American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History (abbreviated as AMNH), located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world. Located in park-like grounds across the street from Central Park, the Museum comprises 25 interconnected buildings that house 46 permanent exhibition halls, research laboratories, and its renowned library. The collections contain over 32 million specimens, of which only a small fraction can be displayed at any given time. The Museum has a scientific staff of more than 200, and sponsors over 100 special field expeditions each year. The Museum boasts habitat dioramas of African, Asian and North American mammals, a full-size model of a Blue Whale suspended in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life, sponsored by the family of Paul Milstein (reopened in 2003), a 62 foot (19 m) Haida carved and painted warcanoe from the Pacific Northwest, a massive 31 ton piece of the Cape York meteorite, and the Star of India, the largest star sapphire in the world. The circuit of an entire floor is devoted to vertebrate evolution. The Museum has extensive anthropological collections: Asian People, Pacific People, Man in Africa, American Indian collections, generalNative American collections, and collections from Mexico and Central America. From its founding, the Library of the American Museum of Natural History has grown into one of the world's great natural history collections. In its early years, the Library expanded its collection mostly through such gifts as the John C. Jay conchological library, the Carson Brevoort library on fishes and general zoology, the ornithological library of Daniel Giraud Elliot, the Harry Edwards entomological library, the Hugh Jewett collection of voyages and travel and the Jules Marcou geology collection. In 1903 the American Ethnological Society deposited its library in the Museum and in 1905 the New York Academy of Sciences followed suit by transferring its collection of 10,000 volumes. Today, the Library's collections contain over 550,000 volumes of monographsserialspamphletsreprintsmicroforms, and original illustrations, as well as film, photographic, archives and manuscripts, fine art, memorabilia and rare book collections. The Library collects materials covering such subjects as mammalogy, earth and planetary science, astronomy and astrophysicsanthropology, entomology,herpetologyichthyology, paleontology, ethology, ornithology, mineralogyinvertebratessystematicsecologyoceanography, conchology, exploration and travel, history of science,museologybibliographygenomics, and peripheral biological sciences. The collection is rich in retrospective materials — some going back to the 15th century — that are difficult to find elsewhere.
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