children's Museum is the "Busy Bee Room," where the children study natural history material with the aid of magnifying glasses and microscopes; preserve, classify and mount insects for their private collections; analyze, press and label plants which they have collected for their herbariums, and care for pet animals in which they are interested. In this room are also a hive of living bees and a number of balanced aquaria containing numerous forms of aquatic life.
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