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Peabody Museum of Natural History

170 Whitney Avenue - Yale University
New Haven, CT

Phone: 203-432-5050 - Tty: -

Statement of Purpose

The mission of the Peabody Museum is to advance our understanding of earth's history through geological, biological, and anthropological research, and by communicating the results of this research to the widest possible audience through publication, exhibition, and educational programs. Fundamental to this mission is stewardship of the Museum's rich collections which provide a remarkable record of the history of the earth, its life, and its cultures. Conservation, augmentation, and use of these collections become increasingly urgent as modern threats to the diversity of life and culture continue to intensify.

Highlights & Collections

Photo credit: William K. Sacco
Interior view of the Great Hall of Dinosaurs.
The museum is the only one in Connecticut having fossil dinosaur skeletal mounts on display.

The Peabody Museum of Natural History, founded in 1866, contains one of the great scientific collections in North America. It is the only museum if Connecticut to house a world-renowned paleontological exhibit that includes mounted fossils of the dinosaurs Apatosaurus (Brontosaurus), and Deinonychus.

Other exhibition areas feature the museum's anthropological and ornithological collections,a variety of displays survey the animal, vegetable, and mineral worlds, and a series of dioramas, a unique blend of science and art, illustrate a range of North American environments.

The giant Pullitzer award-winning mural "The Age of Reptiles" (the best known painting of dinosaurs in the world) decorates one wall of the museum's Great Hall of Dinosaurs and remains one of the Peabody's greatest attractions. Workshops and laboratories in the fields of paleontology, archaeology, zoology, and evolutionary biology make the Peabody a working museum, where public exhibition, research, and teaching intersect. The museum is therefore also a major source of science education for New Haven and the surrounding community and its many outreach programs are among the principal ways in which Yale serves the public.

Between 1870 and 1873 Othniel Charles Marsh, the nephew of wealthy international financier George Peabody (1795-1869), led four expeditions of Yale students into the wild American West in search of fossils. His most famous finds are the dinosaurs he named including Apatosaurus (better known as "Brontosaurus"), Stegosaurus, and Triceratops. The original fossil skeleton of Apatosaurus, discovered by Marsh, today dominates the Great Hall of the Peabody Museum.

Other permanent displays include exhibits on Ancient Egypt, Native Americans, Pacific cultures, and Mezoamerica. The Bird Hall contains specimens representing most species of birds found in Connecticut. Other exhibits are devoted to minerals, extinct species of North American flora and fauna, and meteorites. An outstanding feature of the Museum is its eleven dioramas, a blending of art and science that offer an exquisite vision of the natural world. The museum hosts a number of temporary exhibitions that change throughout the year.

Dinosaurs * Mammals * Pacific Cultures * Native American Cultures * Mesoamerica * Meteorites * Minerals * Dioramas * birds * Ancient Egypt

Current Exhibits and Upcoming Special Events

Great Hall of Dinosaurs, Hall of Mammals, Peoples of the Pacific, Hall of Native American Cultures, From Mexico to Peru, Meteorites, Mineral Hall, Birds of Connecticut, Dioramas, Ancient Egypt

Children's Nature Books: A Connecticut Legacy
The African Roots of the Amistad Rebellion: Masks of the Sacred Bush

Children Nature Books

West African Cultures

The Great Awakening: A Century of Conservation

Hall of Human Origins

Machu Picchu: A Royal Estate in the Clouds


Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday, noon-5 pm. The museum is open every day except New Year's Day, Easter sunday, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.

Admission & Directions:

Take I-91 to exit 3, Trumbull Street. At the bottom of the ramp is a light. Go through this light, up Trumbull Street, to the next traffic lightand take a right onto Whitney Avenue. Continue through the traffic light marking the corner of Whitney Avenue and Sachem Street, and drive past the Museum to the next traffic light. Go left into the Yale University Parking Lot and follow the signs for Peabody Museum Visitor Parking.

Key Personnel:

Richard L. Burger, Director

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