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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 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…

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Hyde Expedition Collection


Jacob H. Schiff Chinese Expedition

Berthold Laufer (1874-1934) was a young German scholar of Asian languages and scripts when Franz Boas recruited him for fieldwork on Sakhalin Island and the Amur River as part of the American Museum of Natural History’s Jesup North Pacific Expedition (1897-1902). Having proven his aptitude for ethnographic fieldwork, he was asked by Boas to undertake a second substantial expedition on the Museum’s behalf. The Jacob H. Schiff expedition…

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Central Asiatic Expeditions


Central Asiatic Expeditions 1921-1930

The Central Asiatic Expeditions collection consists of photographs taken over the course of five expedition seasons sponsored by the museum exploring Mongolia, especially areas in the Gobi Desert. The expeditions were led by Roy Chapman Andrews a well-known explorer, naturalist and paleontologist.

The photographs taken in 1922, 1925 and 1928 (seasons 1, 3 and 4) were taken by James B. Shackelford. An…

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Rare Book Collection

The images of the Rare Book Collection highlight some of the art, illustrations, engravings, maps, and sketches from the over 14,000 rare materials housed at the Library. The Museum Library’s Rare Book Collection includes field diaries and scrapbooks, richly illustrated fragile and uniquely bound materials, limited and/or autographed editions; published and unpublished materials with special Museum association; materials of high monetary value;…

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Julian Dimock Collection

The images in the Julian Dimock Collection consist of approximately 3400 photographs on glass taken by Julian A. Dimock (1873-1945) in the United States in the early part of the 20th century from about 1904 to 1911. Dimock, who donated the negatives to the Museum in 1920, traveled the Southern states over many years, both alone and with his father, and scientists and guides, such as anthropologist Alanson Skinner, and during Museum funded trips…

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Lumholtz Expedition to Mexico

The Lumholtz Collection consists of more than 2500 photographs taken in the course of four expeditions sponsored by the museum to the northwest of Mexico from 1890 to 1898 led by the Norwegian explorer, naturalist and ethnographer Carl S. Lumholtz.

The great majority of the photographs were taken by Lumholtz himself, but a Princeton University geographer, William A. Libbey is responsible for a number of images taken during the first expedition…

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Art & Memorabilia

The Museum Library holds and cares for the Museum’s fine art collection, images of which are found on this site including portraits, maritime scenes, still lifes, and many more examples and genres of painting, drawings, sculpture and other media. The Memorabilia Collection preserves many objects that help tell the story of the Museum’s history, including ephemeral components of exhibition, scientific and documentary equipment, as well as…

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Jesup North Pacific Expedition


The Jesup North Pacific Expedition (1897-1902) was sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History to investigate the links between the people and the cultures of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America and the Eastern Coast of Siberia. Ostensibly the goal of the expedition was to prove the Bering Strait Migration theory which postulated that the North American continent was populated by the migration of Asian peoples across the Bering…

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Photographic Collection

The Photographic Collection at the Research Library of the American Museum of Natural History consists of over one million black-and-white photographs including approximately 850,000 negatives and 900 collections of photographic prints containing 125,000 individual photographs. In addition, there are more than 200,000 color transparencies, including 35 mm slides and over 55,000 lantern slides, many hand-colored, that were once used for lectures…

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Lantern Slides


To expand the Museum’s educational mission beyond its walls, a lantern slide lending library was created and formed the basis of the Natural Science Study Collections which the Museum delivered to New York schools. The lantern slides, reproduced from the growing collection of photographs created and collected by the Museum staff, were originally used to illustrate lectures given to the public at the Museum. The lectures were so successful that…

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