Posts Tagged ‘smithsonian museums’

Behind the Scenes of Our Newest Exhibits

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Here at the Smithsonian Institution, discoveries of bones aren’t unusual. Sometimes they turn up where expected, at old cemeteries or burial sites. Other times they pop up in unusual places, as many graves end up unmarked after the passage of time. In 2005, Smithsonian forensic anthropologists recovered the bones of several early colonists from Jamestown, the first settlement in early 17th century Chesapeake. What they found at James Fort shed new light on the difficult lives of the earliest European settlers. Today, their findings are on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in our Written in Bone exhibit.

Skulls on display at the National Museum of Natural History. Photo: Betsy Brand

Skulls on display at the National Museum of Natural History. Photo: Betsy Brand

See the exhibit for yourselves on our Celebrate Smithsonian tour, September 9-12. Enjoy unparalleled behind-the-scenes access to our collections and talk with the curators of Written in Bone.

SI Research Notes: National Museum of Natural History

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) curates the largest, most comprehensive natural history collection in the world. There are now over 126 million specimens in the ever-growing NMNH collections, ranging from DNA samples to whale skulls, African baskets to Chinese shoes, algae samples to petrified logs, tiny crustaceans to giant squid, Moon rocks to the Hope diamond, and Tyrannosaurus rex bones to the oldest fossils from the Burgess Shale.

Alyssa Bobst

Visitors enjoy the newly reopened Sant Ocean Hall in the National Museum of Natural History. Photo: Alyssa Bobst

The Museum has scientists working in the fields of anthropology, botany, entomology, invertebrate zoology, mineral sciences, paleobiology, and vertebrate zoology—birds, fishes, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Research programs include field studies in over 122 countries worldwide. By comparing items gathered in different eras and regions, scientists learn how our world has varied across time and space.The Natural History Museum has become an international center for research in several fields, including taxonomy, mineralogy, petrology, physical anthropology, and North American ethnology.