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Historic Halls of the American Museum of Natural History

The Historic Halls Collection highlights the American Museum of Natural History’s iconic permanent exhibition halls throughout its history. The over 3,000 images in this collection were selected to provide representations of each of the Museum exhibit halls for a thorough view of the gallery spaces through time, space, and concept, and therefore a glimpse into the evolution of the presentation of science and culture to the public. The Historic Halls Collection may be searched through scientific discipline or topic as well as by more than 100 permanent and historic hall names, creating a virtual tour of the Museum over time through archival photographs.

The Historic Halls Digitization Project, generously supported through funding from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the Leon Levy Foundation, is an effort to provide the public with the opportunity to explore the rich history of scientific topics, collections, and cultures exhibited in the Museum's halls. By browsing thousands of images documenting the Museum’s famous galleries over its nearly 150 year history from the renown Photographic Collections housed in the Museum's Library, researchers may trace the presentation of science through the evolution of the Museum's exhibits. Accompanying the photographic descriptions, each image record includes the evolution of hall name changes and a link to a rich history of the hall in which the photograph was taken. For several short-lived historic halls the search for images continues, while historic notes may be accessed through the project website. Historic notes include a variety of information, such as the chronology of each hall, major exhibits, habitat groups and dioramas, scientists, artists, funders and contributors, architects, hall concept and design, expeditions from which collections and exhibits were comprised, and major changes over the years. A bibliography of sources provided for each hall can help further research and context in the life of the halls and their places within Museum. 

Funding/Credits

The Historic Halls Digitization Project was generously supported through funding from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the Leon Levy Foundation.

Browse by Discipline

Anthropology Invertebrate Zoology
Arctic Exploration Mammalogy
Astrophysics Museum Views
Biodiversity New York State
Earth and Planetary Sciences Ornithology
Forestry and Environment Paleontology
Herpetology Public Health
Ichthyology

Browse by Hall

Akeley GalleryHall of Plains Indians
Akeley Hall of African MammalsHall of Prehistoric Cultures
Allen Hall of North American MammalsHall of Primates
Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human OriginsHall of Primitive Mammals
Arthur Ross Hall of MeteoritesHall of Public Health
Audubon GalleryHall of Reptiles and Amphibians
Bashford Dean Hall of Fossil FishesHall of Saurischian Dinosaurs
Bernard Family Hall of North American MammalsHall of Small Mammals
Bird Art GalleryHall of South American Peoples
Chinese and Siberian Collections (Hall)Hall of the Age of Man
Collections from the Philippine IslandsHall of the Natural History of Man
Darwin HallHall of Vertebrate Origins
Eskimo HallHarry Frank Guggenheim Hall of Minerals
Evelyn Miles Keller Memorial ExhibitHayden Planetarium
Felix M Warburg Memorial Hall of New York State EnvironmentHayden Planetarium Main Lobby
Fossil Fish HallHayden Planetarium Sky Theater
Gallery 3Insect Hall
GalleryIrma and Paul Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life
Gardner D Stout Hall of Asian PeoplesJesup Hall of North American Woods
Grand GalleryJohn Burroughs Corridor (Exhibit)
Hall of African PeoplesJohn Lindsley Hall of Earth History
Hall of Asian MammalsLeFrak Theater
Hall of BiodiversityLeonard C Sanford Hall of North American Birds
Hall of Birds of the World (1929-)Lower Hall
Hall of Birds of the World (circa 1900-1946)Main Hall
Hall of DinosaursMammals of the Polar Regions (Hall)
Hall of Early DinosaursMargaret Mead Hall of Pacific Peoples
Hall of Early MammalsMollusks of New York State (Exhibit)
Hall of Eastern Woodlands IndiansMorgan Memorial Hall of Gems
Hall of Fishes of the WorldNew York State Roosevelt Memorial
Hall of Geology and Invertebrate PalaeontologyNorth Asiatic Mammals (Hall)
Hall of Human BiologyPaul and Irma Milstein Hall of Advanced Mammals
Hall of Late DinosaursPolar Maps (Exhibit)
Hall of Late MammalsPro-Astronomic Hall
Hall of Living InvertebratesRecent Fishes (Hall)
Hall of MammalsRose Center for Earth and Space
Hall of Mexico and Central AmericaRose Center for Earth and Space Hayden Planetarium
Hall of Mollusks and MankindSanford Memorial Hall of the Biology of Birds
Hall of Mongolian VertebratesShell Hall
Hall of New York City BirdsSiberian Hall
Hall of New York State MammalsSouth Sea Island Hall
Hall of North American ForestsSouthwest Indian Hall
Hall of Northwest Coast IndiansUpper Hall
Hall of Oil GeologyWard-Coonley Meteorites (Hall)
Hall of Ornithischian DinosaursWhitney Memorial Hall of Oceanic Birds
Hall of Petrology