The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s preeminent museum and research complex. The Museum is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world through its unparalleled research, collections, exhibitions, and education outreach programs. The main building contains 1.5 million square feet of space overall and 325,000 square feet of exhibition and public space; altogether the Museum is the size of 18 football fields, and houses over 1000 employees.
At the center of the Museum’s exhibition and research programs are its expertly documented collections: more than 126 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts. Just to name a few of the museum holdings, the collections include 30 million insects carefully pinned into tiny boxes; 4½ million plants pressed onto sheets of paper in the Museum’s herbarium; 7 million fish in liquid-filled jars; and 2 million cultural artifacts, including 400,000 photographs housed in the National Anthropological Archives. Over 3½ million specimens are out on loan each year; over 15,000 visitor days are spent in the collections; and there are almost 600,000 additional visits to collection data bases available on the Web.
For more information about the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, please visit its website.
Botany - Algae:
Mammals - Whale:
Feather identification expert Roxie Laybourne, amidst a portion of NMNH's bird collection: