Travel back in time and explore the Museum archives on October 5th!
Celebrate New York Archives Week by coming to the Museum Library to discover the Museum’s rich history of scientific exploration from around the world. Rarely seen collections of field notes, films, photography, artwork, and memorabilia will be on display to tell the hidden stories behind the Museum’s world-famous dioramas and exhibitions.
Watch early moving-image footage from historic Central Asiatic Expeditions to Mongolia, in which a team led by Roy Chapman Andrews discovers the first dinosaur eggs, or browse the original landscape studies painted in the field during Carl Akeley’s perilous expeditions to Africa. The Library staff will explain how these one-of-a-kind objects are cared for and give hands-on demonstrations of the new Digital Special Collections, an online endeavor to make the Library’s extensive image collection available for research and reference.
This event is part of the New York Archives Week, which runs October 5-11, 2014, an annual celebration aimed at informing the general public about the diverse array of archival materials available in the metropolitan New York region.
The tours, which run between 12 pm - 5 pm are free with Museum admission.
This weather calls for a rainy #tbt! “Hauling canoe in rain, The Everglades, Florida" was was taken by Julian A. Dimock in 1910.
Dimock, who donated over 3,400 photographic negatives to the Museum in 1920, traveled the Southern states over many years during Museum funded trips. Carrying heavy and cumbersome photographic equipment over challenging terrain, Dimock trained his lens on the people and landscape of the South.
See more of the beautiful Julian Dimock Collection in our Digital Special Collections.
The Hall of North American Mammals looked a little different in 1907.
This photograph of the Wapiti Elk Group was taken by J. Otis Wheelock in 1907, before the scene was recreated as one of the Museum’s iconic dioramas. You can compare this image with the modern Wapiti diorama here.
Today’s peek into the archives is headed back to school! “Public school class on guided tour" was taken by Robert Elwood Logan in 1947.
Did you ever come to the Museum as part of a school group? The American Museum of Natural History receives 500,000 visitors annually in school and camp groups. To plan your own group visit, check out our website.
Today’s peek into the archives takes us back to the Museum in 1910. “Sigurd Neandross painting figure in Haida ceremonial canoe, North Pacific Hall” was photographed by Thomas Lunt.
The Great Canoe has since been moved to the Museum’s Grand Gallery. At 63 feet long, the seaworthy Great Canoe is one of the Museum’s most popular artifacts. It was carved in the 1870s from the trunk of a single cedar tree, and features design elements from different Native American peoples of the Northwest Coast, notably Haida and Heiltsuk.
Learn more about the history of the Great Canoe.
Today’s peek into the archives shows us “Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Horsfall working on background of Wild Turkey Habitat Group, North American Bird Hall.” Photographed by Otis J. Wheelock in 1907.
For more images of diorama construction and more than 7,000 other archival images, head to our new online database Digital Special Collections.
Henry Fairfield Osborn, paleontologist and former president of the American Museum of Natural History, was born on this day in 1857.
When he arrived at the Museum in 1891, the Paleontology collections began their first period of substantial growth. Osborn was responsible for hiring several outstanding vertebrate paleontologists, including William Diller Matthew, William K. Gregory, Walter Granger, Jacob Wortman, and Barnum Brown.
Osborne became president of the Museum in 1908, and was the first Museum president trained as a scientist. Under the guidance of H. F. Osborn, the vertebrate paleontology collections grew through many expeditions. Notable among these were the dinosaur specimens collected in the Rockies and Alberta by Barnum Brown; the 1901 expedition to Egypt’s Fayum Basin; and the Central Asiatic Expeditions of the 1920s. Osborne served as the Museum president for 25 years.
See pictures of Henry Fairfield Osborn in the Digital Special Collections.
From the archives: “Visitor viewing ocean sunfish, Hall of Fishes” photographed by Thane L. Bierwert in 1948.
Find this and more than 7,000 other archival images on our new online database Digital Special Collections.
Are you going camping this summer? Check out images from our Digital Special Collections for some classic tent inspiration, from Museum expeditions, to indigenous campsites.
"Fish jumping, Turners River, Florida"
This beautiful photo was taken by Julian A. Dimock in 1908. Dimock, who donated over 3,400 photographic negatives to the Museum in 1920, traveled the Southern states over many years during Museum funded trips to Southern locations like The Everglades. Carrying heavy and cumbersome photographic equipment over challenging terrain, Dimock trained his lens on the people and landscape of the South.
See more of the Julian Dimock Collection in our Digital Special Collections.
North American Beaver - July evening, Central Michigan
The beaver is not your typical rodent. It’s the largest one on the continent, and the only one that can cut down mature trees.
Beavers can drastically alter landscapes. Working in family groups of four to eight, a beaver colony can cut down more than a ton of trees per year. This colony has dammed a stream with logs, mud and stones to make a pond. The land is so newly flooded that some trees have not yet drowned.
By altering streams, beavers expand wetlands , offering rich habitat for other species. Beaver ponds can also control runoff and reduce erosion. Eventually, this pond will clog with sediment. At that point, or when all accessible trees are cut, the colony will abandon its effort and begin again elsewhere.
This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.