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 and loaned to schools throughout New York State. The images showcased here are a sampling of these vast collections housed at the Museum Library.
The Photographic Collection documents the history of the Museum, Museum staff at work, scientists in the field and in the laboratory, and permanent and temporary exhibitions. The images document scientific work worldwide in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, geology, paleontology, and zoology. It includes images of objects and specimens from the Museum collections as well as illustrations from the Library's Rare Book Collection. The earliest negatives date from the late 1800's.