The American Museum of Natural History is at Central Park West and 79th Street in New York City. The Museum is open daily, 10:00 a.m.—5:45 p.m. The Museum Library opens on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m.
For general Museum information call (212) 769-5100
The American Museum of Natural History was founded and incorporated in 1869 for the purpose of establishing a Museum and Library of Natural History; of encouraging and developing the study of Natural Science; of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and to that end of furnishing popular instruction., For eight years its home was in the Arsenal in Central Park. The corner-stone of the present building in Manhattan Square was laid in 1874 by President U. S. Grant.
The following were the founders of the Museum: William T. Blodgett, Joseph H. Choate, Robert Colgate, Charles A. Dana, A. G. Phelps Dodge, Benjamin H. Field, William A. Haines, Adrian Iselin, Morris K. Jesup, J. Pierpont Morgan, Henry Parish, Howard Potter, Theodore Roosevelt, Benjamin B. Sherman, D. Jackson Steward, Robert L. Stuart, John David Wolfe.
The American Museum of Natural History is located at 77th Street and Central Park West and can be reached by the Eighth or Ninth Avenue surface cars, the Sixth or Ninth Avenue elevated to 81st Street station, or by the subway to 72nd or 79th Street station. The Museum is open free every day in the year: on week days from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., on Sundays from 1 to 5 P.M.
The Museum is under the control of a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees, which includes the Mayor, the Comptroller and the President of the Department of Parks, ex officio. This Board has the entire direction of all the activities of the Museum, as well as the guardianship of the collections and exhibits.
All the collections in the exhibition halls and in the study rooms are the gifts of the Trustees, Members and other friends and supporters of the institution. The funds which enable the Trustees to purchase specimens, to carry on explorations in various parts of the world, to prepare and publish scientific papers and to enlarge the library are raised by contributions from the Trustees, Members and other friends. These contributions are divided into three classes: (1) the Endowment Fund, (2) the Membership Fund, (3) voluntary subscriptions. The Membership Fund, derived from the subscriptions of Members, is of particular importance in the educational work of the Museum. Voluntary contributions may be used for general purposes or for such particular object as the donor may specify; some of the most important and valuable collections have been obtained through such gifts.
The American Museum of Natural History building is erected by the City of New York. It is one of the largest municipal structures in the city and has cost approximately $5,318,820.
The building, of which eight sections have been completed, will cover the entire area of Manhattan Square. The first section was erected in 1874-1877. The present South Facade is 710 feet in length from tower to tower. Eastern, western, and northern facades, comparable with this in length, are planned for the completed structure, which will be larger than any building in the world today, even the Escorial of Spain or the Capitol at Washington. The total area of the floor space is 470,789 square feet, or about eleven acres, of which 271,886 square feet are open to the public.
The City makes an annual appropriation, known as the Maintenance Fund, which is devoted to the heating, lighting, repairing and supervising of the building, the care of the collections, the construction of cases and other maintenance work. This fund in 1915 amounted to $200,000. The Trustees also contribute to the Maintenance Fund annually in amounts varying from $50,000 to $100,000, inasmuch as the municipal appropriation is inadequate thoroughly to maintain the building.
Under the arched entrance way to the Museum, on 77th Street, the visitor first notices a bench-mark established by the U. S. Geological Survey in 1911, indicating the latitude and longitude and the height above sea level (eighty-six feet). On the right is a pot-hole from St. Lawrence County, New York, two feet across and four feet deep. The hole was formed by pebbles whirled in an eddy of a stream beneath the melting ice of the glacier that once covered New York State. To the left is a large slab of fossiliferous limestone from Kelley's Island, in Lake Erie near Sandusky, Ohio, whose surface has been smoothed, grooved and scratched by the stones and sand in the bottom of the immense ice sheet that covered this part of our country during the glacial period. Geologists tell us that 30,000 to 50,000 years ago this entire section was covered by ice which was moving in a southerly direction.
Entering the American Museum of Natural History the visitor finds at the left and right the Information Bureau and Visitors' Room. Wheel chairs for children or adults may be obtained here without charge. Postcards, photographs, guide leaflets and the publications of the Museum are on sale, and here one may also arrange to meet friends. A Restaurant is located in the basement.
Ages of man
American museum of natural history offices laboratories and libraries
Birds of North America
Birds of the world.
Gems and precious stones.
Geology and paleontology
Indians of South America
Indians of the southwest Navajo and Apache
Indians of the northwest coast.
Mammals of North America
Mammals of the world
Reptiles and Amphibians